Last night, I headed over to Shaftesbury Avenue for a Robin Hobb book signing. It was pouring with rain but trivial things like terrible weather have never stopped me celebrating my geekdom. Robin Hobb, for me, is the Holy Grail of fiction writers and apparently I’m not alone in thinking that. When I got there, the queue was very long. Fortunately my friend Maria had arrived in plenty of time to save a space for us. S.E. Berrow rocked up a short while later, bringing clear skies with her, and the door to Forbidden Planet opened. Continue reading
I healed. Not completely. A scar is never the same as good flesh, but it stops the bleeding.
– Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Quest
It’s no secret how much I adore everything Robin Hobb does, and how badly I want to get my hands on Assassin’s Fate when it comes out on the 4th May.
It is also no secret that I’m incredibly gifted at procrastination and that 2016 was basically a black hole of progress for me. I have a book to edit and query and I’ve put it off for far too long.
That’s about to change, for I have made a bet. I agreed the terms last night: a book for a book.
I, K. F. Goodacre, will complete my edit of The Elder Throne before the 4th of May 2017. I will present it to my partner (and also my writing partner, S.E. Berrow) on this date. If I fail to do so, the novel Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb will be taken from me and I will not be allowed to read it until I have completed what I set out to do, whether this takes days, weeks, months or years.
It’s serious now.
It’s no secret I adore Robin Hobb books, potentially more than life itself. So when my fellow fan, S.E. Berrow, delivered some exciting news this morning, I was filled with an unquenchable glee.
…And the manuscript is what I must return to right now. I am both re-writing the earlier parts of the book, and pushing into the end chapters. I need to get back to that, as I left Fitz and Amber in a room with Kennitsson, on board the Paragon…
Fitz? On the Paragon? With Amber and the son of Captain Be-Still-My-Little-Black-Heart Kennit?
It kills me that this book won’t be out in August as I’d originally hoped, but only because I’m so impatient. I can barely wait five minutes for more information about Kennitsson in general, and this scene in particular. I have so many questions I want answered, but I’ll be happy to sit and spiral into madness with anticipation.
I know Hobb. This is going to be worth waiting for.
My immediate questions:
- What is Fitz’s reaction to seeing Paragon? Y’know, that sentient ship WITH HIS FACE.
- What is Althea’s feeling about Kennitsson being aboard the Paragon?
- What is Paragon‘s feeling about Kennitsson?
- What is Kennitsson like?
- Just how badly is Amber cringing at all the potential dangers to xer privacy?
**CONTAINS SPOILER REFERENCES**
Verdict: High quality fantasy that feels like catching up with an old friend. Albeit a sometimes remarkably stupid old friend who frustrates you to the point of throttling him.
So, unless you pay no attention to me at all, you might have gathered that Robin Hobb is my Favourite Author of All Time. That’s a pretty heavy mantle to wear because, as the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. When I open a Robin Hobb book, I expect epic. I demand epic and, if I don’t get it, I’m probably going to throw my toys out of the pram. It’s not really Hobb’s fault, either, because I basically think she’s the best person to ever hold a pen. It’s a lot to live up to.
Fortunately, Fool’s Quest delivers on the vast majority of my expectations. Penned with exquisite care, it continues the story of FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool, a.k.a. Lord Golden, a.k.a. Amber, a.k.a. Mage Grey, a.k.a. Beloved. It picks up where Fool’s Assassin ended, with little Bee stolen by the Whites of Clerres, Withywoods in an absolute wreck, the Fool stabbed but healing behind the walls of Buckkeep Castle, and poor Fitz caught up in a tangled web of bad decisions and worse choices yet again. Continue reading
I have waited an eternity for this book, and it certainly lived up to my expectations.
Before I begin extoling the virtues of Hobb in a somewhat lovesick manner, let me first recommend that – if you don’t know what I’m talking about – you read her trilogies in this order*: The Liveship Traders Trilogy, The Assassins Trilogy and The Tawny Man Trilogy.
*This is not actually chronological order, but it is the order in which I read them, (as recommended by a friend) and has served this friend, myself and S.E. Berrow very well, especially with the benefit of hindsight.
Now – Fool’s Assassin.
When summer pokes its head through the door, I go a little crazy.
Some people have hayfever; I go haywire, creatively speaking. Once a writer, always a writer, but sunshine makes me want to pick up other hobbies. I usually paint Disney pictures when the weather is fine but, for 2015, my chosen poison is sewing.
Like a squirrel with nuts, I’ve been gathering inspiration for the winter months. Mama Goodacre has already requested a Christmas blanket for Winterfest 2015, but in my spare time, I came up with a double-sided blanket design based on my favourite author, Robin Hobb:
The blanket will be made from fleece and will be the first time I use Applique… obviously I will be practicing my technique beforehand!
This blanket has already been reserved by my fellow writer and Robin Hobb fan, S.E. Berrow, but I’ll be sure to duplicate it for my own geeky, snuggly needs.
If anyone is similarly crafty and would like a larger version of the blanket template, feel free to poke me for it.