Hi, I really like your blog, and I was very happy to see that you're a Realm of the Elderlings fan. I got the Farseer Trilogy at christmas and I've been reading them slowly and I'm finally on Assassin's Quest. So, my question is do I read the Liveship Traders next, or the Tawny Man trilogy next? From what I understand Liveship is next but is a side story that only has mentions of the main story. Idk. I was hoping you could give me the wisdom of someone who has read it and help me decide. Thanks
D’awww, thanks, @kangadrew24636291! Nice to meet another fan too! And thank you for the question!
Well, first off, you’ll have to decide whether you want to go on after Assassin’s Quest. It’s pretty much getting your feels punched every… 5-10 pages and it’s just a very… heavy novel, not in terms of pages (though it’s that too), but in terms of content because I mean… Fitz. After Royal Assassin. Hobb really doesn’t skim the consequences of those events which I adore about her stories, everything scars and leaves a mark.
Basically, prepare a ton of tissue boxes.
Well, it depends on what you see as the “main” story. Realm of the Elderlings has an overarching story that just happens to have Fitz’s narrative be a decent chunk of it. Right now, Fitz’s story is localized to the Six Duchies, but as the Fool points out: the overarching story extends beyond the Six Duchies. Whether the Red Ship Raiders prevail or not, the consequences bleed into the rest of the world and vice-versa.
If you’re solely interested in Fitz’s story and his first-person POV, I think you can get by, for the most part, without reading Liveship Traders. You’ll lose a fair amount of pre-knowledge, nuance in a singular character dynamic and definitely spoil an important plot point in the overarching story, but Fitz’s narrative is still relatively self-contained from the rest of the series at this point. I wouldn’t recommend this at all though.
If you’re interested in the overarching story and a multi-POV third-person narrative, Liveship Traders is crucial. You can’t skip it and expect not to get lost in the main arc without it. In fact, I would absolutely recommend reading Liveship Traders first over Tawny Man. It’s a fantastic trilogy and I would actually bump it above The Farseer in terms of writing craft alone. Hobb really tightened her writing and it shows.
You get more world-building, far more lore and a wider variety of characters, especially female characters from all walks of life. And, honestly, Liveship Traders’ villain is far superior than The Farseer’s, in my opinion. It’s a stronger ensemble cast for me. Ship of Magic’s initial pacing is a little slower than Assassin’s Apprentice but I think it pays off in future books.
I would definitely advise reading Liveship Traders if you love wonderful characters. Wintrow, Althea, Keffria, Amber, Etta, Sorcor, Ronica, Paragon, Kennit, and Malta! Hell, just read for Malta alone, if nothing else.
(Though, be warned, you will probably want to drown her at first. I’m dead serious. XD)
I mean seriously you guys pour your heart and soul into this shit. You put in YOUR time and YOUR effort to make these beautiful creations and you don’t NEARLY get the credit you deserve. What must take you days or weeks people will devour in seconds and demand more IMMEDIATELY. Or people treat you like crap because it’s not how THEY wanted it. Honestly you guys are AMAZING. If you’re work takes you 3 hours to write: YOU’RE LIT AS FUCK. If it takes you 3 days: YOU’RE LIT AS FUCK. 3 weeks?: LIT AS FUCK. 300 words long?: LIT AS FUCK. 3,00 words?: LIT AS FUCK. Just started writing?: LIT AS FUCK. Been writing for years?: LIT AS FUCK. Don’t let others discourage you. Fuck ‘em. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. For the love of god you guys don’t nearly get as much love as you deserve. People on here forget that you’re doing this FOR FREE, forget YOU DON’T HAVE TO WRITE FOR US, and forget YOU’RE HUMAN BEINGS WITH LIVES THAT DON’T REVOLVE AROUND WHAT THEY WANT. FUCK THOSE HATERS. Just please remember that there are readers out there that understand this and respect you. that love what you do for us and appreciate every last thing you do
For the people I follow: YOU’RE ESPECIALLY LIT AS FUCK AND I WANT YOU TO SEE THIS: