Robin Hobb has written many novels, that are part of several series, that in turn belong to a broader cycle called The Realm of the Elderlings.
From what I have gathered, this cycle is composed by the following series:
- The Farseer trilogy (began in 1995) (the only one that I have read as today)
- The Liveship Traders trilogy (1998)
- The Tawny Man trilogy (2001)
- The Rain Wild chronicles (2009)
- The Fitz and the Fool trilogy (2014)
For what I have understood, Farseer, Tawny Man and Fitz and the Fool are closely related and one is the direct subsequent than the previous.
The other series are also belonging to the same world, but I haven't understood if and how they are connected to the main books.
Do they continue the story form the previous (from a release date point of view) series, or they tell totally different stories? Do they share the same characters, even if they are not the protagonists? Do they reference the main series, and the main series reference them?
In other words, will I lose something if I stick to the main series, or my reading will be spoiled? Apart form the logical release date reading order, does it makes sense to read only the main series, and maybe the others only on a second time?
She wrote more or less 20 books in twenty years, in the same time G.R.R. Martin has not yet finished to butcher all of his characters...