Megan Lindholm - Shastrix Books

Megan Lindholm

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Wolf's Brother

Wolf's Brother

Megan Lindholm

18th March 2017

The second half of this duology continues the story of Tillu, a healer who has recently joined with a tribe of reindeer-herders in their migration across the plains. It's a deep world with only a light touch of fantasy and mysticism, that tells a fascinating story of romance, parenthood, recovery and redemption.

While not my normal cup of tea, I enjoyed the story and the strong close focus on the characters. Although only a few short chapters come from the points of view of secondary characters, they add a seam of depth and another perspective to the world that helps to make the story more gripping.

The plot feels quite passive though. It seems like the events are happening to and around our character. As much as she is portrayed as a competent healer, a lot of the time she's not actively influencing events in this book, just reacting to them and being led by the other characters. I think that's what I found frustrating about the story.

Overall, the two books make for a reasonably enjoyable read, but not near as good as the author's Farseer novels.

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The Reindeer People

The Reindeer People

Megan Lindholm

19th May 2016

The first in a short duology, and also the first full length novel I've read by the author under this pen name (i've read a lot of her sprites published as Robin Hobb), this tells the story of a healer and her slightly unusual child in a hunter-gatherer era with a touch of fantastical magic thrown into the mix.

It felt to me like a cross between the early tribal society of Jean M Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear (though this book is vastly more interesting), and the healing aspects that I loved in Trudi Canavan's The Magician's Apprentice.

The beginning of the story didn't grip me, seeming a collection of dissociated scenes and arbitrary magic that had no purpose, but one the plot got moving and the book started to tell a bit more of the daily life of the characters then I really got into it and became completely hooked.

So from a slightly rocky start where I didn't expect to make it to the end of this volume, I came to be disappointed when the book reached is conclusion and was disappointed to not have the second part immediately to hand so that I could break my usual rule of not reading the same author's stories back-to-back.

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The Inheritance

The Inheritance

Robin Hobb & Megan Lindholm

2nd March 2014

This is the first time I've read anything by the author's Megan Lindholm persona, and I've found the shorts here varied and interesting. Brief comments on each follow.

A Touch of Lavendar - A bittersweet story about a family in slightly sci-fi world. Beautifully written and much more moving than anything I think I've read from the Hobb persona.

Silver Lady - A modern day fantasy love story that while pleasant I'm not sure I really got.

Cut - An unsubtle look at uncomfortable issues that doesn't seem afraid to go places that a lot of mainstream fiction wouldn't. Actually poses real philosophical mind benders.

The Fifth Squashed Cat - For reasons I can't fathom, this one reminded me of John Grisham. Perhaps it's the style of the first-person narrative. It's weird, but it makes you think.

Strays - Quite a sad coming-of-age story as a girl learns more about the world, with a really interesting character and relationships.

Finis - Short, almost sweet story that I really enjoyed reading.

Drum Machine - One interesting issue that arose was not knowing the gender of the first person narrator - it happened in several stories but this was the one where I felt most established in the woman I was envisioning when suddenly she became a man. Maybe this was intentional. Again, this poses some interesting ethical questions in a dystopian setting, and worked really well to tie that in with a revealing narrative.

The rest are 'Hobb' stories, set in the author's 'Realm of the Elderlings' world.

Homecoming - A prequel to the Live Ships trilogy, which fills in a chunk of backstory. Really good and felt like it could easily have been expanded to a full novel (although there are a number of similarities to the Rain Wilds series), but the journal style compressed it down nicely and allowed for some amusing asides.

The Inheritance - A nice short tale which again feels like a Live Ships prequel, but one that's really about a new character rather than telling us anything about the world.

Cat's Meat - The final short story is a standalone set in the Six Duchies before the events of the original Farseer trilogy. Another character story that explores the magic of the world in a new way, and one in which it's interesting to get a new and different perspective on this part of Hobb's creation. Reminiscent in part of the Tawny Man trilogy.

I've really enjoyed exploring other parts of Hobb's world and experiencing Lindholm writings for the first time. I'll certainly be looking for the longer Lindholm works once I've finished working my way through the author's other works.

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  2. The Reindeer People
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  4. Wolf's Brother
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  6. The Inheritance