Fool's Assassin

Book One of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy
Narrated by: Elliot Hill
Series: Realms of the Elderlings, Book 14, Fitz and the Fool, Book 1
Length: 27 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,860 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Fool's Assassin

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Who Hired this Narrator?

It was slow, meandering and a little burning. None of the flashes of brilliance in plot or narrative--it honestly felt like a terribly long epilogue. The worst thing however, what the choice in narrator. This man is the worst narrator I have ever heard in my life. Who heard this man and said hey he would be great for your new series, Robin? The cadence, the tone, the inflections--all of which were established with the first two narrators who were wonderful (the 2nd being the best in my opinion)--were completely redone and done horribly. After listening to 6 books, you get used to the way a character sounds, so it's jarring to have that change so drastically. Take artistic license, but Jesus. I mean even the Queen, who has always sounded strong, sensual, foreign, is now a haughty British woman who sounds like she doesn't even have a connection with Fitz (even though it's written that she does). Like she finds him a nuisance. The book would have been okay, but the narrator brought it down. I wish they would hire someone else for the last book. His characters voices are so awful, that his voice makes my spine itch.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Please Audible for Eda & El change the narrator!!!

What didn’t you like about Elliot Hill’s performance?

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.

Any additional comments?

I am begging you to change the narrator!

83 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I'm DONE

What disappointed you about Fool's Assassin?

I agree with the others on the narration.

What didn’t you like about Elliot Hill’s performance?

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

41 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Switching to Kindle version.

How could the performance have been better?

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

104 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fair story with a sub par narration

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?

45 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I Hate Hate HATE when they change the narrator

Any additional comments?

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!!!

68 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good seeing favorite characters. Not hearing them.

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.

49 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Self loathing at its finest

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".

22 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Story falls short of high expectations

What would have made Fool's Assassin better?

I'm a big fan of Robin Hobb and the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies. I absolutely loved the previous trilogies to this story, so I expected more of the same. To say that this book as a whole fell short of those other series would be an understatement. Almost all of the real action comes in the last three hours, and while I don't think a story needs to be constant action to be good, this could have been far more to the point and lost nothing.

Would you ever listen to anything by Robin Hobb again?

Absolutely. Even though I found this particular book to be lacking, I believe in Robin Hobb's ability and I think that she has set us up for a potentially really good 2nd and 3rd book to this series. In spite of this book, I'm very much looking forward to book 2.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Elliot Hill?

Paul Boehmer or Nick Taylor, the people that had narrated the first two series with these characters. Either one. I'm sure Elliot Hill is a great dude, but fell far short of those other two as far as these characters are concerned.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yep, looking forward to book 2 based on the strong finish.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow and pointless.

I loved all her other books, but there wasn't any point to this book. Disappointing.

15 people found this helpful