I’m not sure I would consider myself a masochist, but then again I can’t explain why I love reading Robin Hobb’s books so much.
She puts her characters through every imaginable hell you can think of, and then some. Gods be damned, but the protagonist just can’t win in this one.
I’ve never encountered such a relentless fall into despair. For the fans who’ve read the Farseer trilogy, let me just say that the treatment of Nevare here is what happens to Fitz, but on steroids.
As the second book, by this point we’re invested and we care. Add a first-person POV and the fact that we spend much of the novel in his head, and it’s a brilliant way to tell a story of disappointment, failed expectations, and perspective.
Most novels will have characters on both sides of a conflict to dramatize warring ideas, but here those discussions happen in Nevare’s head as he now straddles two worlds.
“It’s all about what we believe isn’t it? All we can do is what we think is right, driven by what we know, or what we think we know.”
All that being said, Hobb’s writing speaks to me on a level which I can’t explain. Hers are books that I will be re-reading over and over again for the rest of my life.
So, try this series out.
(Not to sound too hipster here, but it’s almost an acquired taste for Robin Hobb fans. Definitely not for everyone, but if it clicks for you, it clicks hard.)