I actually finished reading Patricia Briggs' The Hob's Bargain on June 5th while I was away in Toronto. I waited until I got home today before writing this review because I decided to take a week off from using the internet.
The Hob's Bargain is the story of Aren. Her family is murdered by bandits and then magic is set free within the land. While she is mistrusted and feared by many of the villagers because of her magical abilities, she agrees to do anything within her growing power to save her village and valley, including making a bargain with the newly awakened hob.
The Hob's Bargain was pretty good overall but seemed a bit predictable. The basic plot was pretty similar to Steal the Dragon (there was a male friend introduced near the beginning of the book who looked like a potential love interest, but in the end the strong female character falls for the magical being instead, which is made obvious about halfway through the book). But even though it was really predictable, I enjoyed reading it. I really liked Aren, the strong female character. She managed to move beyond the prejudices inherent within her village, showing herself to be just as capable as the men. I really liked the hob, despite never being completely clear on what he was. I just wished that there had been more from his point of view. And the book's ending even managed to surprise me in some ways, which was great.
As I said, I did enjoy reading The Hob's Bargain in spite of its predictability. It was a pretty good story which kept me reading, wanting to know more.