Ogden, Margaret Lindholm 1952–
Ogden, Margaret Lindholm 1952–
(Robin Hobb, Megan Lindholm, Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden)
PERSONAL: Born 1952, in Oakland, CA; daughter of George (a chemist) and Phyllis Lindholm; married; children: four. Education: Attended Denver University.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.
CAREER: Writer. Wrote for newspapers in Alaska.
AWARDS, HONORS: Alaska State Council for the Arts grant, 1979, for "The Poaching"; Readers' Award, Asimov's Science Fiction, 1989; Nebula Award finalist, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, for Wizard of the Pigeons.
"WINDSINGER" SERIES; UNDER PSEUDONYM MEGAN LINDHOLM
Harpy's Flight, Ace (New York, NY), 1983.
The Windsingers, Ace (New York, NY), 1984.
The Limbreth Gate, Ace (New York, NY), 1984.
The Windsingers (omnibus; contains Harpy's Flight, The Windsingers, and The Limbreth Gate), Corgi (London, England), 1986.
Luck of the Wheels, Ace (New York, NY), 1989.
NOVELS; UNDER NAME MEGAN LINDHOLM
The Wizard of the Pigeons (fantasy), Ace (New York, NY), 1986.
The Reindeer People ("Reindeer People" series), Ace (New York, NY), 1988.
Wolf 's Brother ("Reindeer People" series), Ace (New York, NY), 1988.
Cloven Hooves, Bantam (New York, NY), 1991.
(With Steven Brust) The Gypsy, Tor (New York, NY), 1992.
Alien Earth (science fiction), Bantam (New York, NY), 1992.
"FARSEER" SERIES; UNDER PSEUDONYM ROBIN HOBB
Assassin's Apprentice, Bantam (New York, NY), 1995.
Royal Assassin, Bantam (New York, NY), 1996.
Assassin's Quest, Bantam (New York, NY), 1997.
"LIVESHIP TRADERS" SERIES; UNDER PSEUDONYM ROBIN HOBB
Ship of Magic, Bantam (New York, NY), 1998.
The Mad Ship, Bantam (New York, NY), 1999.
Ship of Destiny, Bantam (New York, NY), 2000.
"THE TAWNY MAN" SERIES; UNDER PSEUDONYM ROBIN HOBB
Fool's Errand, Bantam (New York, NY), 2002.
Golden Fool, Bantam (New York, NY), 2003.
Fool's Fate, Bantam (New York, NY), 2004.
FANTASY NOVELS; UNDER PSEUDONYM ROBIN HOBB
Shaman's Crossing, Eos (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals and anthologies, including Space and Time, edited by Gordon Linzner, 1979; Amazons!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Daw Books (New York, NY), 1981; the "Liavek" anthologies, edited by Will Shetterly and Emma Bull, 1985–88.
SIDELIGHTS: Margaret Lindholm Ogden wrote her first fantasy novels as Megan Lindholm, a variation of her maiden name. In an interview in Locus, she said she assumed a second pseudonym, Robin Hobb, for her "Farseer" series, since booksellers orders based on previous sales, and hers had been decreasing. "Taking a new name kind of erased that part," she said. Assassin's Quest, the last book in the "Farseer" saga, was described by a contributor to Kirkus Reviews as "an enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama." Roland Green wrote in Booklist that the final installment "will please readers and probably whet their appetites for more from Hobb."
In 1998, the first of the "Liveship Traders" series was published, Ship of Magic. The story is set in Bingtown, a port city where Trader families pilot "liveships" built from wizardwood that become intelligent as they absorb the spirits of their owners after three generations have died. When Ephron Vestrit dies, his widow, Ronica, passes his liveship, Vivacia, to her son-in-law, Kyle Haven, with the hope that his experience in trading will save the family business. Ronica's daughter, Althea, disappointed because she had expected to take command, disguises herself as a boy and goes off to sea. There she is threatened by a pirate, Captain Kennit, who would like to take over the Vivacia. Other characters include Althea's younger sister, Malta, and Kyle's son, Wintrow, who is kidnapped from a monastery and forced into service on the Vivacia. The ship has come alive, but she is unstable under the rule of the ambitious Kyle. Wintrow is the only person Althea trusts. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly believed the new series is "sure to please fantasy fans." Jackie Cassada wrote in the Library Journal that the author "excels in depicting complex characters; even her villains command respect."
Cassada described The Mad Ship, the second book in the series, as "imaginative and compelling." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote that it "solidifies the series' promise as a major work of high fantasy, reading like a cross between [J.R.R.] Tolkein and Patrick O'Brian." Althea is now an experienced sailor, and she restores the Paragon, the male ship of the title, with the help of her lover, Brashen Tell, and a woodcarver named Amber. Althea's mission is to rescue the Vivacia, now taken over by the pirate Captain Kennit, who has turned it into a slave ship. Also on board the Vivacia are Etta, the Captain's mistress, and Kyle and his son, who are held captive. Wintrow makes a deal with Captain Kennit, promising to heal his wounds in exchange for their lives. The secrets of the liveships, wizardwood, sea serpents, and the dragons of the Rain Wild River 's forests are revealed. In Booklist, Green wrote that "with [Hobb's] hands on the wheel, high fantasy is going to sea magnificently."
In the third installment, Ship of Destiny, Etta is pregnant with Captain Kennit's child, and Wintrow is destined to become king of the Pirate Isles. Ronica rallies Bingtown's inhabitants to resist new invaders, while Althea continues her quest to recover the Vivacia, and the mad ship Paragon is plotting his own form of revenge. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote that "one has to use a jeweler's loupe to find a flaw or a dull moment in this splendid conclusion to one of the finest fantasy sagas to bridge the millennium."
Lindholm Ogden followed the "Live Ship Traders" series with another three-novel series published under the Robin Hobb pseudonym. Called "The Tawny Man" series, these novels are a sequel to the "Farseer" series and are set in the same world. In Fool's Errand, the adventures of a now-mature FitzChivalry Farseer are followed, first describing his recent past and now quiet life with his wolf bondmate, Nighteyes, and a foster son. Drawn out of retirement by his friend the Fool, FitzChivalry goes on a new quest to find and escort the badly behaved Prince Dutiful, the heir to the local throne, back to his home. In Booklist, Green commented positively on the novel, especially the characters, noting "all of them [are] drawn in exquisite detail, particularly the women."
The next part in the series, Golden Fool, finds Fitz-Chivalry dealing with the death of Nighteyes while obediently agreeing to act as the skill-master and train Prince Dutiful at Buckkeep Castle. Though FitzChivalry really wants to embrace solitude and be away from the castle, he is forced to deal with many difficult crises in the kingdom of the Six Duchies. The problems only grow in difficulty as FitzChivalry makes many poor decisions along the way. The critic in Publishers Weekly commented: "The writing might not be quite as fine as that in Hobb's 'Assassins' series …, but this latest nonetheless shows why she ranks near the top of the high fantasy field."
"The Tawny Man" series concludes with Fool's Fate. FitzChivalry and his friend the Fool, now known as Lord Golden, are part of a nearly impossible quest led by Prince Dutiful. The prince made a promise to his fiancée to bring her the head of a certain dragon frozen in ice on a faraway island. The journey is fraught with peril and struggles, both physical and diplomatic. A critic in Kirkus Reviews found the book "a winning combination of strong characters and colorful societies." Summarizing the appeal of the whole trilogy, a reviewer in Publishers Weekly commented that, "with its carefully modulated tension, wonderful final revelation, and strong characters who remain true to themselves throughout, this series may well become a classic in the Fantasy field."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Booklist, February 1, 1997, Roland Green, review of Assassin's Quest, p. 929; March 1, 1998, Roland Green, review of Ship of Magic, p. 1098; April 1, 1999, Roland Green, review of The Mad Ship, p. 1388; December 15, 2001, Roland Green, review of Fool's Errand, p. 709.
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 1997, review of Assassin's Quest; December 1, 2003, review of Fool's Fate, p. 1386.
Library Journal, February 15, 1998, Jackie Cassada, review of Ship of Magic, p. 173; March 15, 1999, Jackie Cassada, review of The Mad Ship, p. 112; March 1, 2000, review of Ship of Destiny, p. S9; August 1, 2000, Jackie Cassada, review of Ship of Destiny, p. 167.
Locus, January, 1998, interview with Margaret Lindholm Ogden.
Publishers Weekly, January 26, 1998, review of Ship of Magic, p. 74; March 22, 1999, review of The Mad Ship, p. 75; July 31, 2000, review of Ship of Destiny, p. 76; November 18, 2002, review of Golden Fool, p. 46; December 8, 2003, review of Fool's Fate, p. 50.
Megan Lindholm Home Page, http://www.meganlindholm.com (October 22, 2005), biography of Megan Lindholm.