It’s always a great feeling when a writer blindsides you in the telling of a story. There you are, you’ve been taken in hand and gently guided into another world, and things are moving along and it all feels perfectly normal … basically, you’ve been quietly seduced, and you’re not even aware of it, until a scene arrives and in a flash, everything changes.
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: Some invisible imp twisted my arm at the bookstore. I didn’t think much of the title, didn’t much like the cover illustration and jacket design. I’d not read Hobb before and knew nothing of her. I don’t know why I bought it, in fact. The impulse to buy is pernicious.
Started reading, admired the controlled point of view, the leisurely pace. Liked the boy-and-his-dog riff that was going on. Never even occurred to me that something was odd about that relationship, until the Scene. I won’t spoil it here, but that relationship ends with a brutal event, shocking in its seeming cruelty. Yet, it was in that moment that I realised the fullest extent of that quiet seduction. I’d bought so completely into the boy’s point of view that I sensed nothing awry about it.