readingtrance

book reviews by Althea

The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince – Robin Hobb ****

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A prequel or ancillary to Hobb’s Farseer series This short novel (very brief, compared to other volumes in the series) takes a point of history referred to in the other books (How those with the animal-focused telepathy known as ‘the Wit’ came to be maligned), and fleshes it out, showing how rumor and propaganda can become future generations’ accepted facts.

As the title suggests, there’s a lot of the fairy tale in this story, which is narrated by a wet nurse’s daughter, raised as servant to royalty – but the style is purely Hobb’s. It meshes epic events with the quotidian with aplomb, and introduces us to flawed yet sympathetic characters with such a deft touch that you’ll finish the book feeling like they’re people you really know.

Recommended for all fans of the Farseer world.

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