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)
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
As the title says this is #2 in the series. If you have not read book #1 you will not enjoy this book. Book one, develops the main characters and if you start here you will think he is some whinny sick boy. You must read book one to understand the characters.
If you have read book one, then you are in for a treat. When I first read this series I actually liked the second book better then the first. In this book there is less of Chade and more of the Fool. There is more about the wit, a talent I believe would be great to have. Fitz starts the story out sick and pretty much stays sick and hurt throughout the book. Regal has a bigger meaner part in this and Verity leaves Buck Keep.
Like most of Hobb's books you really get caught up in the lives of these people. Hobb does better character development then anyone I know. For the second reading this did get a little long, yet I still enjoyed it, though not as much as the first time. All of Hobb's characters are flawed, even though the leading character tries hard to do well. I did get a little frustrated with the way Fitz treated Molly. If I had been in the same situation I am sure I would have chosen the girl over the King, but I am not Fitz.
The Liveship series is my favorite series by anyone and then Hobb's Forrest Mage series and then this series. I hope to soon complete the Dragon series, which may bump this series down to 4th place.
I have also started to enjoy reading Hobb's first books, written under the name of Megan Lindholm, I hope they come out on audible.
Narrator is excellent.
Despite a not so good narration, this was way better than the first book. The ending was awesome and unexpected, and made me excited to read the next book. The hero really comes out in this one.
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.
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.
Again its pace is slow, but it manages to keep you enthralled both with the characters and the plots. You never know what small detail will be important later in the story.
The pace is worth the realism of watching him turn from a child into a man. Cant wait for the next one.
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