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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Architect's Dream
`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...
Published 16 months ago by Fantasy Lore

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
This was not as good as all her other books. It was rather disappointing. Would make you think twice about buying from that author again
Published 6 months ago by Gisela Hewat


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Architect's Dream, 5 Mar 2013
By 
Fantasy Lore - See all my reviews
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`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. But given that she is not talented in any of the magical skills possessed by her fellows in this story or her fellow protagonists in those stories within the same setting, that she is unremarkable by most standards and not an object of anyone's desire, it is tremendously to this author's credit that Felicity is nonetheless imbued of every human strength and flaw necessary to make her completely plausible and compelling.

There is tragedy here and courage, sacrifice and heartache aplenty. There is even something biblical to the joyousness and triumph of the new life that's celebrated in its final pages. For me, it's one of Robin Hobb's finest creations and one that I will certainly leaf through again. Don't delay.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robin Hobb never fails to disappoint!, 9 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (Farseer) (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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book, 3 May 2013
By 
R. Strode "Rosie Strode" (near London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is Hobb at her best - a beautiful story, told with charm and finesse. The illustrations fit perfectly; and although it isn't a very long book (I read it all in one sitting) it is much better to have quality rather than quantity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So why is this a good addition to the Farseer Collection?, 25 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (Farseer) (Hardcover)
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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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely written...but hardly essential, 9 April 2013
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
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Alright, this is nicely written, and completely up to Robin Hobb's usual standard. Sub Press have made a nice little 150-page book, and thrown in two gorgeous colour plates that actually do add to the text. Its two linked parts, each reflecting a titular character some years apart. It does provide us with an understanding of why certain attitudes were the way they were in the Farseer series.

But having said all that, I kinda wonder why this was written. Its all ancient history from the perspective of the Farseer/Liveship series we have to date, and simple prejudice serves as well as any other explanation: and for all that there are some nuances and shades of grey involved here, basically it all boils down to prejudice and lust for power: stuff we already knew.

So, for the price, think before you buy. If you have enough spare cash, and like Robin Hobb, feel free to plonk it down: but after an hour or so's reading, dont expect to attain Enlightenment, or even a great "a-ha" moment in which you see the Farseer trilogies in a whole new light. Its a book, well made and a good read. But dont regard it as essential: you need not read it simply because it is there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Format, 23 Mar 2014
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Awful format, proper pages please, it's not a child's book. Not up to Robin Hobb' s normal standards. Hope she doesn't produce any more like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic prequel to the Farseer Trilogy, 20 Jan 2014
By 
Jo (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (Farseer) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the Farseer Trilogy first!, 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (Farseer) (Hardcover)
If you have read the Farseer trilogy and loved it, then definitely buy this. Rather different from most of Robin Hobb's works and also much shorter. None the less I still found this a gripping story and hard to put down once I started. It is also nicely decorated with page borders and several full colour illustrations. The quality of the hardback is also very good for the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (Farseer) (Hardcover)
This was not as good as all her other books. It was rather disappointing. Would make you think twice about buying from that author again
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince, 27 Dec 2013
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Not very impressed by this book. Not really worth the money as it doesn't come up to Robin Hobbs
usual standards, books full of adventure and suspense.
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The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (Farseer)
The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince (Farseer) by Robin Hobb (Hardcover - 24 Oct 2013)
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