The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a lovely book. Although short, it was a full meal, rich with humor, magic, the struggle between good and evil, and a nice little romance.
Aren was a great heroine. You see her go from meek and frightened to powerful and independent in her own right. Ms. Briggs excels at writing loveable characters who I care about, cheering along as they grow, and as they fight the good fight. She did a great job of showing Aren come into knowledge of her gifts, and I admired her ability to survive so much turmoil.
How I did love the Hob. Wild and elemental, flamboyantly-dressed, a bit mischievous, but good-hearted, just what the doctor ordered for Aren. I certainly haven't seen a romantic hero like him before. He helps to heal the broken places inside of Aren, and she does the same for him. Not the usual kind of romance, but a very good one, all the same.
The magic was enthralling. This book has some pretty dark aspects with the bloodmages and the evil wildlings. Some of the darkness on the land is downright creepy, adding another layer to this story. Yet, the wild beauty of the elemental spirits of the land called to me. I almost wish some of them were real. Well, almost.
I'm on a roll here with the horse theme. Aren's horse Duck is yet another equine character I've fallen in love with.
I truly did enjoy reading this book. Yet another one of Patricia Briggs books I will add to my keeper shelf and treasure for future rereads.
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