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)
The sequel showed no improvement over the first bland book in this series, despite what I was assured by a recommendation.
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.
The first book of this series was great. I quit reading the second book prior to finishing chapter one. I do not like disturbing books. This book talked repeatedly about cutting throats, dismembering children, raping women, killing, blood, death, etc... Not my type of book.
Fine story and great performance. Only weak point would be why would king in waiting go on a quest when father dying/demented and half brother wanting the throne.
This book is very well written, and I like the way you see how the characters grow.
I think the court life is interesting along with the political dilemmas. The plots and schemes are good, but it's missing some action. When ever Robbin takes us into battle we black out and can only remember bits and pieces. I personally love the action of battle in my fantasy books and this is a big hole for this book.
Lastly I don't care much for the love story in this book. I find it hard to believe, but that is why it is a fantasy book I suppose.
In short a good book if you like court life and coos, along with un wavering love. Not so good if crave action and adventure.
About halfnway through and then again toward the end Boehner changed the sound of his voice. I have listened to many titles he has done before and never has this happened as significantly as with this book. It took a few minutes to figure out which character he was doing. Other than that I loved the story. I sometimes read bad reviews regarding Hobbs work, but have never had anything except love and excitement for her work. Some criticize bt saying character development is thin and shallow. Possibly the reason someone might say that is due to then not following this saga. Hobbs builds very intricate characters throughout the saga and then carries them through book by book. If you were to just pick one up mid saga or series, you might be lost a bit, but definitely not if you read the saga as Gibb intends. The first book of this saga that I jumped in with was toward the end. And then fell in love and went to her first and have been working my way through and find detailed intricately woven character development. Hobb has a website to help you figure out how the saga develops in order for the best enjoyment.
Third listen yet come away with something new each time. This time I'm determined to listen to all the books and series in chronological order, since I've finally completed the collection. I do adore the entire collection even having read/listened out of order.
The story is very good but it is Beohmer's reading that makes it great. Characters' are voiced distinctly and convincingly, even the women, without sounding at all silly.
I'm going to be sorry when I reach the end of the published series.
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