Royal Assassin (The Illustrated Edition) (Farseer Trilogy, Band 2)

by Robin Hobb (Autor)

Hardcover, 2020

Status

Available

Call number

813.54

Publication

Del Rey (2020), Edition: Illustrated, Anniversary, 704 pages

Description

Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and when he returns to the court, he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life. With the king near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened. Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns. In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands-and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member twilightnocturne
Royal Assassin, the second novel in the Farseer trilogy, starts where the previous left off. FitzChivalry, assassin trained bastard for king Shrewd has survived the bloody attack which closed the Assassin's apprentice -- but just barely. He is now left crippled, plagued with seizures and weakness;
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Left battered and bitter. Despite his own judgment and filled with emotion, he soon returns to Buckkeep to fulfill his promise to the king -- his pledge of service. Unfortunately for him, things back at home are worse than ever. The king is sick and ailing, the red ship raiders are plaguing the coast -- leaving behind even more forged ones, and prince Regal, the royal son who executed the attack on Fitz is left unpunished, as if nothing had happened. Life in Buckeep is worse than before, and even more treachery is on it's way. A treachery that could destroy everything FitzChivalry has grown to love and care about.

And this is where the novel begins -- reviving everything the last book closed on -- treason, assassins, danger, love, drama, and more. "Assassin's Apprentice" is to say the least, as gripping as the last, and another read I could not put down. Everything good about the last novel was here -- great characters, great development, and great story. Essentially, this is yet another amazing installment -- but that isn't to say it's perfect or problem free. This one had a few rough spots.

For me, I found a few areas to be a bit slow and plodding. There was a point in the book, where I almost pleaded to it that Fitz would finally get to use some of his Assassin skills. For a book about an assassin, there is little assassination. That's not to say the plot suffered from it, it didn't -- it all made sense, Fitz was never really in a position to use these skills, but it didn't stop me from wishing. I would have liked to see more stealth, carefully executed plans, etc. I would have liked to see him use the skills he had learned. Most of the action in this novel that did happen (on Fitz part) was uncalculated and unintended. It seemed each instance, he got his way out of a situation by pure luck rather than skill. That was a bit disappointing. None the less, I can let it slide, as It all built up, and by the end it was well worth it.

There was another slight annoyance however, one that bothered me a bit. I won't give anything away, but if you'd rather not read just a tiny, vague spoiler, skip this small paragraph. The incident with Rosemary, the Queen-in-Waiting's little servant girl, was totally predictable. How could a trained assassin not figure this out? I assumed it the moment she entered into the novel -- and if I could figure it out, I'd think that Fitz, Chade or the Queen-In-Waiting would caught on. None the less, they didn't, and it all seemed a bit silly. Though in a way I can understand it, I would have thought that three relatively intelligent people, in a time of such danger would have been more careful.

..and those are my complaints, all fairly small. Now onto more good things..

The characters. Yes, the characters once again were simply brilliant. Robin Hobb doesn't fail to shine in this aspect, and at this point, I can never see her ever doing so. All of the characters are so compelling, and interesting. I grew to have feelings for each one -- whether it was love, or hate, or worry, or something in between -- I felt it, and that takes a special type of writer to do that. I've read so many novels where some (or even all) of the characters are so phony or bland, to the point where there's no connection. This, like the previous novel, relied heavily on the characters personality and actions, and once again, it succeeded immensely..

Ah, and amongst the excellent characters, there was a new addition. A wolf, and perhaps one of my favorites of this series, Night-eyes! Everything about him was great, from the way he was discovered -- the intense moment of emotion and rage that lead Fitz right to his confining cage -- to the much needed relief he added to a novel that was so grim. It was simply brilliant, I was so happy to see Fitz once again restore an animal bond, one that this time, WASN'T broken. All in all, this character added so much to this piece, and as always with Hobb, the dialog between them was simply amazing.

We also cannot forget the beloved fool, another stand-out, whom' in my opinion, is a refreshingly complex and interesting character. Not only does his humor, quick-witted comments and actions grace many of the moments in "Assassin's Quest," but there is a new deepness to the fool that is finally touched upon. A deepness that really gives us as readers a different view of him -- a more human view -- one that really expanded on his character, making him even more interesting and enjoyable. This, was great to see, but not unexpected. Again, I can't refrain from praising Hobb for her amazing ability to bring her characters to life. She is truly gifted.

There is also a great deal of development in the relationship between Molly and Fitz. While it is the classic forbidden "this can never work' relationship, it added a new evolved depth to Fitz as a main character, and truly revealed how in some ways he had grown up – yet in others he was still a child. Again, this was a nice thing to see -- even if it brought out quite a bit of emotion and strife to a character I really grew to like and care about. From Burrich, to Chade – to the Queen-In-Waiting Kettricken (who really stood out in this novel as a very strong character), and to Molly, to Verity, and even to Patience, each of the characters continued to grow and evolve; This, as before, was a big highlight for me.

And lastly..

Much like the debut novel of the Farseer Trilogy, it all leads to a huge, climatic, impacting ending that changes everything. One that left me, quite honestly, stunned. I found the vivid description and deep emotional outpouring of the final scene to be both haunting and immensely saddening, A scene that will surely stay with me for some time -- burnt into my mind. I was utterly chilled by the ending words – by the ending chapter – by the actions that were done, and by sorrow and despair it carried. By the end of the final chapter, I was literally gripping the novel intensely, completely lost in the storyline -- and yes, even a bit teary eyed! It was perhaps, one of the most emotional ending I've ever read, and truthfully, it left me feeling emotionally drained and a bit depressed. It also left wishing for a happier resolve, a larger glimmer of hope. Sadly however, from my experience with this series, there usually isn't one. It's all so bleak. Luckily for me, the third book is already out, and I can start it right away to see how everything turns out – hopefully for the better!

All in all, “Royal Assassin” is yet another amazing novel in the Farseer trilogy. While it was at many times depressing, I found it to be a worth-while read – one where I've truly grown to care about many of the characters – yet at the same time grown to hate others. Robin Hobb's ability to bring her characters to life is a true talent, and as stated previously in this review – the progressive development she works through them is an aspect of these novels that keeps me glued to each page. For whatever happens to the characters I love, I always want to know more – because in many ways, they seem so real to me. As if I truly know them. That is the magic of these books. With that said, I close this review and pick up the next in the Farseer trilogy, hoping to find some sort of relief and resolve. I suggest this to anyone who has read the first book in the series – continue on, it's definitely worth it!
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LibraryThing member xicanti
I honestly think I could've just sat and read this book straight through, if I'd had the chance. I didn't willingly take a break until I was about five hundred pages in, and even then it was a short one.

I found Royal Assassin even more absorbing than Assassin's Apprentice. The character development
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continues as Fitz returns to Buckkeep and assumes a more active role in the country's defense. My one complaint with the first book was that I didn't get enough of a sense of the danger that threatened the Six Duchies. That was no longer a problem with this book. As the Red-Ship Raiders became a larger concern for Fitz, they became a larger concern for me. I felt the characters' frustration as they struggled to keep their people safe.

And, once again, it's really the characters that make this book. Robin Hobb's characterization is excellent; everyone has depth. Even their minor conflicts feel important because they come across as real issues that these people struggle with. I found it very easy to get lost in the story; I was always eager, (and sometimes desperate), to see how things would turn out for the characters I'd come to care for.

At more than two hundred pages longer than the previous volume, this is a big book. It flies by, though; despite the wealth of detail, I didn't feel that it lagged at all until right near the end. And even then, it's difficult to say whether the momentum diminished because of the writing or my own horror at what was happening.

I highly recommend both this and the previous volume. They're excellent, character-driven fantasy that works. I'm only sorry I didn't dive into Robin Hobb sooner.
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LibraryThing member bjanecarp
Two quick complaints. Robin Hobb's novels aren't that easy to find. She has thoroughly engaged me with her writing style and amazing, deft characterizations in her novels, but I can't find any of her works at the local bookstore. Grr. Barnes & Noble can go ride a zucchini, whatever that means. And
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secondly, Hobb has, possibly, the worst biographical blurb of any book I've ever read: "Robin Hobb is a writer, and lives in Washington state." Huh? Okay, I know Robin Hobb is a pseudonym, but really?

OK. Now on to real things. A the end of the previous novel of the Farseer Series, Assassin's Apprentice (my review here), FitzChivalry is caught up in court intrigue, and his jealous uncle, Regal, schemes to kill the young bastard prince. He, and his caretaker, Burrich, are brutalized and nearly killed, in the capital of the Mountain Kingdom. After several months of recuperation, Fitz decides that never again will he take up the cause of the Farseer throne.

Of course, you know how this sort of thing is bound to turn out. Within 150 pages, he's off and murdering a new threat, The zombie-like Forged Ones, whose souls have somehow been erased by the Out Island pirates. Can you kill a man, if he is no longer who he was? It's a question for a better ethicist than I am.

FitzChivalry discovers his strong rapport with the Wit (beast magic) and, nearly against his will, bonds himself to a wolf pup called Nighteyes. If someone discovers Fitz's Wit Magic, it may be punishable by death.

A second subtext running through the novel is Fitz's romance with his childhood friend, Molly. The information of him, as the king's Assassin, must be hidden from her. She knows him as an errand-boy, and he must pile secret upon secret, in order to protect her from the trouble his career would bring her. How many secrets must your bury yourself in, before you are no longer yourself? I would not be surprised if Fitz's morose questioning reminds readers of prince Hamlet. At several points, he considers suicide to escape his fate.

Once again, Hobb excels at crafting a world and characters that are real and engaging. Her story is engaging, and not at all pedestrian. Her characters do not shy away from real emotions, although occasionally, you want to grab young FitzChivalry and slap him upside the head.

Hobb manages something that I haven't experienced in a very long time. The characters in the novels became friends: I actually cared what happened to them. Although it's an excellent story, it's definitely a "middle" novel of a trilogy. The reader is left with the desire to scamper to the nearest bookstore and find the third book, and start it immediately. Of course, the novel, in all probability, won't be on the shelves and you'll have to Special Order the silly thing. I didn't find it at my three local bookstores in Virginia, but managed to locate the third book in a bookshop in California, a mere 3,500 miles away. Her books are the best I've read in years.
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LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
The second instalment in the series and it opens with Fitz seriously debiliitated by a poison he has taken. I've been there, my poison was chemotherapy and it was pretty much like it was described in the book. Fitz is now fighting Regal more openly with the red ships preying on the kingdom. Full of
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interesting characters and interesting situations although it's a big book it's a quick read.
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LibraryThing member Eurekas
I love this series, from beginning to end. The Fool is one of the best characters ever created.
LibraryThing member tikilights
Absolutely love this series. It's also a great entry point into the vast fantasy/adventure genre for people like me who have only read Harry Potter and the stray mainstream/commercial fantasy book.
LibraryThing member kgodey
Royal Assassin is the second book of the Farseer trilogy, which tells the story of FitzChivalry Farseer, a royal bastard and assassin. Fitz's last mission went awry, and he is resting and recovering at the beginning of this book. However, he's a King's Man and can't afford to take any time for
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himself, so he has to get back to his duties as the royal assassin soon.

Royal Assassin is just as compelling as the previous book, Assassin's Apprentice. Fitz has grown up a little, although he's also become quite melancholy because of his failures and his perceived weaknesses. However, he's still intensely loyal to the Farseer kingdom and family, especially Prince Verity, and will do anything in his power to keep him and the Six Duchies safe.

The Red Ship Raiders are continuing to plunder and destroy the Coastal Duchies, and there seems to be no stopping them. Worse still, the foppish and ambitious Prince Regal is gaining more and more influence, and he doesn't seem to care about the threat posed by the Raiders - in fact, all he cares about is living in luxury and attaining as much power as possible. Burrich has tried his best to keep Fitz from using the Wit to bond to an animal, but Fitz meets and bonds with Nighteyes, a young wolf. Fitz is already in danger - Regal hates him, and if he's caught using the Wit, it'll be certain death for him.

Everything good about the last book continues in this book - every character gets even more depth and backstory, there's a lot of complex political intrigue and plotting, and it's fascinating to see Fitz make mistakes and grow as a person. Fitz is often morose, which can get annoying, but not too much. I also really liked the character of Queen-in-Waiting Kettricken and her evolving relationship with Verity.

The end was a bit shocking, but I can't wait to read the conclusion!
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LibraryThing member reading_fox
How much better it could have been! The writing is really quite good, the characters empathetic, the general plot structure almost not obvious. But it fails majorly in the details - the foreshadowing is horrendous, the consistency almost completely lacking, the bad guys unbelivable, ... the little
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things that elevate a good book to the great are so absent that it's barely good.

The story picks up where the previous volumne left off, and it would be wise to read Assassin's Apprentice first for little retelling is given. Fitz, bastard, Chivalry trained assassin to King Shrewd (yes the names start to grate after a while. Does the kingdom have nothing better to do than give people who appear important in the story (excepting burich) character defining names, whilst those who only appear briefly only get normal ones?) had accompained the royal party to the neighbouring Mountain Kingdom (yep original name there too), where he became embroiled and attacked in the youngest Prince's (Regal) scheme to rise to Kingship. Fitz recover slowly and painfully, until he's needed when suddenly almost overnight he is clear of mind and whole of body, occasionally in a quiet moment when it's convenient, suffering extremely mind reminders of his former illness. If only all heros could recover so quickly. The Red Raiders attacks on the kingdom continue and the good Prince Verity needs Fitz' assistance. And there's a girl, and a wolf, and Prince Regal continues his evil plotting. Poor old Fitz is quite torn in where to place his loyalty, and as matters come to a head he is increasingly required to choose for himself, withou guidance from his elders and betters, which leads to the dramatic finale.

It really is all quite good, there are twists and turns and the pace of action keeps up with Fitz's problems and information. But there are also way too many issues. Skilling either takes a while with Fitz staring into space, or is over "in the blink of an eye" depending on the need of the story, which is very poorly thought out. The King is or isn't lucid again depending on the infomation being presented to him. many other peopel change their mind or opinion on a whim. Even deeply held convictions are suddenly overturned with no more anguish than a 'oh well, I suppose it's ok' And worst of all much of the plot is obvious. Guessable way in adavance. What is supposed to be surprising twists, become oh look that foreshadowing has come to pass. It's quite hard to explain just how much these minor details, each in their own way insignificant, combine to majorly distract the reader from enjoying the story.

Readable, and if anyting lightly better than the original, it's disappointing to find it could be much better.
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LibraryThing member Merneith
This one drags a bit but the series as a whole is worth your time.
LibraryThing member TerrapinJetta
Bits of this are quite good, but it's depressingly like any other fantasy book. It's quite readable all the same mind you, I was just expecting something more. A lot of the characterisation is quite deft.
LibraryThing member Amaunette
Fitz's story continues as King Verity takes a wife and attempts to battle the zombie-like plague.
LibraryThing member mentatjack
I'm relearning the lesson that a great fantasy series can be quite adictive. I love the play between the Skill and the Wit and the intrigue of the royal family. Full of unforgettable characters, this series just keeps getting better.
LibraryThing member eddy79
Even better than the first volume, Hobb really puts Fitz through the wringer here, both physically and emotionally. She expands on the world created in the first volume, in geography, politics and the magic system.
LibraryThing member rbtwinky
What a fantastic book with a terrible ending! Hobb builds up all of this tension and opportunity and then destroys it all with the ending! This is seeming to be a pattern with Hobb. I have so far only read this book and its predecessor, Assassin's Apprentice, but each time the ending seemly
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erradicated everything that proceeded it.
What's great about this book are the characters and the politics! Fitz is coming into his own and starting to have an effect on his life and the lives of those around him. The characters around him change from the guiding forces that they were in the first book to challenges for Fitz to confront or lratn to accept. I'll read the next, but Hobb is threatening to alienate me as a reader...
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LibraryThing member littlegeek
About a third of the way through this book I had an epiphany--there are werewolves and zombies in this book! It's obvious, but the way they are portrayed is so unique, I didn't even think of it that way until half way through the trilogy.

The end of this book is chilling. This is the way to do a
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trilogy: each book has a beginning, middle and end, with a cliffhanger, and yet there's a satisfying stopping point that still eggs you on to the next book. How does she do that?
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LibraryThing member willowcove
This entire trilogy is a very good read.
LibraryThing member paperloverevolution
A deep, dark, rich book, as carefully constructed and as relentlessly grim as a Greek tragedy.
LibraryThing member nbmars
Background (No Spoilers)

This is a saga about a boy, Fitz, who spends his life always in reluctant service to others - in particular, the Farseer Rulers of the Six Duchies. Fitz wants so much just to follow his own dreams. Yet his royal blood means that self-determination can never really be his
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fate. Like the rulers of the Mountain Kingdoms acknowledge, those with royal blood must be a “sacrifice” to their people, and have no other choice: “the true ruler of a kingdom is the servant of all.”

Fitz was born out of wedlock to Chivalry Farseer, the King-in-Waiting of the Six Duchies. At age six, Fitz was taken away from his mother by his grandfather and handed over to Verity, Chivalry’s brother, at Buckkeep Fortress.

With Fitz's existence known, Chivalry was forced as a manner of honor to abdicate his right to the throne and to leave Buckkeep. Fitz’s care was given by Verity in part to Burrich, the Stablemaster of Buckkeep and Chivalry’s right-hand man. A third brother, Regal, was jealous of Chivalry and Verity, and when Fitz came, Regal began to hate Fitz the most of all of them. Regal resolved to get rid of all three of them so he could rule after the death of their father, King Shrewd.

The others ignored Regal, because the Six Duchies had bigger (or so they thought) problems. They were being besieged by pirates from the Outislands, who traveled in distinctive red ships, raiding the shores and stealing the wealth of the Six Duchies. Then the Outislanders began kidnapping villagers and by some unknown process returning them as zombie-like monsters. Because this practice began with the village of Forge, such people, no matter their origin, were ever after known as “Forged.”

People who were Forged could not even be detected by the Skill. This was a magic common to those in the Farseer line enabling a person to reach out to another’s mind, no matter how distant, and know that person’s thoughts. If the other person were Skilled also, the two could even communicate through mind-speak, and if one had evil intent, he or she could control or even kill the other person via the Skill.

The trilogy can almost be seen as a catalog of Fitz’s suffering. Yes, he is a hero, but not a shining, caped hero that escapes repeated trials to save the day. Rather, he is battered and bruised, both physically and psychologically, with few moments of happiness. Thus it is that the rare glimpses of sunlight in his life make you want to weep for him. It is not at all spoilery to tell you he survives however, because the trilogy begins as a recounting by a much older Fitz of his memories. But as for how intact he is when he writes down these memories, and what his current status is - for that you have to read the books.

Royal Assassin (Spoilers for Book One)

As Book Two begins, Fitz, 15, is recovering from Regal’s attempt to poison him. King Shrewd’s fool (who only goes by the name Fool), and who is also Fitz’s friend, serves as Fitz’s healer. During this time, Fitz begins to “Skill-walk,” i.e., travel to other minds when he is sleeping, and experience whatever they are experiencing. In one of these dreams, he sees his childhood friend Molly threatened by Forgers. He is determined to find her and see if she survived.

But first, on a trip to the town, he stops at the market, and encounters an angry and abused wolf cub in a cage. Fitz feels like he has come face-to-face with himself. Fitz is “Witted,” meaning that he can communicate with animals, and potentially bond with one. When he sees the horrid condition in which the cub is kept, Fitz buys him from the vendor. He intends to treat the wolf and release him in the wild, but the cub is hungry, cold, and tired, and his pack was all killed. Fitz’s heart was grabbed, and the cub, named Nighteyes, and he bonded. They came to communicate perfectly with one another through mind-speak, becoming brothers who shared their food, their souls, and sometimes even their bodies.

Meanwhile, Fitz finds Molly where he leasts expects, in the Buckkeep Castle working as a lady’s maid to Patience, the wife of his now-deceased father Chivalry. Patience forbids Fitz to court Molly, because he has royal blood and must only marry who King Shrewd demands he marry. She reminds him he has sworn his life to King Shrewd, and “a man whose duty is sworn to a King has little time for anyone else in his life.”

Fitz knows this is true but he can’t keep away from Molly, and they begin a clandestine affair. Or at least, they think it is clandestine. In a castle full of Skilled people, however, nothing remains secret for long.

Fitz harbors bitterness at just being a “pawn,” especially because it keeps him from just marrying Molly and leaving for a life of contentment with her. But Fool lectures him that his life is more than he thinks, that Fitz in fact is a Catalyst. A Catalyst, Fool explains, is someone who is born in a unique position to alter predetermined events, which in turn cascade into new possibilities. Wherever Fitz is, the Fool says, different forks are taken in history. Fool tells Fitz he can change the future of the world, but Fitz is only horrified by the idea.

The situation with the Outislanders continues to deteriorate, and Verity is desperate, Skilling at all hours and using Fitz’s strength to aid him. Molly decides she has had enough, and tells Fitz she is leaving. For his part, Verity determines he must travel to the Mountain Kingdoms in search of the ancient and perhaps mythical “Elderlings,” who pledged to his Farseer ancestors they would help in a future time of trouble.

When Verity leaves, Chade and Burrich deduce that Kettricken and Fitz are in more danger from Regal than ever, especially since Kettricken is pregnant with another potential rival for Regal. They decide to try to help them escape.

Fitz doesn’t know if Kettricken gets away, but he gets caught, and Regal almost succeeds at killing him by turning others against Fitz because of The Wit. The Wit is seen as a degrading and wicked magic by the people, and they fear it, a fear exploited by Regal. But Fitz has a secret weapon, ironically thanks to his Wit - Nighteyes.
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LibraryThing member prettycurious
This is the second book in the first trilogy set in the world of the Six Duchies and I am so very glad that there are many more books for me to read.

Robin Hobb is very skillful writer, making you feel strongly about all of the main characters, even if what you feel is deep loathing for some of
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them. She expertly ramps up the tension in this book, leaving you wondering all the way through how it is going to end. I really did feel tense in parts, I was that involved in the story. I would recommend this to anyone who likes well-written fantasy but also anyone interested in stories that involve political intrigues, since the fantasy element is definitely secondary to the story.
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LibraryThing member raschneid
As with the first book, I enjoyed this, but I felt it was even more deeply marred by some questionable plotting and a pretty lame villain. I just could not believe that the general populace would have put up with his behavior for months and months, not when his actions had such terrible
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consequences and were consistently indefensible.

Hobb makes the strange choice of explaining his motivations (kind of) long after we've become frustrated with him. Same with the Inner Duchies - they have good historical reasons for acting in really idiotic ways ("pirates pillaging our only trade partners? no prob Bob!"), but these are not fully established until the two-thirds mark.

Pretty nifty ending though!

I'll definitely read the third book, but I need a break first!
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LibraryThing member Cecrow
This second volume gets off to a confusing start, taking a step back in time to disconcertingly contradict some facts and impressions established at the end of the first. Once it finds its wheels, there's a satisfyingly more mature FitzChivalry who has grown with experience despite his young age.
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He has an impressive array of skills, but refreshing in that they can be as much a nuisance and danger to him as an aid. By the end I was even more fully invested in the characters and their world than at the end of the first.

There's a lot more of the Fool and political intrigue, in addition to a few battle scenes. I found the plot strangely non-linear, and I suspect it was written without an outline. It was rarely clear where the story was going next, with little in the way of foreshadowing. This can be a good thing, reducing predictability, but also causes a "making it up as we go along" impression. Fortunately enough was evolving in the background and with FitzChivalry to keep me interested, and I wasn't feeling entirely adrift. Somehow everything came together at the end, and it matched the first book for an exciting wrap-up. I'm ready for volume three.
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LibraryThing member stefferoo
To be honest, I waffled over how to rate this book. I ended up giving it 3 stars, but there were huge swathes of this novel where I was tempted to give it 2. If I could sum up my reading experience in two words, it would be: mentally tiring.

I really enjoyed the ending, and maybe a few chapters here
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and there in the middle, but I have to admit that on the whole I have more negative things to say than positive. Maybe the story actually warranted this book to be so long, but boy, several parts certainly dragged.

On some level, I'm probably still getting used to Hobb's style; I discovered with her Rain Wilds Chronicles series that her individual books tend to feel like they lack direction, but when taken as a whole, the big picture eventually emerges clearly. Given Royal Assassin is the middle book of the Farseer trilogy, perhaps this was what made this "rambling narrative" feeling more apparent. Though it's been quite a while since I read the first book Assassin's Apprentice, I don't recall feeling so frustrated about it, but maybe I was just a bit more tolerant then because it was book one and that made me give it the benefit of the doubt.

I was unfortunately much less patient with this book. I definitely wanted to give it a chance to show me where the story was going, but it really didn't do that until near the end. Before we got to this point, between Fitz's problems with the Forged, with Molly and with Regal, not a lot really happens and I had to fight myself from zoning out.

To be fair, I just didn't find myself very interested in Fitz's character, nor did I really care about his relationship with Molly. I disliked her intensely, actually. I just really can't understand Fitz's obsession with such a clingy, melodramatic and flaky woman. Not unexpectedly, I really couldn't get into the story when so much was centered around their love and their struggles to be with each other.

I also grew irritated by the fact no one besides Fitz seems to give a crap about Regal's shenanigans. I'm not sure Verity really deserves Fitz's hero-worship of him; I've always thought the King-in-Waiting is a great character, but ultimately it's the inexplicable inaction of otherwise very intelligent and rational characters that really started getting on my nerves. I really didn't like that to be the driving force behind the book.

I'll definitely finish the trilogy, as there's the aforementioned "whole big picture" and all that. Like I said, I particularly liked the ending of this book and I'm quite keen on finding out what happens. Part of me thinks, hell, I've come this far already, but another part also knows it'll mostly likely come together.
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LibraryThing member Clint.Sheridan
A strong finish to the Farseer trilogy and a nice setup for anything following (which already exists but I haven't read it).
LibraryThing member phenske
Fantastic book! Had me so angry with and for the characters multiple times that I could not put it down! So well written!
LibraryThing member thatpirategirl
This is a pretty close continuation of the first book -- the good parts are still dramatic and exciting, the bad parts are still ridiculous. The focus this time is more on court politics instead of learning new skills, but Fitz' talents do continue to develop in interesting ways. Many of the side
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characters have become strong forces in the plot too, especially the cryptic Fool and the courageous queen-in-waiting Kettricken.

But the weakest part of the book has to be the ridiculously over-the-top villain, Prince Regal. He was bad in the first book, but I let it slide because I thought there was no way he'd be the central antagonist again. The fact that he gets away with as much as he does makes it hard to take the other characters seriously sometimes, if they're supposed to be so clever.

But once again, despite the flaws, I really enjoyed the overall story. I'm hoping the next book will be less restrained and let the characters deal with what's happening in the world on a greater scale.
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Awards

Chesley Award (Nominee — 1997)

Language

Original publication date

1996

Physical description

704 p.; 9.45 inches

ISBN

0593157923 / 9780593157923
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