The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb
Returning to the fictional universe of a favoured author is often fraught with disappointment, much like returning to the playing grounds of your childhood: nothing is quite as you thought; nothing is as enjoyable or perfect.
A few years ago Robin Hobb released the first in a new series of books that I felt were horrible. I could not even finish the first book, and subsequently my entire opinion of her writing was tarnished. I had come to her late – she had already finished all nine of her Elderlings books and had written the Soldier Son trilogy which so many people had disliked – and so to have new material put in front of me only to so dislike it was truly disappointing.
I may need to go back and revisit those books, because having just read her novella ‘The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince’ I feel I may have done her an injustice.
Reading Hobb’s original trilogy will reveal to the interested party mention of this tale, a tale passed down through the ages of how a pretender to the throne was thwarted by the rightful heir. Needless to say, history is written by the victors and this novella sets the record straight – as I believe was hinted at throughout Hobb’s original trilogy.
The story is told in two parts: part one is entitled ‘The Wilful Princess’ and is the better of the two, being a traditional first person narrative of events. The second part – ‘The Piebald Prince’ – is told from the perspective of the same narrator, but based mostly on events as told to the narrator by another party, which creates a distressing mode to the story. Throughout much of the tale the narrator continually refers to the desire of the original teller for truth in the retelling, and how that same teller related events to her, and therefore they were true.
It is a device that was not done very well, but could have been excellent if left to the right hands.
Nevertheless the story that is portrayed – a single long story told over two parts – is quite enthralling and kept me entertained right till the end. It was fantastic to return to the world of Buck Keep and the Six Duchies, the Farseer line and the world of Witted and non. It makes me crave for time to reread Hobb’s original trilogy.
If you’re a fan of the Elderlings trilogy of trilogies, then you’ll definitely want to pick this novella up. However, if you’re new to Hobb, I would recommend going back to the beginning, as there is enough to persecute a readers mind as to make it frustrating.
This The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince book review was written by Joshua S Hill
Have you read The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince reader reviews
7/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Age of Misrule
The details that Mark Chadbourn puts into the Celtic mythology are fantastic. I’ve never really been that keen on Celtic mythology in books in the past, this is the f...
Harrowing the Dragon
Spanning a quarter of a century, an anthology of previously uncollected short fiction by the World Fantasy Award-winning author explores a world of magic in such works as &...
The Dragon's Tooth
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone t...
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Young pioneer, Micah, enters Wrymeweald full of hope to return home having made his fortune. But this is a land where wyrmes, fabulous dragon-like beasts, roam wild and rei...
Tales from the Perilous Realm
Enchanted by a sand-sorcerer, the toy dog Roverandom explores a world filled with strange and fabulous creatures; the fat and unheroic Farmer Giles of Ham is called upon to...
Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit...
Under the harsh regime of an ambitious master, Eon is training to become a Dragoneye - a powerful Lord able to command wind and water to nurture and protect the land. But E...
Pamela Wiseman and Sarah Laichas
From fire-breathing to friendly, dragons pretty much rule the fantasy world. Dedicated to the coolest of mythological beasts, DragonWorld is a showcase of some of today&rsq...
Vlad Taltos is an Easterner - an underprivileged human in an empire of tall, powerful, long-lived Dragaerans. He made a career for himself in House Jhereg, the Dragaeran cl...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: