I am so
disappointed in this book and its sequel (and I'm assuming will be equally disappointed w/ the third one, but hey, I spent the money on it, I'm going to read it.)
First off, a glowing recommendation by Robin Hobb, author of TWO of my favorite fantasy trilogies (Farseer, Tawny Man). What a damn lie. Hobb is an amazing writer and I can't imagine she would honestly rave about this trite piece of barely-adequate crap. I should know better than ever go by rave author blurbs (except Harlan Ellison. I think Ellison would be outraged by the idea of puffing a book he didn't actually like.)
Secondly, the transparently telegraphed set ups - i.e., "He left this meaningful bracelet tied to a branch in the middle of absolutely nowhere in hopes that XYZ character, who would know what it meant, would come along that EXACT PATH to the far back of beyond and see it and understand that he had been there and would follow him." AND LO AND BEHOLD THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS. I know! I am just as stunned as you are.
And there's a fucking magical dog. Which understands human speech and can communicate on a rudimentary level (like barking once as confirmation.) And apparently can on occasion transport itself from point to point. And may be able to transport humans in a similar fashion, although the details are still murky on that. (The dog's abilities are becoming more numerous as the story goes on.) It's fantasy Lassie, man.
And there there's a mass of piddly little kvetches, like using the word "boon" twice in one paragraph, and the second time it's not even really the right word. WHERE WERE THE COPY EDITORS???
Gah. The more I think about it the more I think two stars is overly generous.