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Patricia Briggs
book cover

Book 4
2001, March, Ace
Buy from Amazon.com (mass market paperback)

Who recommends: Linda, Isabel, Edith, Barbara, Lynn, Julie, Shelley, Margaret, Suzanne, Rebekah
Who discommends:

The heroine isn't quite as physically tough as usual and has had to suppress her personality for quite a while. But once the magic comes back to her land, she has to learn to use it to help her people. I loved the Hob!<g> Excellent plot and characters and I found the ending the most satisfying, romance wise than any of her other books.--Linda (20 Feb 01)

What can I say? I enjoyed it, I gulped it down! Briggs's books are all very readable, if that's the right word. Everything zips along and one is left with a good happy feeling at the end despite all the trials and tribulations. Mind you, I thought all the stuff heaped on our heroine in the first chapter was a bit much!

And in reply to Danielle's question on cold bloodedness disappearing with motherhood: Yes, I believe it happens. It was the rare book that reduced me to tears in my youth but dead babies will almost certainly do that nowadays.

***SPOILERS***Briggs had a very affecting scene that practically made me howl. Our heroine (I do wish I could remember names) and her friends have travelled to a neighbouring village that was wiped out with the unravelling of the bonds kept on the natural magic. The result was skeletons left all over the place. Our heroine ventures into a house and sees the skeleton of a baby in its cradle, still lovingly wrapped in its blanket. By the baby's side was the ghost of its mother still singing lullabies and keeping it safe.

Once upon a time, I would have sneered and called it sappy. Now I sob. Must be the hormones :)--Isabel (03 Mar 01)

I also got this and finished it yesterday. One of the things I liked about it was that the heroine doesn't spend much time during the book dwelling on all the bad stuff that happened to her in the beginning. At first I thought it was a little odd, but I really liked how she doesn't get all angsty on us. Characters who moan and whine about how bad life is treating them bore me. This was refreshing.

And I do like the author's sense of humor. I really enjoyed the scene where the hob states his side of the bargain. The character of hob, mostly full of mischief and playfulness, was also a refreshing change from most SFR heroes.--Edith (04 Mar 01)

Oh I agree, the mistaken assumptions in the bargain scene was very funny, especially the hob's reaction.

I really do like Briggs books and just wish she would write faster.--Isabel (04 Mar 01)

What a delightful tale! I was alternately wishing the story would hurry up and then slow down because once it was over, I couldn't experience it new again.

It's been two days since I finished - and then I was struck with the thought that I had always characterized Briggs as having plot driven stories - throw characters into situations and things happen. Many of the female characters are somewaht the same - certaibly not as unique as Miles (who would never be mistaken for anyone else). Male characters somewhat enigmatic but central to developing the plot.

And when I finished THE HOB'S BARGAIN, I repeated the first rule of writing, which is something like "start as close to the end as you can and still tell the story". And so we begin on the fateful day for our heroine, around which all other events unfold. And then I thought well, for a plot driven story, why wouldn't you start with them on the mountain, with the Hob already awake?

So now, hmmm, I am starting to think back on MASQUES and WHEN DEMONS WALK and now start thinking them as character driven stories. And come to the conclusion that I'm really not sure what those phrases mean. I mean, sure, some books are pretty clear that you are looking at the characters and how events change them.

So is Briggs telling a story and the characters just are along for the ride? Certainly the Hob is among the most unique characters I have read lately.--Barbara (05 Mar 01)

I got THE HOB'S BARGAIN and I really liked it. Interesting magic with what felt to like a good mix of use of traditional magic and the fantastic and a particular illumination of it in a particular story. I also felt good about the romance element. I sometimes have qualms when someone is "dating outside their species" but this did very good job on this aspect. I also liked the feeling that there was a lot more story before and after this particular story that we didn't see and may never see.

I then went and read WHEN DEMONS WALK and really liked that too. I had Briggs down as an author I didn't think appealed to me but I am going to go back and take another look. I think it's possible that I was feeling particularly allergic to thieves and didn't give her a chance. (Although what is with the covers with partially clothed women clinging to ladders/ropes? re: STEAL THE DRAGON and WHEN DEMONS WALK). It may be a cover theme, but it also didn't appeal to me.--Lynn (05 Mar 01)

You can also put me down for a recommend of THE HOB'S BARGAIN; finished it last nite and it was a entertaining, enjoyable read. Hopefully Briggs will develop more audience and continue to write these fun books.--Julie (16 Mar 01)

I really enjoyed THE HOB'S BARGAIN. It works wonderfully as a stand alone but, like many of you, I am hoping she revisits the characters. I really enjoyed the heroine in this one - Aren is far from perfect and very well drawn.--Shelley (16 Mar 01)

I would recommend this, although I don't think it was as good as her other three.--Margaret (08 Jul 01)

I read THE HOB'S BARGAIN. I liked it, but not as much as some of you did. Maybe I was just in a bad mood the day I read it.--Suzanne (09 Jul 01)

I indulged in rereading THE HOB'S BARGAIN by Patricia Briggs. The characterization in this book is incredible. She managed to describe a world falling apart in a very small amount of space and capture various reactions wonderfully.--Shelley (2 Jun 03)

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