Where to Start with Robin Hobb: A Reading Guide

One of the most frequent questions I receive on Instagram is where to start with Robin Hobb. With a series of 16 books, this isn’t surprising! It also doesn’t help that Hobb names all her books quite similarly – how many assassins and fools can one title have?! But we forgive her, of course.

A 16-book series might seem daunting at first, but once you get to know Fitz, Nighteyes and The Fool, you’ll never look back. I also mentioned in this post that it was shocking I hadn’t made a post about Robin Hobb yet despite having a blog for months. I’m fixing this now!

The lovely people from Hobb Squad helped me with where to start with Robin Hobb, with their previous readalong! We spent nearly two years reading these books together, and I think that’s the only time I’ve committed to such a lengthy readalong. But it was worth it – I definitely recommend having a buddy when you start reading Hobb. You’ll need someone to discuss theories with, cry with, and just generally vent at how much of an idiot Fitz is. You will have a fantastic time.

I highly recommend you follow the order I read with Hobb Squad. I’ve seen a few people express doubt over reading the Rain Wild Chronicles. While I agree they’re not quite as strong as Hobb’s other books, they are more than worth picking up for the extra character development alone. Plus, DRAGONS, and sassy ones at that.

So if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a new fictional fantasy world that will hook its dragon claws under your skin and never let go, keep to this schedule and happy reading!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Blackwell’s. If you buy from them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Where to start with Robin Hobb – Recommended Reading Order

1. Farseer Trilogy

#1 Assassin’s Apprentice
#2 Royal Assassin
#3 Assassin’s Quest

Your journey with Hobb starts here, with Assassin’s Apprentice. Don’t worry if you find the first book a little slow. Hobb is queen of the slow-burn. You can’t start an epic, 16-book fantasy series without first laying a solid foundation!

2. Liveship Traders Trilogy

#1 Ship of Magic
#2 The Mad Ship
#3 Ship of Destiny

This is my favourite trilogy, from Hobb and possibly from anyone, ever. For me it’s on another level. The women in this book are some of my favourites in fiction, and their character development is second to none.

3. The Tawny Man Trilogy

#1 Fool’s Errand
#2 Golden Fool
#3 Fool’s Fate

I was going to give a brief summary of each trilogy as I went but I now realise that would be a terrible idea… It’s incredibly difficult to talk about this entire series as it goes on without spoiling anything! So I will just say if you loved the Wit magic in the first trilogy, you’ll love this.

4. The Rain Wild Chronicles

#1 Dragon Keeper
#2 Dragon Haven
#3 City of Dragons
#4 Blood of Dragons

The only non-trilogy in the series, but these books are nowhere near as chunky as the others. Like I mentioned before, they aren’t as strong as the other books, but they are worth reading. Hobb is a master at weaving together characters and plotlines, and you won’t want to miss that!

5. The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy

#1 Fool’s Assassin
#2 Fool’s Quest
#3 Assassin’s Fate

That’s it, it all comes to an end with this trilogy. You will cry. You will immediately want to go back to the beginning and experience this journey all over again.

I hope this post is a helpful guide for where to start with Robin Hobb! I just wanted it to be simple so you can bookmark it and refer to it when you embark on your own Hobb journey. I’m waiting a couple more years but then I’ll be revisiting it myself.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today with Assassin’s Apprentice!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 thoughts on “Where to Start with Robin Hobb: A Reading Guide

  1. This is a great summary, Abbie! I think it’s just enough info to pique people‘s interest without overwhelming them with endless descriptions about each series (although I also love to read recommendations like that, of course 😉).

    Thank you for being such a dedicated readalong-er for those two years! I still can’t believe I managed to stick to the schedule too, haha. I’m sort of partway through a reread in that I reread Assassin’s Apprentice last Christmas and intended to reread Royal Assassin once I got the illustrated edition… which I now have, but I don’t have time or energy to give the book what it deserves right now, haha. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your reread when you get to it!

    1. Thanks Steph! It is SO difficult to talk about the later series without giving anything away about the earlier ones! People need to discover the magic for themselves! Sticking to that schedule is one of my proudest achievements haha. Maybe that’s why I’m no good at readalongs now – I used up all my readalong energy over those two years, worth it 😉 I don’t imagine I’ll be rereading it any time soon, but one day!