I started listening to Royal Assassin as soon as I had finished the first book of the Farseer Trilogy, eager to see how the characters and story would play out.
It took a while to slog through it. The second installment is long, and sometimes moves at a crawling pace... enough that I tend to tune out during the listen. Perhaps the unapologetic bleakness of the characters has something to do with that?
It is an intricately woven tale of honor, loyalty, betrayal and love, but the oppressively depressing quality of the lives of her characters leaves me wondering if the third book in this series by Ms. Hobb will be even more masochistic.
Admittedly, life is not fair in the land of the Six Duchies. I'm impressed with the style, depth, and quality of writing on display. Still, although I have purchased the third book of the trilogy, I don't plan on listening to it anytime soon.
I am not entirely sure what this volume was meant to represent. The moronic story of Kate is aggravating to listen to. She may have been a favorite within the first two novels, but it is decreasingly enjoyable when the author continually puts Kate's own self-interest over everything. By doing so, Mr. Cooper jeopardizes the attempt to continue a thread of a story line or plot with the other characters.
This is a continuation of a series that I rank in the upper 25 percent of favorites so far. I've listened to a fair number of stories and a equal number of series, and this one does not leave me feeling flat. After seven installments, I like where the storyline is going... even if I cannot accurately predict how it will play out for the individual characters. Perhaps that is half of the fun? Honestly, it is a good 'series' listen, but one cannot enjoy the tale unless the story is heard from the beginning. This is not a stand-alone episode, even for one familiar with the characters. I found myself, in the first hour of the listen, trying to remember who/what/where/when/why. A bit distracting, but easily overcome as memory returned and the delight of the story unfolded.
The narration is gold-standard good; Mr. Dufris is an exceptionally gifted actor and his performance is never stale or disingenuous.
I can't wait to hear how Dennis Silva will save the universe!
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