The Hob's Bargain

The Hob's Bargain

by Patricia Briggs

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441008131
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 176,554
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Patricia Briggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series and the Alpha and Omega novels.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“[A] fun fantasy romance…There’s plenty of action, with battles against raiders and magical creatures, a bard who isn’t what he appears, and an evil mage—but there’s also plenty of humor, and some sweet moments of mischief and romance.”—Locus
“I ran across Patricia Briggs—literally—at our local book store, while sorting through the shelves looking for another book. The cover art intrigued me, then I read the first page and went straight to the counter. This is a “Beauty and the Beast” story but unlike any I’ve ever read. Ms. Briggs blends adventure, romance, and innovative fantasy with a deft hand. Highly recommend this one to all my readers.”—S. L. Viehl, author of the Stardoc series
“It is easy to like Patricia Briggs’s novels. Her books are perfect for a Friday evening or a late Sunday afternoon when you don’t want to have to work to enjoy your reading. Her books are clever, engaging, fast-moving and with plots that manage to be thought-provoking without being heavy-handed. A warning, however—make sure you don’t start the dinner cooking or the lawn watering before you curl up with one of her books, because you’ll end up with a burnt dinner and a soggy lawn and an enjoyable few hours lost in another world.”—Romantic SF & Fantasy


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The Hob's Bargain 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 146 reviews.
-Q- More than 1 year ago
Patricia Briggs paints a rather complicated portrait of a world where everything is alive - the earth, the mountain (known as Hob's Mountain), and all of these things are somehow connected, along with countless other strange creatures that might be found in an HG Wells story. The lead character is a woman, as are many of the lead characters in Patricia Brigg's works. The woman lives in a mythical village, apparently in a time long ago. She finds she has some magical ability to forsee future events, including an attack by 'raiders' that results in the death of her new husband the day after their wedding. She laments that she did not use this vision to protect her new husband, but the culture does not respect people with magical gifts, and people often think of these gifted people as evil. However our heroine sees other evil events in the future, and sets out to warn the villagers, who cannot decide if she is a witch or a prophet. A huge earthquake fortells of the angry earth, and with her gifts, she sets out to help protect her village from the ravages of raiders, the anger of the earth, and the evil of the 'blood mages,' who are people with magic who have turned to the dark side. En route she meets the Hob, a strange creature who strikes a bargain and agrees to use his powers to help protect the village, hence the name of the book. As the book unfolds, our heroine learns to use her powers and together with the help of the Hob and other lead characters, she single-handedly helps the raiders join forces with the villagers to fight the evil of the blood-mages alongside the Hob. The story may seem too far-fetched to follow, but it is not. However the frequent introduction of new evil gnomes combined with other spirit-creatures is a bit difficult to follow, and takes away from the otherwise beautifully told story of a young woman's bravery and loyalty to her village and to her friends. The writer sometimes suddenly changes her perspective - telling of the thoughts of the heroine or of another character - with little warning. This makes it a bit difficult to follow at times, at least for me, and I consider myself a pretty intelligent reader. Also some areas of the book are not really brought to resolution. The temptress ghost appears periodically, but at the end of the book, I am not sure what happened to her. The many fighting creatures are sent scurrying away at different times - where did they end up going? I never did figure that out. Hob's bargain is a pleasant tale by a brilliant writer, but it does have moments when it is just a bit too complicated for the casual reader (which is me, of course) to follow every detail of every character. It is not quite as polished as her later works, in my opinion, but it is still a very good read with a strong moral fiber running through it that gives it a strength and consistency that is typical of this excellent author of fantasy works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this up because I enjoyed Moon Called and Blood Bound. All I can say is WOW! To add to it, I re-read this story so many times that I'm on my 3rd book. The first two have disintegrated from the number of times I've read them. I have a 4th copy in my car so I have something to read while waiting in line. All I can say is that the story line has helped me get over some rough spots in my life. Patricia Briggs is the only author where I have to buy two books from the beginning. One to read, and one for later reading (when the first copy has become too battered).
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading Moon Called, which I enjoyed very much, I picked this book up on the advice of a friend on the web. This is a jewel of a book--a lovely romance and a wonderfully written story. I was sorry when it ended. A definite keeper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually stick with other historical romances but this one was really great. It had the right amount of flirtation, humor and mystery. She kept me curious to want to know the end but not to the point that you would have become bored with it. I am looking forward to reading her other works in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitely my favorite book. I think the reader must have a love of such creatures (hobs, etc.) to really enjoy this piece. This book has something for everyone. I haven't been able to get any male friends to read it, but speaking for myself, the females love it! I think the pace is set nicely and there is most certainly a longing for there to be always one more page, but knowing just one more page could be too much. Props to Patricia Briggs! It was wonderful.
flemmily on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I wish Patricia Briggs was still writing fantasy, as well as paranormal. Hob's Bargain is mostly a sweet, quick read, but violence and a little philosophy manages to sneak it's way in. As with most of her stories, the main character is incredibly easy to identify with. Her relationships with the other characters are well developed. The romance is lovely and just a little bit kinky. I would love to read a sequel, if she ever has time to write it.
SunnySD on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Aren has visions. Visions she can't control, she can't banish, and she definitely can't admit, since the only magic known (or at least acknowledged) in Fallbrook is bloodmagic - a nasty, evil practice which condemns its users to madness and its victims to death or worse. Now the revenge of a betrayed bloodmage has stripped the bindings from the old wild magic, releasing the wildlings and loosing other types of magic on the stricken populace. Aren may be the only one who can save her village and the last remnants of mankind from both the emerging wild magic and the bloodmage, but can she live with the bargain she's forced to make?Briggs isn't a new author, but I hadn't encountered her work prior to the publication of Moon Called, the opening novel in her Mercy Thompson series. Thankfully, due to Mercy's popularity, Ace Fantasy is re-releasing Briggs' earlier fantasy novels, and while I'm sorry I missed them the first time around, it's a treat to read them now while I'm waiting for Mercy's next installment. Briggs' heroine's are human, flawed, and appealing, and her supporting characters are well-written. For those of you who are fans of well written animal characters, she also does good horses.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Love this book. This was my intro to Briggs - I read it in a bookstore, came back several months later and found another Briggs and noticed Hob's Bargain there - and realized I still remembered the story perfectly. So I bought it (and Dragon Bones, the new Briggs that had just come out). These stories are the ones that Briggs can really run with - her current urban fantasy just doesn't catch me. Hob's Bargain has magic coming back after being suppressed and used only by evil mages for several generations - so people who hate and fear magic now have it, and the wild magic is also showing up again and they don't have the faintest idea how to handle it. Aren is great and I love the Hob. And Kith, and even Wendel, and Ice, and Duck...there are a lot of wonderful characters (yes, the horse is a character! The horses, actually - Torch and the Lady as well). Lots of changing viewpoints, lots of new understanding of oneself and others, changing motivations, and the Hob trying to make some fun in the midst of it all (and succeeding unexpectedly often!). A great book.
EowynA on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is the story of Aren, and how she came to make and keep the Hob's Bargain. It happens in a rural area of a land unknown. Big Things happened far away, loosing the bindings that kept magic in check -- probably something in the Great Game of kings and bloodmages. But her corner of the world is affected, too, even if they don't know quite what happened, or why. Aren lives outside the village of Fallbrook, and in the first few pages, a band of raiders kills her family, her husband of one day, and her brother-in-law. She had seen something, but it was cryptic, and not enough to warn them to get away. From there, she and other survivers try to make contact with the next village over, by crossing the pass over Hob's Mountain, where she catches the eye of the Hob. That village was drowned by a new lake, so the party makes their way back. From then on, they find themselves dealing with the newly awakened magical creatures, raiders, and a blood mage set on murder. It is a coming-of-age as a magic user sort of story - fast read, page-turner, decent characters.
enzu-chan on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Aren's life is turned upside down , the day after her wedding, when bandits attack her village and long bound magic is set free.Having the gift of sight she is determined to save her village and pay the price for it even if it mean sacrificing herself. But... The hasty ending of the story as well as three blank pages between the last chapter and the epilogue,with the words "AUTUMN HARVEST" printed on the second page, indicates that author had been under immense time pressure, which is rather a pity.All in all it's an easy read,though due to it's hasty ending , it lacks the class of Patricia Briggs' other works.Patricia Briggs used the term "Green man" the first time in this book.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Ya know, Briggs just knows how to tell a good story. The Hob's Bargain (as far as I can tell) is standalone fantasy novel that succeeds in that it's a lot more original than a lot of fantasy out there, manages a plot that is not predictable, and entertains. The title character is one of my favorite in recent reads. The only thing I was disappointed in was that I felt the book doesn't feel finished. ( SPOILER: The bargain referred to in the title never comes to its conclusion!) Lately I've read a series of stinkers, so this was a refreshing change of pace!
Mendoza on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I love Patricia Brigg's "voice" and it is here, even in her earlier work.My not giving The Hob's Bargain 5 stars is that I still had unaswered questions lingering and still many holes in this world. I think she could have fleshed out the world further and made this a more complete novel. 288 pages is a rather small book. I would certainly have been happier.Having said all this, I still gave this 4 stars. Her writing is so engaging that I enjoy anything she writes even when i find flaws.
Imshi on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A light, easy read. I felt, though, that the heroine was a bit of a Mary-Sue.
tdfangirl on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I'm already a fan of Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series, so I was pleased when my best friend lent me Briggs's 2001 high fantasy. Aren, the main character, is interesting and sympathetic, though I'd have liked just a wee bit more insight into her mind. We have her motivation, but I never quite felt a strong connection. Ditto with Caefawn, the hob. He's an extremely likable character, but I really wanted more, more about him, more story, just plain more!It's kind of tough to describe the plot. Aren loses her entire family to an attack by raiders, and then all kinds of magical hell break loose. Blood mages, abominations to natural magic, bound the earth's magic generations earlier, and because of the actions of a single, powerful mage, the earth's magic is released. Aren is mage born and discovers that she has the power to see, to receive visions of the past, present, and future. She meets a strange creature in the mountains, the hob, and begins training to use her magic.And basically, the plot meanders from here to a final battle with a blood mage. The story feels like the beginning of a series, and I was actually kind of pissed when I realized that this was published seven years ago, and there hasn't been a sequel yet. I was left hanging at the end, and dangit, I wanted to know more about these characters!So, here's hoping Briggs eventually writes a sequel to this, because despite the wandering plotline, I really got sucked into Aren's world.
JnROBrien07 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
There was something about this book that was both disturbing and sexy. I found myself thinking about it after I would put it down for the night. The Hob, his being alone, his longing, I related to him and wanted to know more. Aren was wonderful but her visions were often spooky. And I feel it was left unresolved. For some reason I really wanted a "love scene" between Aren and The Hob, even thou, for the most part, Briggs doesn't write them and leaves imagination to do the work. Generally that is what I prefer, but I wanted to know all the details about the Hob and a human and what sort of life, what sort of children, would they have? I enjoyed this book and may have to read it again and just hope for a second one!
NRPL-TAB on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Aren is a magical person. This in it's self is a death sentance. Then the night after she marries her family is killed along with her husband. She hides in the basment cellar from the robbers and the lands magic is somehow magically relased. She now realizes that the bandits aren't leaving and even more fear inspireing forces are on thier way.She goes into the mountains and meets the Hob. He agrees to helkp Aren save the valley and village on one condition. Marrage. She agrees and he also starts to help her develop her magic. In the end with the help of the Hob she saves the village.
Stewartry on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is another in a long line of read-so-long-ago-a-reread-feels-like-the-first-time books. I didn't remember a thing about it, except that I loved it then - and I loved it now. The story centers around Aren, a woman who has lived in a remote farming village all her 29 years, and who had just about resigned herself to being a spinster when her father engineered a match for her. One reason the resignation wasn't as bad as it might have been, and why marriage isn't as simple as it might have been, is that she has a secret: she has a gift. She can see things that will happen (though usually not clearly enough to be very useful), and find lost things. Magic isn't just discouraged in these lands, it's hunted out; necromancers long ago found a way to suppress all natural magic and monopolize power for themselves, through bloodshed. Boys are given a choice of serving the necromancers (which could mean becoming a necromancer - but probably means dying) or ... dying. Girls with gifts have no choice - they are simply killed. Her brother many years ago chose to die under his own power rather than in any way fall under their power; a childhood friend wasn't, in many ways, so lucky. And then, suddenly, one day everything changes. The necromancers' hold on magic is broken - and so is Aren's life when raiders maraud through her village. And they're not the worst of the dangers her people face, as with the loosing of magic, the wildings are returning - all the creatures of magic who have survived the long drought, most of whom are not fond of humans. Except perhaps as lunch. In short, the village is besieged, and isolated, and needs help - and Aren gambles on a legend and goes up onto the hill called The Hob, seeking the newly awakened Hob and the Hob's Bargain. Hobs are benevolent - but that doesn't necessarily mean that what he wants in exchange for helping them defend themselves will be easy to pay. I loved this book. It has what is now (though not then) "paranormal romance" stamped all over it, from a not-great cover (which does, however, feature Duck) to the blurb on the back - and that's not fair. It could have been (Patricia Briggs was just cutting her teeth on this one) - but there were none of the trappings such things are saddled with now. For one thing, it gets about a PG rating, and that's for violence. Characterization is always key for me; if I can't at least like someone the book is toast. Here I love all the main characters - not because they're all nice and sweet and good, but because they're real, they interact, they have histories and depth and their own lives. Aren is wonderful - prickly, smart, determined, strong - and still not a Mary Sue, with all of that. When Aren's friend Kith is "offscreen" I can believe he is off being the star of his own story; he doesn't just begin and end when he's featured in a scene. Caefawn is my hero - what a marvel of a race, and a marvel of a character. And I believe that's the best use of a tail I've ever seen. Even Aren's horse, Duck, is three-dimensional - Patricia Briggs is one of the writers who, as Judith Tarr puts it, Gets It Right when it comes to horses. And the evil necromancer is everything an evil necromancer should be. It isn't, perhaps, a challenging read - and in fact I picked it up after Shadowfever with the intent of getting away from harrowing world-altering fantasy. There have been an awful lot of books in my currently-reading lists lately that involve entire villages razed and children lying dead in the streets. In point of fact, Hob's Bargain doesn't evade such things; there are some grim moments, as the world is altered here too, and such cataclysms are never gentle. But it was swift and beautifully written, and - in case I didn't mention it - I loved it.
Nikkles on LibraryThing 8 months ago
THe Hob's Bargain was a nice light read. The characters and plot were enjoyable though there wasn't a lot to them. Having read Patricia Briggs' other books I was a little disapointed. However, on a whole the book in enjoyable. If you like light fantasy you'll probably like this book, if you like Briggs' writting you'll probably like this book . . . but if you are looking for a deep dark fantasy this book is not for you. I would suggest reading some of Briggs' other books that are still fluff but a little deeper such as Moon Called.
Phantasma on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I have yet to read a disappointing book by Patricia Briggs. This was a wonderful adventure. It was funny and touching. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer!
therhoda on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Not my favorite of the Briggs books due to no small part to the angst involved in this story. I am not an angst reader i think life has to much angst as it is. But this is a solid book with a great story and characters that breathe.
booksearcher on LibraryThing 8 months ago
One of my favorite books. This one was so good that I had to go out and get my own copy before I would return the one that I had borrowed from the library. The hero is a mischievous hob, and the heroine is a misplaced girl coming into new magic powers. Once again, not only could I not put this one down, but I love to reread this one frequently. I would highly recommend this favorite book of mine to any fantasy reader who has never had the pleasure of reading it.
Darla on LibraryThing 8 months ago
All the magic in the land has been bound up by the evil, mad bloodmages, and those born with magic have to join them or die, so Aren hides that she has The Sight. Until raiders come to their village and kill her family and half the village, and she makes a bargain with a hob to help her protect the village with magic. I enjoyed this very much, but the relationships between events weren't particularly clear. That may be because I was tired while reading it, but when I tried to write a synopsis, I had a rough time putting the main events in some sort of order.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Magic had been controlled by blood mages and now they have lost control and it's spreading. Not only are people getting magic - and superstition is still linking magic to evil. Also the magical creatures are making a come back. Aren has always had an ability to see things and now it's exploded into life, not in time to stop raiders killing her family and husband.Law and order has broken down and outlaws who used to be soldiers are trying to take over. The Hob offers to help the village, but is Aren willing to pay the price!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it so much I had to read it more than once! Thank you for the awesome adventure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago