Cloven Hooves by Megan Lindholm

As many of you know, Robin Hobb has, in the last two years, become one of my favourite fantasy writers of all time. Some of you won't know that she also writes fantasy under the pen name Megan Lindholm. These books are very different from the world of the Farseer stories in style and content, and they often reflect on different aspects of human culture, whether it be travellers, homelessness, or, in this case, living in the wilderness of Alaska and more modern civilisation.

Cloven Hooves follows Evelyn, the young wife of Tom. Together they have a child, Teddy. After an accident with one of Tom's parents' workers, the family decide to take an extended vacation in order to help out the family business. However, Evelyn's in-laws seem to have it in for her and it starts to put a strain on her marriage.

Evelyn also has a past. A friend from when she was a child, a faun called Pan for who she had secret desires. When he turns up unexpectedly in her new life, things are going to be confusing for her, as well as very, very complicated.

The plot is not too complicated. In fact, this story speaks more to me as a romance than a fantasy. For me, that made it a little disappointing because I had expected it to be more fantasy, and I found the ending to be a little predictable after a while. However, as with all Hobb/Lindholm books the writing is engaging. This was written in the first person present...think along the same lines as Hunger Games if you want a comparison. For me, it makes the book more real, more present. The characters are all over-sexed in my opinion, although Pan is an enigma.

Overall, I did enjoy the book, but it wasn't anything stand-out. It is worth reading if you love Hobb's books, but be aware that it is very different.

Star rating: 3.5 from 5

This is the only Megan Lindholm book which is out-of-print. I bought mine through Amazon marketplace is "acceptable" condition. Expect to pay a lot for good quality copies.

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