Top positive review
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Shorter and less action packed, but I still loved it
on 15 June 2013
The third book in the Rain Wilds Chronicles and twelfth overall in Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings series feels shorter and much more character focussed than most of the earlier books.
Rather than following a quest, as many of the other books in the series have, this book follows the daily lives of the characters from the previous two novels as they continue from the point these books brought them. It makes some interesting points about prejudice, society and childrearing, and the ensemble cast makes the drama feel more real and rounded than ever before.
The plot feels simple despite the array of threads that run through the book, and for the most part each is split into its own chapters, although there are some where the narratives are intertwined, which is a nice variation. I really love the asides between chapters that Hobb uses to expand the world in which her stories are set, and they provide a humorous and interesting companion to the main story.
While it felt a calmer story, I was really hooked by this book and can't believe how quickly I read it compared to some of Hobb's other books. I really enjoy spending time with these characters and hope that Hobb will find more stories to pen once this one is complete.