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“Royal Assassin” by Robin Hobb Book Review

Book: Royal Assassin

Author: Robin Hobb

Series: Farseer Trilogy #2

675 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 1, 1996

Price at Amazon

“Wolves have no kings.”

FitzChivalry has survived. By the end of the first book, he has successfully completed the most important mission King Shrewd gave him, but the price he paid for his survival has scarred him forever. I started the book with very high expectations because the ending of Assassin’s Apprentice hit me hard emotionally. The fact that Fitz grew from a six-year-old to an adult before my eyes made me feel like an adoptive mother, and his suffering touched me deeply.

In the second book, Fitz is a tortured child who has to fight the effects of the poison he has been given. He is physically and mentally crippled. The court murderer is haunted by his constant fears and has to learn to live with himself. Wit is a part of him, and although he is ashamed of his abilities, Fitz cannot hide what runs through his veins. He has to overcome his inhibitions and accept what he is capable of.

Royal Assassin elaborates

“We are what we are.”

Royal Assassin reveals and exposes the true face of the enemy. We get another object to focus our hatred on, besides Prince Regal of course. The pirates with the Red Ship Raiders are terrorizing the coast of the Six Duchies. Years of peace have made the nation an easy target for the unscrupulous islanders. In this book, revelations about spells, abilities, and remelting help us better understand magic in this world. The power of the Prophets is far more than mind reading and telepathy. Those who have mastered this ability can control and alter the minds of the unprotected. Those who have mastered this ability are a dangerous weapon, and the whole Coterie is like an army. Of course, all power comes at a price, and Robin Hobb does well to understand that.

The boy Fitz is no longer a boy, but an adolescent. As I mentioned in the review of the first book, Robin Hobb very skillfully conveys the character’s thoughts and concerns in a manner appropriate to his age. And here Fitz gets caught up in a whirlwind of emotions that is quite typical for an 18-19 year old. Torn between his duty to King Shrewd and the romantic fluttering of his heart, our hero experiences many dark moments and has to face his fears. Once again, he finds himself in a world of intrigue and palace games, where prestige is as important to survival as the ability to wield a sword.

Robin Hobb

What I like about Hobb’s style is that despite the fact that the book is written entirely as Fitz’s personal story, we have very strong secondary characters. Burrich and the Jester are well fleshed out characters and their actions feel like they influence the course of the plot. Kettricken is not my favorite character, and Molly is a bit annoying. It’s disappointing that there isn’t a strong female character. Another thing I didn’t like was Fitz and Molly’s love story. It was too drawn out for me and dragged on. I was waiting for the first step and then the drama surrounding their relationship. But the ending made up for it. I wouldn’t have expected anything like that from any of the alternative endings I’ve unknowingly played through. Hats off to Robin Hobb! Because it’s not 100 pages in that The Court Assassin’s story goes to the next level and manages to anchor itself among my favorite series. The “old but gold” rule applies with full force.

Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Assassin’s Apprentice #1

“Assassin’s Quest” #3

Dora

Hello, my name is Todora, but now also known as Dochka or Docheto. I have two wonderful dragons at home (boys ages 5 and 7) that I am trying to raise in the love of books. I was quite a chatterbox as a kid when I had required reading in school, and now I am trying to make up for it. I love reading fantasy, sweet endings are not my "thing". I love it when there are struggles, intrigue, and surprises in a book that shake you to your core. If I fell into paranoia that all the characters were traitors, my rating would be 5 stars. In short, I love to read and if one day I find a way to make this my sole occupation and get paid for it :D, I will have stumbled into heaven.

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