(Original Review, 2012)
Hobb seems to have declined over the years. “The Farseer” and “The Liveship Traders” were spectacular, despite a certain amount of padding; Tawny Man a bit more shapeless (the Piebald plot abruptly falls by the wayside after the confrontation midway through book 2).
“The Soldier Son” (in a new universe) started well, despite some obvious recycling (most fathers in Hobb's fiction are either unloving or dead/absent, and the dad here is no exception; meanwhile the uncle is an obvious recycling of Verity-Fitz), but the abrupt lurch at the beginning of the second book suggests some serious plot rethinking took place midway through the writing process.
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.