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Assassin's Quest: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 3 | [Robin Hobb]

Assassin's Quest: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 3

King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz - or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest - perhaps to death. Only Verity's return - or the heir his princess carries - can save the Six Duchies.
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Publisher's Summary

From an extraordinary voice in fantasy comes the stunning conclusion to the Farseer Trilogy, as FitzChivalry confronts his destiny as the catalyst who holds the fate of the kingdom of the Six Duchies...and the world itself.

King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz - or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest - perhaps to death. Only Verity's return - or the heir his princess carries - can save the Six Duchies. But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him - currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was.

Catch up with the rest of the Farseer trilogy.

©1999 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Spooky Wolf 09-18-12
    Spooky Wolf 09-18-12 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "A fantastic, but exhausting ride"
    Would you listen to Assassin's Quest again? Why?

    Perhaps, if I had someone to share the entire trilogy with. Alone, no... it was just too long.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The writer really fleshed out the wit magic and bond with the wolf to an extreme, which I was all over.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Boehmer – was your favorite?

    Its hard to choose, but I would say the character that I enjoyed the most was the Fool, even though hearing unexpected wisdom from Night Eyes usually had me pondering or nodding in agreement.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The end is just the beginning


    Any additional comments?

    This book takes a strange turn from the previous books. Though, I will say each book in the trilogy has its own feel to it. The first one is a coming of age in a world of political intrigue while the 2nd is more of Fitz trying to be the glue that holds everything and everyone together. And this book is that glue breaking, and the world falls apart almost compleately. This book crushes your hopes over and over and over again. At the same time, it introduces to ideas, and further fleshes out old ones. I will say this book is too long, and should have been split into 2 books, as the first half of the book feels like its own story..VENGENCE. While the 2nd half of the book is more of a quest to find Verity.

    I won't spoil the end, but its a bit sad and a bit endearing. I will say I wasn't too pleased with the hero's decisions to how to live out his final days, but to each their own.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 11-04-13
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 11-04-13 Member Since 2008

    Holly

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Weary of a Stupid Hero"

    By the end of Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy, I see that he takes a page from the Wheel of Time's reluctant hero, Rand. Except Fitz is far more than reluctant hero. He is just stupid. In the first two books I could forgive it because he is just a teenager. But as he ages, and even admits understanding and takes on new resolves, he immediately forgets them the next day in some fit of anger or his misguided sense of justice. If I'm going to dedicate 39 hours of my life to a third book, I expect some personal growth from the main character. Even the wolf has better sense.

    Having said all that, Hobb is masterful in making me care! So in spite of all the tedium and lack of ongoing personal, sustained understanding by the main character, I cared what happened to Fitz and all the other characters. Hobb does a good job of developing all of them, and even getting right to the heart of the feelings of the female characters. He pulls together all the story lines and resolves them. I laughed out loud at the resolution of one of the tiniest story lines that I would have expected to be dropped out sight.

    I was ready for the end but was vastly disappointed in that Fitz finally achieved what he wanted. A life of his own choosing. But his decision about what to do with it continues his reign of stupidity. I could have sat there at the end of the audio and picked through how everyone else chewed him up and spit him out for their own gain, blaming them for his final decision. But then I remember how the "catalyst" created every situation all by himself. The ending is, indeed, tragic. And because Hobb somehow made me care, I cried.

    Boehmer is a good narrator and makes the characters easily understood.

    If you have read the first two books, you will want to read the last one. And there is no place within it I can say, "you can skip all this and go right to here." You'll have to slog through. Focusing on the Fool will get you through it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Syracuse, NY, United States 09-15-13
    Gregory Syracuse, NY, United States 09-15-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    28
    2
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    0
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    "Makes you hate the protagonist"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Characters keep secrets for no reason and generally do not act like people. The main character who is lovingly humble in the first book comes off as winy and miserable to the point of being EMO in this one. With little to no catharsis in the ending it is my recommendation that if you enjoyed the first two of the series, do not pick up the last one.This would have been infinitely better if the author had not tortured his character constantly without it really forwarding the plot its a bit weird to be honest...


    What could Robin Hobb have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Even out the good with the bad. Its fine having a character go through hardships that they overcome but this guy doesn't ever seem to overcome anything. He just gets mangled and eventually saved by someone else and he is usually not bettered by the experience.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Paul Boehmer?

    Yes. Paul Boehmer was great.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    the first book.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Tupelo, MS, United States 12-29-11
    John Tupelo, MS, United States 12-29-11 Member Since 2003

    Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story Became More Irritating"

    After great start with first 1.5 books of trilogy, the last 1.5 books became never-ending situations of ineptness and self-loathing for the main character.... leading to cycle after cycle of running, capture, torture and escape. Since the main character is "writing" the story down as the narrator, it's sort of stupid to send him through so many beat-down situations - you know he lives.

    The plot sets up situations you can see a mile away, but the stupidity of the "hero" leaves you shaking your head. It's just hard to grasp that the villain has ZERO consequences through 3 books until the last few pages. His plots are known by everyone at the end of book one and there were no consequences???

    The one bright spot was Paul Boehmer - one of the best jobs I've ever listed to.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J HYRUM, UT, United States 09-26-12
    J HYRUM, UT, United States 09-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Despite Lacking Narration"

    The final book in the series, and absolutely the best of the trilogy. The ending, to me, was all very unexpected. There was an interesting twist on dragons and the romantic interests in the the story. Definitely a suggested book, if you can handle the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Fresno, CA, United States 05-11-12
    Melinda Fresno, CA, United States 05-11-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    3
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    "Good, but not brilliant"

    The story is good, the narration well done, but it was all perhaps a bit too long. The length as such wasn't a problem; it's simply that it allowed the characters, specifically Fitz Chivalry, too much time to become tedious. After a while, Fitz's blinding stupidity seriously started to get on my nerves. I know not everyone can be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but Fitz's inability to grasp any concept or information not plainly spelled out for him becomes quite annoying, especially as the other characters make no effort to compensate for him. How they could possibly miss that the penny wasn't dropping for Fitz is beyond me, but somehow they do. It's a pity because it really did start to detract from the story and left the reader feeling let down. Somehow you just expect more from a story's hero than that, even if it is less realistic. There were also one or two other characters who I thought could have been written out because I never did quite see the point except to prolong the story, but that's just my opinion.

    The story itself was entertaining and good, although somewhat predictable. There is, however, one twist at the end that I didn't see coming that was quite good and left a smile on my face. If you've read and liked the previous Farseer books this is a must but it isn't Hobb's best.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Atkinson CA United States 04-13-11
    E. Atkinson CA United States 04-13-11 Member Since 2005

    xdaedalusx

    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    "Completes the series"

    I enjoyed the first book and, started to lose interest by the end of the second book. I hoped that the Third would bring some closure and it did tie up some of the loose ends, but not in a satisfying manner. The action was all second and third hand, there was a lot of time that the characters spent in a foggy fugue state that couldn't hold my attention. Even the climax of the book, the big battle with the Red ships was told in a boring dry manner. Finished, just finished, no need to reread it.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 05-05-12
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2009

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    915
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    "Glory and Heartache"

    FitzChivalry Farseer???s life keeps getting worse. He has once again barely ??? and I mean just barely ??? survived Uncle Regal???s machinations. As Assassin???s Quest, the third book in Robin Hobb???s FARSEER trilogy, opens, Fitz???s situation seems hopeless. Only a couple of people know he still lives and Molly is not one of them. She???s gone, and it seems safest for Fitz to let her live in ignorance.

    Meanwhile, Fitz???s uncle Regal has declared himself king in the Six Duchies. He demands exorbitant taxes, has abandoned Buck Town and left Buckkeep in the hands of a foreigner, and has in essence given up the area to the Red Ship Raiders. Not only has Fitz suffered at Regal???s hands, the coastal duchies suffer too.

    Once Fitz is standing on his own two feet again, he decides to get revenge for what Regal has done to him personally and to the Six Duchies. But Regal is protected by a coterie of skillers and some rather nasty soldiers. As Fitz tries to hunt down Regal, Prince Verity begins skilling to Fitz and asking for help. Fitz is the only person who knows that Verity still lives, but it???s not long before Regal discovers that both of his worst two enemies, FitzChivalry and Verity Farseer, are alive. Of course, Regal wants to get them before they get him.

    Assassin???s Quest takes a while to really get going, and there???s some rehearsal of old events, but I think it had to be that way ??? Fitz???s recovery must be slow, or it wouldn???t be believable. Hobb puts this time to good use, though. We learn about Burrich???s childhood and grow to love him even more for what he sacrificed for Fitz. Molly also becomes even more admirable as we see her trying to make the most of her unfortunate circumstances.

    Once Fitz is able to travel ??? and there is a lot of traveling ??? the pace is still slow, but by now the reader is so devoted to FitzChivalry Farseer and his wolf that it feels more like we???re spending time with old friends than trying to get through a novel. Along the way we meet a few new characters, most notably the minstrel Starling and a mysterious old lady, and eventually Fitz falls back in with some characters who we already love and have been missing. Besides the slow pace, which I really didn???t mind too much, my only complaint is that I had a hard time believing that Fitz doesn???t want Molly to know he???s alive. This felt like it was contrived to break my heart, but I must say that it worked.

    In the end there is some glory for Fitz and the Six Duchies, but it???s accompanied by much heartache. This isn???t one of those fantasies where everyone lives happily ever after. Readers should know that though this is the end of the FARSEER trilogy, Fitz???s story continues in Robin Hobb???s next trilogy, THE TAWNY MAN. I???ve been listening to Tantor Audio???s excellent version of FARSEER and so far they have not put TAWNY MAN on audio, but they do have LIVESHIP TRADERS, a related trilogy on audio. I hope we???ll be seeing TAWNY MAN in audio sometime soon because audio readers are not going to want to wait for it. Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada 11-20-12
    Gina Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada 11-20-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Definitely enjoyed it."

    It's rare to find books this long that are actually interesting the entire time. After so many hours of having the such rich, well developed characters around, I really missed them when the book was over! I'm not a big fantasy fan, but I found this series to be different and quite unique in some of the concepts used... although that is maybe a neophyte's opinion! The ending was somewhat unsatisfying, but the rest of the book was great. I was sad when it was over.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorena Monmouth, OR, United States 06-06-12
    Lorena Monmouth, OR, United States 06-06-12 Member Since 2011

    “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ¯ Mark Twain

    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
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    40
    18
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    23
    5
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    "Engaging, entertaining, thought provoking"
    What made the experience of listening to Assassin's Quest the most enjoyable?

    Between Robin Hobb's unquestionable talent for creating true to life characters and Boehmer's ability to tell the story like it's his, you feel as though you've just spent a weekend in front of the fire with Fitz while he entranced you with his life story. While you may not love Fitz (he is most definitely a fallible character), you can't help but feel his love, his wounds, his victories and his losses.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters. The depth of each character in this story is simply astounding. Even using the first person narrative, Hobb is able to create a whole host of realistically complex personalities.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Boehmer – was your favorite?

    The Fool is one of the best characters ever written. He is mysterious, comical, tragic, and heartwarming all at once.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If only there were enough hours in the day, I would listen to all three Farseer books without pause.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the third book of an epic fantacy that every fantacy fan must read. I gave it four stars only because I found the other two books to be slightly more enjoyable. This was mostly because the author led you up to the end in exquisite detail and them suddenly ended the story. The ending is complete, it just doesn't have the fullness of description and life that the rest of the story has. That said, this isstill one of the best stories I've ever encountered.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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