Nearly 20 years ago, Robin Hobb burst upon the fantasy scene with the first of her acclaimed Farseer novels, Assassin’s Apprentice, which introduced the characters of FitzChivalry Farseer and his uncanny friend the Fool. A watershed moment in modern fantasy, this novel - and those that followed - broke exciting new ground in a beloved genre. Together with George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb helped pave the way for such talented new voices as Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Naomi Novik.
Over the years, Hobb’s imagination has soared throughout the mythic lands of the Six Duchies in such best-selling series as the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. But no matter how far she roamed, her heart always remained with Fitz. And now, at last, she has come home, with an astonishing new novel that opens a dark and gripping chapter in the Farseer saga.
FitzChivalry - royal bastard and former king’s assassin - has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.
Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past...and his future.
Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one....
©2014 Robin Hobb (P)2014 Random House Audio
"Fantasy as it ought to be written... Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons." (George R. R. Martin)
"A gleaming debut in the crowded field of epic fantasies...a delightful take on the powers and politics behind the throne." (Publishers Weekly) on Assassin’s Apprentice)
I have listened to all the other books in Robin Hood's universe which should give you some idea as to how much I liked the other books. This one however, had a monotonous reader that gave little differentiation between the characters. Far worse than the reader was the 27 hours of whining. It seems that the deepest thoughts of every character was how awful everyone else was treating them and how much they deserved it, or didn't deserve it.
One of the biggest mistakes (in my opinion) a fiction writer can make is to have characters that do not act the way they should. You can create a universe with the most ridiculous magic imaginable but if a character is supposed to be intelligent they must act intelligent. If someone is supposed to be a child they must act like a child. If you have read through the other books in this universe then you know the Fitz is supposed to be a very intelligent person and more importantly an EXTREMELY observant person to the point where he was specifically trained in his youth to be observant. His blatant ignorance in regards to *** spoiler ** through most of the whole book was simply unrealistic and made things frustrating.
If you love the other FitzChivalry Farseer books, you'll love this one too! If you haven't read the other two Fitz trilogies yet, do yourself a favor and go read them all first. You won't be sorry. And do not read any more of this review. Then come back here.
Having said that, the middle part of the book did bog down a bit with too much information and detail for me. But when it was exciting, it was thrilling! Still, I will read all of the books in this series. I already know that.
The reader, however, gets in the way of the story. I'm not sure why Elliot Hill was chosen. Perhaps because the book switches between several voices telling the story and maybe they thought he was more suited to the non-Fitz characters. It didn't work. He was quite adequate, no doubt. But these books demand more than that. I gave him 3 stars for being adequate and then took one off because he wasn't Paul Boehmer or James Langton. I particularly dislike his portrayal of the Fool after the pitch-perfect performances of him by the other two men in the previous series.
As usual, Hobb builds a rich, compelling world with fascinating characters. She has a knack of creating characters that you fall in love with and want to nurture and protect. You laugh and cry with them. You feel it when they die.
This book slowly builds to a really heart-stopping ending that leaves you hungrily anticipating the next book. And now I have to wait a whole year. I'm glad I started reading these books only recently because I have devoured them all rather quickly.
A totally different narrator. This one is awful. Little-to-no differentiation between characters, not even by gender or age. Can't tell who is who. He has the voice of a 20-something dandy - not a hero out hunting murderers. He's Regal, not Fitz! Completely inappropriate for a 50yo axe-wielding assassin. Some of his phrasing is off too, harsh, as if he was unsure of how to read the line. After such phenomenon performances in the first 13 books in Hobb's Six Duchies world, this is just sad
The story was OK but felt it could have been much shorter. Had a dislike for far to many characters and poor Fitz just never seems to grow as a character, he is still berated by most every other character and just takes it.
The Change in narrators could have been fine is they would make the new narrator listen to the series and take notes on the voices the previous narrators gave them! in the past 2 series i don't remember the fool sounding German? am i the only one that missed that from the last 2 series?
I agree with the others on the narration.
I agree with the others on the narration. I was able to adapt with the changes in the other trilogys. But this one is just painful. There is no way I can take 27 hours of whispering skill magic. I am sure it is classic Hobb throughout the story and books to come, but there is no way I can make it through with Hill telling the story, especially with the other reviews pointing out further disappointments
I Hate Hate HATE when they change the narrator of a series. It's hard to tell who is who, there's little difference between the characters. Difficult to listen to, very poor performance. Please bring back James Langton!!!
Having read all of the other Fitz books I was looking forward to listening to the latest to come out on audible. I remembered he always had self doubt in the other books but good grief by the end of the book you listen to things with the thought "how is it his fault this time". I will come back and listen to the next one in the series it is a good start, other than his self loathing. The book is mainly a background book to set up the series, one can only hope that in the next book he tells some people to "go to hell".
Say something about yourself!
I am a huge Robin Hobb fan and was so excited when news of a new Fitz and Fool book leaked prematurely. I eagerly pre-ordered and I have to say that I almost returned this audiobook, not because of the story but rather due to the narrator. Elliot Hill, is not a bad narrator. However, he is definitely not the best pick for this book. He just could not capture Fitz. I pressed on with the audio as I have limited time to read a print book (or Kindle book) right now and I just had to know what became of Fitz and the Fool. I loved the story! And I kind of got used to Elliot Hill's narration. Yes, it moves slowly with all the action happening mainly in the last 3 hours. But just because it is slow does not mean that it was frivolous. If you are expecting another Fitz and Fool together again adventuring type book...this is not it. Rather there is a lot of time spent explaining what Fitz has been up to in past years and also several more years. There is also time spent developing new characters, one in particular (don't want to spoil things) has an individual first person narrative for a huge portion of the book. As others have mentioned, the listener can figure out the obvious but Fitz is completely dense and you just want to whack him! Hey! You're a trained assassin, pay attention Fitz and put it together! Ends with a cliffhanger! So Robin Hobb has created new characters and a new story line for us fans to follow and follow I shall. I can not wait for the next book! I don't know if I can recommend this audiobook but I do recommend the book. Just depends on if you can put up with the narrator.
Where to start? The skill conversations got extremely annoying as they are always spoken in a whisper, and because the narrator does not differentiate the voices much at all it made it difficult to follow who was speaking. This was a problem for me throughout even when it was not a skill conversation. The narrator did not convey much emotion to me and made Fitz voice seem snobbish to me, not the experienced hardened man that he is. Please bring back James Langton or Paul Boehmer, who brought so much life to the characters. Listen to the overwhelming number of reviews from your audience on this narration, it is not up to par with the previous narrations.
I am begging you to change the narrator!
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