cover image The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince

The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince

Robin Hobb. Subterranean (, $35 (184p) ISBN 978-1-59606-544-4

Diving into the deep mythology of the Elderlings, bestselling fantasy author Hobb offers a worm’s-eye view of an event that shaped the realm. Felicity, the unfortunate Princess Caution’s servant and confidante, narrates the birth, rise, and fall of Prince Charger, the legendary Piebald Prince, who was the bastard son of a stablemaster and blessed with Wit, the power to speak to animals. Charger is, alas, less skilled at navigating human politics, and his failures give rise to a centuries-long prejudice against the Witted, laying the groundwork for Hobb’s Farseer trilogy. Felicity’s story is as interesting as Charger’s, as her self-interest and weakness lead inevitably to tragedy even as she declares her innocence of all but the purest motives. Hobb (a pen name for fantasist Megan Lindholm) pulls off the difficult trick of telling multiple tales simultaneously and well, adding depth to her fictional world without sacrificing a human connection to it. (Mar.)