I'm going to be suffering from withdraw for the next 2 months while I wait for the next book in this series to come out in audio... I've been looking ..Show More »for a good series to start with this author, but the only one audible has had in the past is the Soldier Son series and by all reports it isn't her best work. After reading this I think it likely I will pick that series up anyway, since even this author's sub-par work is still likely to be quite good.
This book is not heavy on fight scenes, and the main character isn't even that good in a face-to-face fight when it happens. Indeed, for an assassin he manages to kill and wound very few people, and is generally quite nice and likable. The thing that makes this story so excellent is it's world-building and attention to detail, and its ability to build and sustain tension. The plot moves from point to point and as one tension eases, another takes up the slack, drawing you constantly onward and never producing a dull moment. The characters are so well done that I can think of real people who have less personality. I can see how the lack of action might deter some people, but if you enjoy detailed world-building and excellent writing, this is a book you are sure to enjoy.
Another person mentioned the "Night Angel" series, which I have personally read and enjoyed - this however, is the EXACT opposite take on a fantasy assassin series in every way I can think of (and is written far better). Also, I don't know what it is about this reader and assassin books, but he is well suited to it.
Read a hard copy some years ago-wonderful rich enchanting. But I really hope robin hobb rethinks the narrator....grating, classist and way to refined ..Show More »and constricted to create the variation in voices this story deserved😢
The problem with writing an entire book from a single perspective is that if the character fails to notice/understand something the reader does there ..Show More »is usually very little excuse for it besides stupidity/thickness. The reader possesses little or no outside knowledge but the character fails to make connections - this can become frustrating. Part of the problem is, I think, the reader (or perhaps the tone of the narrator, who is the main character but older) - it makes it hard to remember the character's age and lack of experience. That said, if you can keep your perspective this probably wont bother you too much.
This book has a great deal of plot development, but manages to leave us completely up in the air as to what direction the next book will take. As many questions are answered as generated. The romantic angle is hit especially hard - I was expecting the typical cycle of "fall in love, discover its doomed, succeed despite the odds and live happily ever after" but its more like "fall in love, doomed, more doomed, miracle, seriously doomed, screw it we're doing it anyway, DOOM, all is lost, oh look there are other girls, oh wait maybe not..." - poor guy gets the rug pulled out from under him over and over and over. The romantic angle is never my favorite, but at least this one has some variation (and I'm pretty sure its 90% done with for this series).
All in all this is a fairly massive setup for the third book, all the stages are set for something to happen - I just have no idea what.
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 rel..Show More »uctant 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.
I really enjoyed the other two books in this series. Which in a way makes this book even worse. Everything I liked about Fits is removed, and all ..Show More »that is left is a stumbling selfish idiot. He has become a slave to his emotions (mainly fear) with no resolve. Several times after deciding something he would just turn right around with the excuse "I could not stop myself" or "I just had to do it". At one point I got so angry over one of these I had to stop the audiobook and go hit my kitchen table.
In fact if I think about it, I don't like the way any of the characters have developed, except for perhaps Nighteyes.
After every chapter there is a section where the narrator just gives reader information about the world. These are often repetitive and we get told a lot of things we already know. At at least two points the narrator pauses from the story and provides spoilers of whats gonna happen.
I just started with part 5 and i honestly don't want to continue. I think I'll just pretend book 2 ended with Fits living happily ever after as a wolf.