By the time she's sixteen, the town's Dreamer has long ago given up her own life. She only dreams for others now, every morning delivering up to them the divine guidance that comes to her in the night. In exchange, they treat the Dreamer like their queen. All her bodily needs are provided, but love and relationships are forbidden to her. Now something unexpected is happening. Something entirely new. A foreign man has come to the village, wearing a scarlet vest and a gold finger-ring that is far, far too good for a mere Water-Bearer. His strange amber eyes have found the Dreamer’s and she longs to be free. But maybe freedom isn't the only cost of being the Dreamer: When her dreams begin to question the authority of the self-serving Chief Interpreter, will she survive his fury? Or will he quietly entomb her in the Dreamer's Chamber, clearing her away like so much litter to make room for a hapless new young girl to take her place? Her fate will be kept as silent as the sacred Garden that is her prison. Unless she can find a way to give voice to her own dreams.
Donna Glee Williams is a poet and writer of literary fantasy and science fiction. She was born in Mexico, the daughter of a Kentucky farm-girl and a Texas Aggie large-animal veterinarian. She's been a lot of places; now she makes her home in the mountains of western North Carolina, but the place she lived the longest and still calls home is New Orleans. These days, she earns her daily bread by writing and helping other writers bring their creative visions to light, but in the past she's done the dance as turnabout crew (aka, “maid”) on a schooner, as a librarian, as an environmental activist, as a registered nurse , as a teacher and seminar leader, and for a long stint as a professional student. The craft societies of both The Braided Path and Dreamers owe a lot to the time she's spent hanging out in villages in Mexico, Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, India, and Pakistan. As a finalist in the 2015 Roswell Awards for Short Science Fiction, her short story "Saving Seeds" was performed in Hollywood by Jasika Nicole. Her graceful speculative fiction has been recognized by Honorable Mentions from both the Writers of the Future competition and Gardner Dozois's Best of the Year collection.
Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .
And those spirits want to kill you.
It’s the first lesson that every Renthian learns.
Not long ago, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive those spirits and assume the royal throne. Since then, the new queen has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people.
Naelin is one such person, and she couldn’t be further removed from the Queen—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her world is her two children, her husband, and the remote village tucked deep in the forest that is her home, and that’s all she needs. But when Ven, the Queens champion, passes through the village, Naelin’s ambitious husband proudly tells him of his wife’s ability to control spirits—magic that Naelin fervently denies. She knows that if the truth of her abilities is known, it will bring only death and separation from those she loves.
But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he’s certain he’s done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened—even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north—does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything.
Sarah Beth Durst established a place of dark wonder in The Queen of Blood, and now the stakes are even higher as the threat to the Queen and her people grows both from within and beyond the borders of Aratay in this riveting second novel of the Queens of Renthia series.
The harrowing adventures of FitzChivalry Farseer and his enigmatic friend the Fool continue in Robin Hobb’s triumphant follow-up to Fool’s Assassin. But Fool’s Quest is more than just a sequel. With the artistry and imagination her fans have come to expect, Hobb builds masterfully on all that has gone before, revealing devastating secrets and shocking conspiracies that cast a dark shadow over the history of Fitz and his world—a shadow that now stretches to darken all future hope.
Long ago, Fitz and the Fool changed the world, bringing back the magic of dragons and securing both the Farseer succession and the stability of the kingdom. Or so they thought. But now the Fool is near death, maimed by mysterious pale-skinned figures whose plans for world domination hinge upon the powers the Fool may share with Fitz’s own daughter.
Distracted by the Fool’s perilous health, and swept up against his will in the intrigues of the royal court, Fitz lets down his guard . . . and in a horrible instant, his world is undone and his beloved daughter stolen away by those who would use her as they had once sought to use the Fool—as a weapon.
But FitzChivalry Farseer is not without weapons of his own. An ancient magic still lives in his veins. And though he may have let his skills as royal assassin diminish over the years, such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten.
Now enemies and friends alike are about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose.
Praise for Fool’s Quest
“A complex tapestry of adventure, betrayal, destiny, and unrelenting peril . . . Hobb’s expertise is evident as always.”—Publishers Weekly
“Glorious and beautiful storytelling . . . Hobb lets rip with revelations, treachery, vengeance, sword fights and full on magical mayhem.”—SciFiNow
“If readers have any doubt that Robin Hobb is one of the finest writers in the fantasy genre, then they haven’t read any of her work.”—SFFWorld