By ROBIN HOBB & MEGAN LINDOLM
REVIEWER: Sebastian Piccione
This is a rather interesting little book. You see, first it’s an anthology, collecting various short works. Second, it’s by two authors, Robin Hobb and Megan Lindolm. But, you see, these two authors are really one and the same. Lindolm is Hobb’s pen-name. And, in that magical way that only authors and the truly schizophrenic can do, these two people, who are actually one person, have distinctly different writing voices and personas.
Yes, there are similar themes, but if the back cover hadn’t told me, I would never have guessed they were one and he same.
Now, I’ve been a Robin Hobb fan since a friend of mine forced a copy of ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE in my hand back in the nineties, so it should come as no surprise to you that I greatly enjoyed each of these stories. Hobb/Lindholm knows her characters, to the point where firmly believe that each one sprouts fully realized from her head. And, by the end of each story, you know them just as intimately. It doesn’t matter that these are short stories, and some of them are quite short indeed, Hobb has a gift, a natural talent for her craft, and she can bring a scene or a character o life with as many or as few words as she chooses.
Now, often you’ll hear people say that a writer’s stories “get better with each one,” but in this book I mean that quite literally, as while I enjoyed every story, my favorites were the last two, “The Inheritance” and “Cat’s Meat”. The titular story, “The Inheritance” features a woman who comes into her own, inheriting not just a magical bauble, but her families long discarded honor. “Cat’s Meat” is the story of a woman who has been wronged not just by her worthless man, but by herself, and of how she gets her courage back through the love of her son, and the support of a rather clever (and Machiavellian) tabby cat, named Marmalade.
This book is a great read as a whole, broken nicely into ten bite-sized great reads.
5 out of 5 stars.