Robin Hobb is a powerful writer, who visualizes a realistic world that is awash with the color of fantasy. The compliments stop there.
This book (and indeed the whole series) is too long, and needs a lot of the fat skilfully cut out of it. The dialogues are inane and the characterization is repetitive. The pro-feminist stance goes from intriguing to irritating to downright embaressing. And no, Robin cannot be forgiven for being an all-powerful woman writer. What would we all think if one of her male peers in the fantasy publishing world were to take a pro-male stance? We know that answer...
I love the story but I felt it became stodgy towards the last 200 hundreds pages of each book. PLEASE RE-EDIT THE TRILOGY AND RE-PUBLISH AS ONE 1,500 EPIC!!!
The flab in the novel is surprising considering the tame and unsatisfactory ending. I got the feeling Ms. Hobb got bored of the whole project when she first put pen to paper on the third instalment.
A pity because the dragons and liveships and serpents are excellent. Pity about those cardboard, cliched good girls and impotent bad men. I would have fed the lot to the serpents two books ago!
I am now going to indulge in a good bit of Wilbur Smith reading just re-acquaint myself with that good old fashioned testosterone-rousing action novel: for MALES!!!