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on 14 November 2011
I've read a lot of Robin's books and I've never been disappointed. 'The Inheritance' was different from others that I'd read by Robin Hobb simply because it was a selection of short stories. It was intriguing, lots of interesting subjects, leading you on to further pleasures. The one I had the most enjoyment from was 'The Homecoming'. I'd read the Rain Wilds books and found that I wanted more. So I was very pleased to read the beginning of the Rain Wilds, once again, I was begging for more!!! I don't know if there is a book featuring the time between 'The Homecoming' and 'The Liveship Traders', but I would be interested in reading it. I love books to do with dragons and magic, and Robin Hobb always comes up trumps. I reccommend ALL her books and look forward to reading a lot more in the future.
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on 26 April 2016
Didn't quite know what to expect when I purchased this. I had just finished both of Robin Hobb's "Farseer Trilogy" and the "Liveship Trilogy" when I bought The Inheritance.

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these series' so decided to purchase another Robin Hobb book, but wasn't ready to invest my time into another lengthy series so this appealed to me as it appeared to be comprised of multiple shorter stories.

Now I didn't read other reviews beforehand and was hoping for another serene magical adventure so was at first disappointed to see it was more of a book revolving around the author and her personas as Megan Lindholm VS Robin Hobb (same author 2X different writing styles). This book entails true insight into her creative process and connections to her actual life which inspired her to write these stories before each one. This said however they're only short snippets and last a few pages at most. I was initially hesitant about this new more personal connection to the author but by the third story found it gave a new perspective for reading her works in the way she wanted the reader to view them.

This first half or so of the book consists of a multitude Lindholm stories varying in length while the latter half is original Hobb with 2X stories from the Cursed Shores (one linked to Bingtown and the other the Rain Wilds)

The Hobbs stories aren't of major significance in her world however the Rain Wilds story gives insight into the lives of the first settlers generations before the events of the Liveship traders series.

All in all a good mixture of short stories from Robin Hobb's masterpiece universe aswell as a variety of stories in the diction of Lindholm.

Lindholm stories vary slightly from our real world with touches of magic and science fiction in comparison to her overhaul of the world like Hobb does.
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Although Robin Hobb has ranked among my favorite SFF authors for years, other than "Homecoming" and "Words Like Coins," prior to reading this collection I had never read any other piece of her short fiction. And as hard to believe it it may be, I had never read anything she had written under the pseudonym Megan Lindholm.

Yeah, yeah, I know. . . Stupid of me. Especially given the fact that the strongest short stories contained in The Inheritance and Other Stories were all written under the Megan Lindholm byline. I'll definitely have to track down novels written under that pseudonym.

Here's the blurb:

A treasure trove of tales from a master storyteller--the first to feature works written under both her pseudonyms, Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm . . .

The Inheritance

Before she became an acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, Robin Hobb received resounding critical praise for work written under the name Megan Lindholm. Though they spring from the same imagination, Hobb and Lindholm are separate, diverse identities, each with her own unique style and perspective.

The Inheritance celebrates the boundless vision of Hobb and Lindholm, bringing together for the first time classic and new short works from both names. The collection is comprised of three generous offerings from Robin Hobb, including the title story, which makes its U.S. debut here, and a brand-new tale, "Cat's Meat." Megan Lindholm contributes her Hugo and Nebula Award finalist "A Touch of Lavender" and Nebula finalist "Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man," as well as several classic and new gems.

Each piece is prefaced by a brief yet informative author's note, offering insight into each story's genesis. Fascinating, compelling, and wonderfully entertaining, The Inheritance reveals the full spectrum of skill and talent of one of the world's finest fantasy writers.

Each short fiction piece is prefaced by an author's note which offers insight into the creation of each work. At times, I found those introductions to be nearly as interesting as the stories themselves. It's always fascinating to discover how these tales came to be.

This collection starts with an unmistakable bang with Hugo and Nebula finalist "A Touch of Lavender." The Skoags are intriguing aliens, and the premise of the story made me think about the movie District 9, only a hundred times better. I loved the way music and interracial love were explored as underlying themes.

The Nebula finalist "Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man" was written for her husband's fortieth birthday. For years, the author and her husband have had an agreement. He would never read her fiction, for he knows her too well. Yet this one was the exception, and what a great and personal present it must have been.

"Cut" is a short but memorable piece on female sexuality and the extent to which society should be allowed to interfere into our personal choices. This one definitely stays with you long after you read it. . .

"The Fifth Squashed Cat" is an entertaining tale of friendship and the price one must pay for the use of magic. The funniest piece of the collection.

"Strays" is a moving piece about two young girls -- one living in relative luxury and the other in poverty -- and their unlikely friendship.

"Finis" is the author's answer to the market's clichéd vampire stories.

"Drum Machine" is a weird but engrossing tale of music and procreation.

Writing as Robin Hobb, the collection begins with "Homecoming," a piece that was originally published in Robert Silverberg's Legends II and which chronicles the first exploration of the Rain Wilds.

"The Inheritance" is the story of a young woman who inherits a talking pendant made of wizarwood. The magical artifact reveals the truth about her family and helps her regain a measure of respect.

"Cat's Meat" feature a poor single mother who must deal with the return of the man who humiliated and betrayed her. Marmalade the cat could well be Hobb's most ruthless protagonist to date!

Given the quality of the stories comprising The Inheritance and Other Stories, here's to hoping that Hobb/Lindholm will release more works of short fiction in the future. Though she is better known for her long form works, the deft human touch that imbues her novels is always present in every short story, giving each of them another dimension.

Highly recommended.
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on 5 June 2012
I had bought The Inheritance some time ago but have only just got round to reading it, not being a massive fan of short stories. However I had just finished reading City of Dragons by the same author (writing as Robin Hobb), which was slightly disappointing but did leave me wanting to read more tales from the world of the Six Duchies.

The Inheritance is split into two sections, the first being short stories by the author writing as Megan Lindholm, and the second comprising not-so short stories under the name of Robin Hobb. As I am not very familiar with the Megan Lindholm books it was the Robin Hobb stories I was more interested in reading, but actually I was pleasantly surprised by all the stories in the book.

The Megan Lindholm stories tend to be either near-future sci-fi tales (A Touch of Lavender, Cut, Drum Machine) or urban fantasy (Silver Lady, The Fifth Squashed Cat, Strays & Finis) - by which I don't mean vampire/werewolf romance tales, but fantasy in a contemporary, urban setting. My favourites out of these are A Touch of Lavender and Strays, although Cut is one of those short stories that will stay in your head for ages due to its horrible premise.

There are only three Robin Hobb tales, but as I said above, they are quite a bit longer than the Megan Lindholm stories, and all are set in the world of The Six Duchies and The Rain Wilds. First is Homecoming, which details the expedition of the first Rain Wild settlers, told in the form of diary entries by a Jamaillian noblewoman. I don't know how interesting this would be to anyone who has not read at least the Liveship series by Robin Hobb, but I loved it! It filled in a lot of backstory of the people who eventually became the Rain Wild traders, how Trehaug was founded and the first discovery of the underground Elderling city.

The next Robin Hobb story is The Inheritance. This is set just outside Bingtown, somewhere before the events of the Liveship trilogy, and focuses on a young woman's quest for vengeance, aided by a wizardwood pendant. This is probably the weakest story of the three Robin Hobb tales in my opinion, but is still quite enjoyable, and is a stand-alone tale so would make sense to anyone who has not read any of the other books set in this world.

The final story in the book is Cat's Meat, which is set in Buck prior to the events of the Farseer trilogy, and possibly my favourite out of these three. This is also a stand-alone tale and again a kind of revenge story, about a woman whose lover abandoned her when she fell pregnant, but who has now come back to try and regain his place in her life - against her wishes, but more importantly, against the wishes of her cat.

Overall, I enjoyed all these stories, and this collection has definitely inspired me to try some Megan Lindholm novels.
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I've read pretty much all of Robin Hobb's work so far, and none of Megan Lindholm's: as I understand it that is not too uncommon, despite both being pseudonyms for the same writer (in fact one Margaret Lindholm). This is an anthology of both their works - and yes, I am aware that none of the above really makes a lot of sense. If you are interested, reading the introduction and book makes it all pretty clear, and if you aren't, well trust me on it and move along.

Both authors write genre fiction - fantasy and sci-fi - but Megan Lindholm writes short stories largely set in a modern contemporary world, while Robin Hobb tends towards high fantasy novels set in worlds solely of her own creation. However, both seem to have a soft spot for cats (something I had previously not noted in Hobb's work). In this book, Hobb gets three stories to Lindholm's near-10, but the page count is about the same across both. That should also give you some idea of the comparitive lenghts and structure of the stories.

I do prefer Hobb to Lindholm, but enjoyed Lindholm's stuff for the most part. However, I don't know that it is stuff you are meant to enjoy. A lot of it is pretty bleak - victories are pyrrhic, losses are real, actions have consequences and sadness is ever-present. There is the odd exception, but that is the rule. "Valentine" and "Finis" were probably my favourites here.

The Hobb collection included Homecoming, out of Legends II, and some stuff I had not read before: both Inheritance and Cat's Meat were interesting additions to Hobb's six duchies and trader liveship world. Both have high fantasy bits throughout, and are really well-written.

After I finished the book - and only then - two things occurred to me:
1. there were an awful lot of cats; and
2. not a lot of sympathetic male characters, and quite a few who range from uncaring to nasty.

Now, Hobb can really write men well, so I guess it must be deliberate that there really are not any in view here. The closest we get, probably, to a "good" adult male character is the 40-ish Merlin from "Silver Lady" - and even he is written so that he may just be a rogue, and as it turms out, his main achievement is enabling the return of the (female) literal muse of the protagonist. I would not call it a strongly feminist collection, in a pejorative sense, but its pretty clearly able to be read as a "feminist" approach to high fantasy.

And, if that's not a problem for me, then I cant imagine who it could be a problem for.
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Robin Hobb, writer of several epic fantasy trilogies, and Megan Lindholm, author of animal and urban fantasy [among others] novels, are in reality two pen names used by the same writer.

Here, in one volume that runs for just under four hundred pages, stories published under both names are collected.

Half of the books contains Lindholm stories, the other contains Hobb ones.

The book starts with a preface in which the writer explains the origins of the pen names and their somewhat different styles.

Each story in the two sections has an introduction which explains how the story came to be.

In the Lindholm section:

'A touch of lavender' runs for just under sixty pages and is the story of a boy called Billy, who is trying to get by whilst living with his mother, who is a groupie to aspiring musicians. When musical aliens come to Earth she falls under their influence and Billy has to deal with the consequences. With a sympathetic main character and superbly enigmatic aliens this is a very memorable piece of work.

'Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man' is just under thirty pages long and sees a woman who tried to be a writer and failed meet a man who may be magic. And who may make her dreams come alive again. An enchanting little fable.

'Cut' is just over ten pages long and tries to make the reader think about issues of body fashion and who has the final say in them, when detailing a character struggling to come to terms with them. The short length means it's one of those tales where you read the end again several times before it sinks in. And even then, it may not have quite the impact you'd expected.

'The fifth squashed cat' runs for twenty pages and sees two women driving across country meet a man who has a way to put magic into their lives. A tale about what you might have to sacrifice to change your life it offers food for thought but the impact may vary by reader.

'Strays' is just under thirty pages long and is the story of a girl who meets another girl who has a terrible home life. And an affinity for cats. An excellent character drama with a superb finale makes for a very good bit of urban fantasy.

'Finis' is just over ten pages long and is the writer's take on a certain popular subject for genre writers of late. It's like an old tales of the unexpected. You may see the ending coming, but it's still a very good one.

'Drum machine' is just over fifteen pages long and is the story of a man who handles parental choice in a world where childbirth is licensed. And of the artistic sacrifices he made in his past. The point of the story is good but as with cut the strength of the ending just isn't quite there.

Then there are three Hobb tales, all of which are set in the world of the six duchies, the liveship traders, and the river wild, as seen in her other novels.

'The homecoming' is eighty pages long [approx] and is written in the form of a journal belonging to an upper class lady who is amongst a group exiled to the rain wilds. She finds hardships and strange landscapes and possible riches. The first person journal narration format takes a few pages to get used to, and the main character starts out very unsympathic. But she develops very nicely as a person over the course of the story, which shows memorable landscapes and some great plot twists. And is a very good read.

'The inheritance' is just over twenty pages long and is about a girl whose family lost everything finding a magical item that seemingly gives her a chance to get it all back. Managing excellent characterisation and a good setting plus a good finale in a relatively short length, this is a strong read.

'Cat's meat' is over eighty pages long [approx] and is the story of a woman who fell for the wrong man. Who had a child by him. And who has to fight for her survival when he returns to her. Fortunately she has an ally, in the shape of her cat. Who will stop at nothing to defend his home.

Also with strong characterisation and a great setting, this is a great one for cat lovers as the cat in question communicates with humans in a way that will be familiar to readers of her stories about Fitz. With excellent plot development and a superbly memorable ending it's a top notch story to round of what is a pretty decent collection all in all.
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on 17 February 2012
I've read "both authors" so though I knew what to expect here, I though it was going to be good - it was even better!

The book is split into short (and not so short) stories by Megan Lindholm and Robin Hobb. The Robin Hobb were more or less what I expected although I don't know how it could have topped it - I have missed my Hobb books and it was like a homecoming almost, reasonably typical Hobb tales which is a very good thing.
However those by Megan Lindholm really opened my eyes, I don't know much under this author other than having picked a few up to satisfy my Hobb craving. I don't know if Lindholm is more outside fantasy but certainly her books I've read so far have all been so. These short stories do not fall into typical fantasy as part of scifi/fantasy, some may be a bit paranormal fantasy but then genres tend to blur nowadays. These stories were refreshing takes on the typical offering in the appropriate genre and such a wide variety, these were the hidden gem for me as I expected more from Hobb as my preferred author of the two yet Lindholm delivered over and above anything I expected.
Loved it, might read it again right now!
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on 22 September 2015
I was a bit confused and thought the UK version only had the story 'The Inheritance', hence I went on a crusade trying to buy the US Version in Amazon US, Canada, Italy, France, etc., and was miffed that I couldn't
Perhaps it should have been made clear that the UK version had all the same stories by both Megan Lyndholm and Robin Hobb identities of the author as the US version and not just 'The Inheritance', viz : A Touch of Lavender, Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man, Cut, The Fifth Squashed Cat, Strays, Finis, and Drum Machine by Megan Lyndholm and Homecoming, The Inheritance, and Cat’s Meat by Robin Hobb - all with introduction and a preface to the collection.
This was not made clear at all in the blurb about the book when it was first offered for sale in the Amazon UK pages, but I see the page has now been updated and some comments are there now that make this clear.
Nevertheless it was a pleasant surprise at the time to find that there WERE the ten stories in the book !
For fans of both identities of the author, I'm sure it need no further recommendation than their names....................
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on 7 September 2013
If you don't know who Robin Hobb or Megan Lindholm is, then this is a great way to find out. Short stories from both writers (the first in fantasy and the second is sci-fi, but they're the same lady). I love Robin Hobb (along with George RR Martin, Stephen Donaldson, Raymond E Feist, Tolkien, etc), but not a massive sci-fi fan - this book veers more towards fantasy sci-fi than star trek.

If you do know who they are, I personally loved the one about Lavender the alien, but I'll let you all find that out for yourselves.

Lovely collection.
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on 12 August 2014
Like with the books I prefer Hobb to Lindholm. Even though one and the same person, the way of writing differs.
In Hobb's writing I love the way she sets human problems or living situations into fantasy surrounding and atmosphere. Sometimes so subtle that it feels like a description of our every day life. That as well as her insight in the depth of people's ways as well as in the shadows of personalities makes her short stories as much a treat as her books.
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