BOOK REVIEW: The Inheritance by Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm (3 stars)

Verdict: 3 stars | Definitely one to try, possibly one to love.

The Inheritance is a collection of short stories by Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm (both pseudonyms for Margaret Astrid Lindholm). As each story differs in my opinion (sometimes wildly), I will review them all separately.


A Touch of Lavender (Lindholm)
3 stars

A touch of sci-fi in this story, my first experience of its kind from this author. Aliens with toxic/addictive skin and a young boy with a troubled home-life. The characters were strong but the plot wasn’t something that thrilled me.


The Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man (Lindholm)
2 stars

Struggling author meets Merlin… or does she?

I hate to say it, but I actually found this story a bit dull. The writing, as always, was excellent, but it just seemed to lack the punch that I’m used to from this author.


Cut (Lindholm)
2 stars

The topic of female genital mutilation is never an easy one to write about and, although I liked the plot of this story for its thought-provoking nature, the characters themselves left much to be desired.


The Fifth Squashed Cat (Lindholm)
3 stars

This one involves eating road kill in order to gain magical powers. A fun, disgusting read but nothing special.


Strays (Lindholm)
3 stars

So. Many. Cats. This story had stronger characters and a more engaging plot, but I can’t say I found it thrilling.


Finis (Lindholm) and Drum Machine (Lindholm)
2 stars

I’ll be honest, by the time I finished the short story collection, these two stories fell by the wayside in my mind. Average but enjoyable.


RIGHT. Let’s get to the good stuff.


Homecoming (Robin Hobb)
4 stars

A Rainwilds story – specifically, the origin story of how the Rainwilders came to be (as discovered in Liveship Traders).

At first, I found this story rather slow-moving. I actually put it down and read another book before continuing, but I’m so glad I did.

Written as the diary of a Jamaillian noblewoman, it covers the expedition/exile to the Cursed Shores and the first Rainwild colony. It includes underground ruins, memory drownings and more Firsts of a world that fans love dearly.

The Inheritance (Robin Hobb)
4 stars

Set in Bingtown about the daughter of a Trader trying to recover her heritage. A short, tidy story with two engaging characters.


Cat’s Meat (Robin Hobb)
4.5 stars

My favourite story in the collection, hands down. This is the short story I had been waiting for without even knowing it.

The character development and the plot are of the high quality I have come to expect from Robin Hobb and I found myself thinking about the story whenever I had to pause reading, and even after I had finished. That’s something I couldn’t claim about any other story in the collection.


Summary

One for fans of Megan Lindholm and Robin Hobb but if, like me, you’re unfamiliar with Lindholm, some of the stories may leave you wanting.

Always character driven and interesting in their own way, but the high-fantasy ‘Realm of the Elderlings’ stories are the only ones that meet the standards I’ve come to expect from this author.

Great ideas and thought-provoking narratives.

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