Pabkin’s One Liner: A rich fantasy tale of loss, perseverance, mischief and unexpected love.
Her gift of sight has shown her visions of mayhem and murder. So, to save her village from ruthless raiders, Aren of Fallbrook strikes a bargain with the magical Hob, who will exact a heavy price to defend the village a price Aren herself must pay.
This is one of my favorite stand alone fantasy novels. I have read it several times and enjoy each time as much as the previous.
It starts out a bit sad but there are moments of mischief and light hearted-ness that make up for that. Aren, the heroine, was such a wonderful character. We get to see her grow from being sad and lonely – ashamed and scared of her abilities to a determined and self sacrificing woman who accepts what she can do and tries to help everyone with those abilities, even if they hate her for it.
The land’s magic has been locked away for so many years by the blood mages. Such that blood magic is the only magic that really has any strength. There is still of course the occasional mageborn person that has talents such as ‘the sight’ or healing but the things they are capable of are small in comparison to the blood mages. Also, those people are weeded out and either killed by the blood mages or taken as apprentices to become blood mages themselves. So people hate and fear anyone that might have magic in their blood. When the bonds are broken from the land which locked away the magic we meet all sorts of nasties as well as our mischievous but extremely sweet hearted Hob.
He is a quirky humanoid-cat like creature and the last of his kind. Consequentially, he is just as lonely as Aren. This isn’t quite a romance which is what I love, but unexpected love definitely does happen, I think on both of their parts.
For as short as The Hob’s Bargain is it has excellent character development , world building and a great plot, what more could you ask for? More I’d say!