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The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince Hardcover – 28 Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press; Deluxe edition (28 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781596065444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596065444
  • ASIN: 1596065443
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 888,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Hobb is a New York Times best-selling fantasy author. She is published in English in the US, UK and Australia, and her works have been widely translated. Her short stories have been finalists for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, as well as winning the Asimov's Readers Award. Her best known series is The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest.)

Robin Hobb was born in Oakland California, but grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has spent her life mostly in the Pacific Nortwest region of the US, and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington State, with her husband Fred. They have four grown offspring, and six grandchildren.

Robin Hobb is a pen name for Margaret Ogden. She has also written under the name Megan Lindholm.

She published her first short story for children when she was 18,and for some years wrote as a journalist and children's writer. Her stories for children were published in magazines such as Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children, Jack & Jill and Highlights for Children. She also created educational reading material for children for a programmed reading series by SRA (Science Research Associates.) She received a grant award from the Alaska State Council on the arts for her short story "The Poaching", published in Finding Our Boundaries in 1980.

Fantasy and Science Fiction had always been her two favorite genres, and in the late 70's she began to write in them. Her initial works were published in small press 'fanzines' such as Space and Time (editor Gordon Linzner). Her first professionally published story was "Bones for Dulath" that appeared in the Ace anthology AMAZONS!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson in 1979. A short time later, a second Ki and Vandien story entitled The Small One was published in FANTASTIC in 1980.

During that time period, she and her family had moved from Alaska to Hawaii, and subsequently to Washington State, where they settled. She had various money making occupations (waitress, salesperson, etc.) while striving with her writing. Her husband Fred continued to fish Alaskan waters and was home only about 3 months out of every year. The family lived on a small farm in rural Roy where they raised lots of vegetables, chickens, ducks, geese and other small livestock.

In 1983, her first novel, Harpy's Flight, was published by Ace under the pen name Megan Lindholm. Her later titles under that name included Wizard of the Pigeons, Alien Earth, Luck of the Wheels, and Cloven Hooves.

In 1995, she launched her best selling series of books set in the Realm of the Elderlings. At that time, she began writing as Robin Hobb. Her first trilogy of books were about her popular characters, FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool. The Farseer Trilogy is comprised of Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest. These books were followed by The Liveship Traders trilogy, set in the same world. The Tawny Man trilogy returned to the tale of Fitz and the Fool. Most recently, the four volumes of the Rain Wilds Chronicles were published: Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons.

In 2013, it was announced that she would return to her best-loved characters with a new trilogy, The Fitz and the Fool trilogy. The first volume, Fool's Assassin, will be published in August of 2014.

Other works as Robin Hobb include The Soldier Son trilogy and short stories published in various anthologies. A collection of her shorter works as both Lindholm and Hobb is available in The Inheritance.

She continues to reside in Tacoma, Washington, with frequent visits to the pocket farm in Roy.

Product Description


'Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.'
The Times

'Robin Hobb writes achingly well'

'Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robin Hobb was born in California in 1952 and majored in Communications at Denver University, Colorado. Assassin’s Apprentice was her first novel, and was followed by the equally successful Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Quest. She lives outside Seattle, Washington.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Lore on 5 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince' is technically flawless and thoroughly engrossing. As one of Robin Hobb's few ventures into the short story medium (in complete contrast to her pseudonym Megan Lindholm's prolific output in this area) there may be some criticism leveled at this novella that it fails to set the reader's heart racing in the manner of her previously published novels and series. But such criticism would be misplaced, because the author has infused this novella with as many heroically flawed characters as is possible in its 184 pages and the precision of the writing is breathtaking.

This outstrips for me Robin Hobb's other short stories (`The Inheritance' and `Homecoming', to name a couple of her best) by a good distance. Perhaps in some part due to there being two stories contained here in this novella; each being a near stand-alone tale that centers on events that take place in her most famous setting, the Six Duchies and that unfold one generation apart within its ruling family, the Farseers.

I have to say what I found particularly enthralling was the protagonist who, I don't think I'd be incorrect in stating, is unlike any character the author has thus far created. Felicity, who is burdened with a name (like many of the characters in Hobb's stories whose names are intended to encourage in them a specific virtue) which in her case seeks to promote good fortune, is a wonderfully complex and sympathetic character who (also like many of the characters in Hobb's stories) is swept along by events, often against her will and often at great cost to her personal happiness.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. Sullivan on 9 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Having read nearly all of Robin Hobb's and Megan Lindholm's works, I have never been disappointed by any of her novels. And this is no different. An absolutely beautiful, mesmerising and often heartbreaking account of love, court rivalry and family connection. This is such a well-written story that is somehow condensed to only 150 pages but you feel like you have read a book of at least 500 pages with the lasting impression it leaves you when you get to the dramatic finale.

As usual with Hobb, the characters are so well-constructed. From the narrator who comes across as such an honest, loyal individual who carries the story excellently from beginning to end, to the Wilful Princess whose unpredictability reminds me a lot of Epiny from the Soldier Son trilogy, and of course the Piebald Prince who like other Hobb characters such as Fitz and Nevare, you have such sympathy for his plights from beginning to end, you continue to love the character because he has such internal strength.

This is also such a fantastic book to read either before or after having read the Assassins trilogy as it explains exactly why the hatred of the Wit had become so ingrained in Buck society by the time Fitz showed up. I read this in one sitting which is easy enough as it is such a short book. And also had it signed by Robin Hobb herself when I met her at one of her book signings. Am so looking forward to her new Fitz and Fool Trilogy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jo on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This prequel novella to The Farseer Trilogy is just perfect! It reveals the truth behind why there is such distrust of and disgust for the Wit, and why so many people believe such awful, completely untrue things about what the Wit can do. And it all comes down to rivalry, which spawns jealousy, and leads to lies.

Two men, vying for both the crown and the heart of the same woman. One oddly marked and in possession of the Wit, and rightful heir to the throne, the other the King's nephew, older, charming, and knowing how to work a crowd. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. Until there's only one final outcome.

It's great getting to see the whole story, not just because of what happened to the Piebald Prince, but because of what happened with his mother, Princess Caution. If things were different there, then maybe things would have been different with the Prince. There's so much to come out, and if only people in the present day Six Duchies knew the truth, how easier life would be for the Witted!

I can't really say much more, I don't want to spoil this awesome story! But it's fantastic to get to see the truth! And hopefully, the truth will come out one day...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Listy on 25 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful little back story into the Tales of the First witted Farseer Prince, as hinted at in both the assasins and fools trilogies, its a very well written short story, but i wont give any *SPOILERS*, just too say if you wanted to be whisked back to old buckeep castle and peek through the eyes of the folk of old buck then this will appeal to anyone who has read through Ms. Hobbs previous collections
(However I wouldn't reccomend this as a stand alone novel to someone who hasn't read any of the Farseer trilogies. If you were hoping for a quick introduction to Ms. Hobbs style you may be better served by trying Assassins Aprentice as the depth, detail and characterisation in this Novella do not do justice to her full Novels.)
My only complaint is that this Novella fails to give the full story behind all the politics and predjuces involved, and lacks the depth & detail i've come to expect from this fantastic author. This really would have been a very satisfying full novel, and the desire for more leaves a diminished impression of an otherwise very good story, that no completist should be without
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