Wednesday 27 October 2010

Review: The Hob's Bargain - Patricia Briggs

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 281
Published: 2001

To save her village from ruthless raiders, Aren of Fallbrook strikes a bargain with the Hob, a magical, humanlike creature imbued with the power of the mountains. But the Hob will exact a heavy price to defend the village--a price Aren herself must pay.

This is a stand alone world, and it's very very light fantasy.

Aren has the sight but that doesn't help her when her family is slaughtered by raiders. At the same time the magic that binds that earth snaps, and releases all sorts of beings, nasty hobgoblins, spirits, and a hob. The world is not as it used to be and now her village is plagued by weird beings and raiders. Aren decides to take destiny in her own hands and strikes a deal with the hob living on the mountain. But some bargains are really high to pay.

My thoughts:
As I said, very light fantasy, the kind of fantasy that is in between high fantasy and romance fantasy. It's really short too, and easy to read. Aren, the heroine is 30, and have been married for one day. Her brother had magic, and was killed because of it so no one wanted to marry her. Magic here belongs to the bloodmages, and you either join them or die. And the priests tell people that people with magic are evil, so not a good world to have magic in.

I liked the concept that all the "magical" creatures were gone because of a spell by the magicians but now they are back, and people have forgotten how to ward themselves against them. Superstitions have died out. Aren is therefore really careful with her sight, and she is a good heroine, first she is happy just standing behind everyone else, but she grows and becomes so much more than the rest of the women in the village.

Then there is the hob and his price, he is a funny being, very kind and he does grow on you. It's an interesting cast of magic haters, raiders, and the ones that are willing to fight, like Kith, oh I liked him.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
I guess this one could be a good introduction to fantasy. It's light, it still has a lot of action, and loss. There is magic, and a tiny bit of romance. This book could lead to more. I liked it, it's not my normal kind of fantasy but I do like Briggs and she is a good author. Sometimes easy and light is good.

Cover: I do like it, but the horse...I know she has a horse, but does he have to be on the cover..


  1. I like Brigg's writing. I'll have to give this one a try. I actually like that it's a stand-alone. Sometimes I get tired of everything being part of a series.

  2. This might be the book for me since I have read very little fantasy.

  3. I like her Mercy series, and I realize this is a different genre,but it does sound good!

  4. I think I've picked this one up and failed to read it. I'll have to keep an eye out for it again.

  5. This sounds exciting and I like excitement! I don't read fantasy much, but this sounds like the sort of fantasy I'd actually read. I like the cover.

  6. Carol
    That is true, nothing kills me like WOT, I so want to finish that series..well only 2 more to go now, sighs.

    I do think this book could be nice for that, just easing yourself into fantasy

    A completely different series, still her voice is there, and it's fun to see what she did before UF

  7. Linda
    Keep your eye out, or for her other fantasy ones, she has more

    Not so much world building, complex politics or magic systems, it's a nice book to start with for the fantasy beginner :) and of course the stand alone helps, and that it's short

  8. I never realised there were so many fantasy books out there. You keep finding ones I have never heard of.

  9. I just realized reading your review that I still have Briggs' Dragon Blood and Dragon Bones to read. Can I pre-order some extra time somewhere? :D

  10. I have not read Patricia Briggs, this might be a good one to start with.

  11. I've read this, oh, donkeys' years ago... but I can still picture a lot of the scenes in my head... This book started me on the road to being a Pat Briggs fan! And I agree with you, this is a good book to start with if one is not yet a fantasy fan... a good stand alone.

  12. I have this on my list of books to read but I still haven't read anything by Briggs yet. Although I have most of the Mercy series sitting on my shelf to be read I haven't made the time for them. I've heard great things about her writing though. I'll get to them sometime soon along with this one =)

  13. I like Brigg's fantasies. I think Hobbs is one I need to get. Thanks for the reminder. Good one when I need a quick read. :)

  14. I really want to try this one. I always planned to get her fantasy novels but I never did.
    Thanks for the review.

  15. I have been looking for a P.Briggs book since I read the "Magic..." series by Ilone Andrews. I think, though, that I would prefer something longer and less light. Thanks for the review!

    A horse is a horse btw...maybe the publisher has a stable?

  16. Light and easy are some things that I truly look for when I just want to lose myself in a book. I've read other great reviews of books by Briggs so she sounds like an author I need to try out sometime!

  17. Vivienne
    There are so many, I am still learning too :)

    Oh you got the Dragon ones! Cool, they actually just made it to my xmas wishlist

    It does have a different vibe than her Mercy books, but then her Mercy books do kick ass

  18. Cherry
    Aww the first Briggs :) Must bring back memories. I have still so many more to read so I am happy.

    I highly recommend the Mercy series, I love it. Book 3 and 4 are waiting to be read, but I kind of would like to wait until I got book 5 ;)

    Quick is great! And I read this one in a heartbeat

  19. Susi
    I saw them getting read, and the curiosity took over, I just had to know what they were like.

    Then I would say read the Mercy books, they are longer, and darker.
    The horse, well she did have this horse named Ducky, but I would rather have had the hob on the cover

    She is my fav UF author so I could not praise her more

  20. i really like this author, i think i might like this one!

  21. I've been thinking for a while now that I should check out Patricia Briggs, but none of her books has managed to push me over the edge. With the lightness and shortness of this book, sounds like it might be perfect to give me a Patricia Briggs taste.
    Thanks for the review!

  22. I've never read Briggs, but I've heard wonderful things about her books.

  23. Lol, yes that horse does look a little out of place, like he snuck up behind the woman and is peering over her shoulder. I've been curious about this books since I like Brigg's urban fantasies but I've heard her older books aren't as good and you didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about this one.

  24. My readings include very very few fantasy novels, if any. Thanks for this review.

  25. Carrie
    I think you would too :)

    Not even the cool Mercy ones..oh..but then her fantasy books are really different from the UF ones I have read.

    She is really talented

    Well that is true, I was not over the moon in love, but it was still good, in that light and easy way. because sometimes that is just what my brain needs.

    Thanks Nana

  26. I havent read this author yet but have heard good things. Great review ;)



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