Monday, 24 June 2013

The Inheritance Review

The Inheritance
Robin Hobb & Megan Lindholm

Publisher: Harper Voyager

A collection of novellas and stories from one of the most critically acclaimed authors in the fantasy genre, Robin Hobb. Including work written under her pseudonym, Megan Lindholm.
Bingtown heiresses rub shoulders with vampires, tramps and feral cats in this wonderful collection.

In ''The Homecoming'', Lady Carillion Carrock and a few other Jamaillian nobles are sailing to the Cursed Shores after being exiled for plotting against the Satrap. Still, Carillion believes they are bound for wondrous cities, where ancient monarchs dusted their skin with gold and wore jewels above their eyes. But when she is marooned by the ship's unscrupulous captain, she will soon discover the grim reality of what survival in the Rain Wilds entails.
''The Silver Lady'' is a would-be writer, eking out a dull existence by working in a Sears store. Then one day a man comes in: fortyish, pleasant. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except he says his name is Merlin, and he's about to change her life.
In ''Cat's Meat'', Rosemary gets involved with the wrong man. Pell is lazy, good for nothing and a bully. Her best friend, Hilia, knew it and so did her tom cat, Marmalade. Even after she has his child, a beautiful baby boy, he leaves her for another woman. Now he's back, and something must be done...

I have read and loved Robin Hobb’s big fantasy books especially the Liveship Traders but I have to confess I’ve not read and Megan Lindholm despite being Robin Hobb’s ‘other name’, so this anthology was both an introduction and eagerly anticipated. There are more Megan Lindholm stories but there are shorter in length, while the three Robin Hobb stories are much longer and provide little insights into her Rain River and Liveship world.

The Megan Lindholm stories are set in the modern day and are in a different style but have plenty of ideas that intrigue and capture your imagination. A Touch of Lavender is set in a world where aliens have arrived but their touch is addictive. The story focuses on one young boy who’s mum starts living with one of these aliens and the impact this has on their lives. Strays follows a girl who is friends with the queen of stray cats but the queen has an abusive home life. Cut had me squirming in my seat but asks some big questions about how far you can control your own body and when can society interject or if it should. All these stories have a strong initial idea which will stay with you long after the story finishes.

The three Robin Hobb stories all remind me why I adore her fantasy books with Homecoming following the first settlers in the Rain River and the trials and struggles they had with the corrosive river, dreams and changing physical aspects. It made me want to re-read the Liveships again! The other two stories were nice little insights into people in this world as they discover some life changing aspects with Cat’s Meat particularly asking how to fight against someone bigger than you.

Overall, this was a very strong anthology with no real dud amongst the stories and several diamonds. This would be a great introduction to her work for those who aren’t fans and a perfect little appetiser for those of us who do like her books. Right, I’m off to see about buying some Megan Lindholm books...

Recommended for fans of Karen Miller and Tanya Huff. 8.5 out of 10


  1. I never liked the liveships, they made me MAD! I liked Fitz more :)

  2. Cut sounds like a story for the now! You see that question all the time in politics. I do want to read Hobb and I think the anthology would really make me more interested in all of her work. I know this review made me curious about this book! :)

  3. I am new to fantasy and I'm going to start reading Robin Hobb soon, which is exciting :)
    I have the assassin's apprentice, is that a good place to start?

    1. Assassin's Apprentice is the best place to start actually! And the assassin books are really good - I just liked the Liveship as it was told from multiple view parts (like Game of Thrones) while Assassin are told in first person. These were some of my first fantasy books so I really hope you like them, Sam! :-)