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.
©1999 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor
“Hobb manages to create a kingdom that looks like a fairy tale but feels like the real world---which makes it almost impossible not to become immersed in Hobb's fantasy epic.” (Publishers Weekly)
I thought the first book in this series was quite slow. Royal Assassin doesn't break that trend, but for whatever reason, I didn't mind it as much this time. Fitz is growing up, and the story is getting much more interesting.
The best part of Royal Assassin is the political maneuvering. There's a lot less assassinating and a lot more vying for influence. Readers expecting fast-paced assassin ought to avoid this one.
The narrator is superb, the writing masterful. I only wish that it had been ten or so hours shorter, as I think it was padded with too much unimportant description and scenes. However, I still really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to any who love high fantasy.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
FitzChivalry Farseer, who barely survived an assassination attempt by his uncle, Prince Regal, has returned to Buckkeep where the King, his grandfather, lies dying. His other uncle, Prince Verity, is exhausting himself by trying to keep the kingdom together in the face of increasing attacks by the Red Ship Raiders. The Raiders continue to capture and, through some unknown process, ???Forge??? citizens of the Six Duchies. When these Forged citizens, who are now more like animals than people, are released, they start moving toward Buck Keep. What are they doing? Do they have some sort of programmed mission? What is the goal?
When Prince Verity leaves the castle to look for the ancient (perhaps mythical) Elderlings, life becomes even more difficult for Fitz. He has the horrible job of tracking and killing the Forged Ones; he must avoid Prince Regal???s attempts to kill him; he suspects that King Shrewd is being poisoned; he has to keep secret his ability with the Wit; he has to make sure Kettricken, Verity???s Queen-in-Waiting, is happy and safe in her new home; he must stay away from Molly, the girl he???s in love with while keeping Celerity, the girl that King Shrewd wants him to marry, at arm???s-length.
It???s all rather grueling and the story becomes more and more intense as time goes on. Fitz has the choice to sit and sulk, or to suck it up and act like a man. Fortunately, Fitz has some allies who he knows he can trust: Burrich, the stable master who raised him; Chade, the assassin who trained him; Patience, his dead father???s seemingly scatter-brained wife; and the Fool, an enigmatic little fellow who sometimes shows up with a mysterious riddle that turns out to be exactly what Fitz needed to hear.
Royal Assassin is an excellent second book in Robin Hobb???s FARSEER SAGA. It???s full of action, great characters, intense emotion, political intrigue, and ugly treachery. It???s a little hard to believe that a teenager could be wise enough to be counseling royalty on statecraft and affairs of the heart, but it???s hard to resist FitzChivalry Farseer???s appeal as the inconvenient bastard of a much-loved dead prince. In the first book, Assassin???s Apprentice, Fitz was protected from his ambitious uncle Regal by King Shrewd and Prince Verity, but Shrewd is dying and Verity is gone, leaving Fitz to fend for himself. Hobb hasn???t treated Fitz well up to this point so, even though these events are related in the first person by a future Fitz, the reader feels no assurance that Fitz is going to be okay. And, indeed, he isn???t ??? the ending is surprising and devastating.
I???ve read these books before, but I can???t wait to torture myself again with the third volume of the FARSEER SAGA: Assassin???s Quest. This time I???ve been reading Tantor Audio???s versions which are narrated by Paul Boehmer who does a great job portraying some of my favorite characters in all of fantasy literature.
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
Loved book 1. Liked first half of book 2. Hated 2nd half and book 3. The hero goes from being a child in an adult world, to being a young adult with the mental aptitude of a child. The main character can't seem to make an intelligent decision or stop his incessant whining and 6 year-old behavior. It's just not believable that one could be as stupid as Fitz and live. The more I listened, the more irritating the plot became about mid-way through the conclusion of the trilogy.
I REALLY don't understand why so many authors lately insist on having their main characters spend huge sections of the plot being physically tortured in detail. The unfortunate situation here is book 2 just sets up a repetitiveness of torture and abuse of the main character that continues over and over and over well into many hours of book 3.
Bright spot was superb job by Paul Boehmer.
The intrigue is thick in this one and the fitz is slammed from all angles. Really interesting to see the weird magic being teased out further.
What a masterful storytelling of this 2nd tale of the Assassin's Apprentice trilogy. Can't wait to start the next!!! Yes
This is a worthy successor to the Assassin's Apprentice as a story told of a young man growing amongst court intrigue of the Buck Keep Castle in the Six Dutchies. The story, told in first person, holds nothing back, as Fitz-Chivalry Farseer goes through some of the most trying trials a young man can endure. It is generous in its range of emotions and beautifully written. The second book in the first trilogy of a trilogy and series totalling 9 books, each one dynamic in terms of writing style, story telling, and exciting fantastic political drama. A great read is also a great listen. Highly recommended!
It was just OK
all of them
If I could return this book I would have.
At this point I'm invested in the characters and I am enjoying their tale, however this still feels like ground well covered. The occasional transcendent passage is a pleasure to stumble on but don't expect to be blown away by the writing as a whole.
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