It’s Robin Hobb’s birthday! She is 62 today. One of my very favourite authors for over a decade now, it’s been lovely to be able to get to know her a bit better since I started my writing journey – I sent her Pantomime and she read it (and gave a blurb!) and I met her in person at WFC last year. I was very pleased when she approached me to help celebrate her birthday.
The post has gone live here. The shorter version here is that Robin Hobb and OfficeKat have been very sneaky the last few months, finding minions around the world to help plant gifts for readers all around the world, spanning from the UK, the US, New Zealand, Italy, and France. I hid my prize this morning, and I also added a little something of my own – a signed copy of Pantomime! I liked the idea of a book of mine and a book of Robin’s hiding out together. I’m not sure which book I had (it’s wrapped up), but if it’s a book with the Fitz and Fool, I can imagine Drystan and the Fool whispering ribald jokes to each other, with Micah and Fitz rolling their eyes at their antics.
Below is my clue. If you find it, take a photo! Also, please be a bit careful with the dirt and put it back in place, if you’d be so kind.
I’m going to lead you down the rabbit hole.
The place you are meant to go is named after a queen.
She perhaps didn’t scream “Off with their heads!” but she
led an empire. That’s clear enough, isn’t it?
It’s a place of greenery and trees. Perhaps you played there as a child.
Got it? Start at the entrance.
On your right there will be a gatehouse, looking like something out of a fairy tale.
Perhaps smoke curls from the chimney. Perhaps you wonder who lives in it.
Continue down the promenade, under the trees, bare in the winter chill.
There may be people there, walking dogs, urging bundled children to run about.
Stop at the fountain. It is made of fourteen different types of granite.
No water runs from it. It stands tall and imposing.
Look to your left. There’s a little brick gate. Go through it.
A little further along, there will be the remnants of a chess board on the asphalt,
nearly erased by time, its pieces long missing.
Around you are slumbering rose bushes.
When they bloom, no one paints the white blooms red.
They’re already crimson.
You’re almost there.
There are two pillars of greenery right in front of you.
Between them is a black flower box.
The treasure is against the wall closest to you, just hidden beneath the new soil.
There it is.
Take it home. Unwrap it. Read the letters.
Open the cover, run your fingertips along the pages.
Fall down the rabbit hole.