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Publisher's Summary

The second volume in Robin Hobb’s internationally best-selling Farseer series.

We are here Fitz, you and I, to change the future and the world…

Fitz dreams of Red-Ship Raiders sacking a coastal village, leaving not a single man, woman, or child alive. Tortured by this terrible vision, he returns to the Six Duchies court where all is far from well.

King Shrewd has been struck down by a mysterious illness and King-in-waiting, Verity, spends all his time attempting to conjure storms to confuse and destroy the Red-Ship Raiders. And when he leaves on an insane mission to seek out the mystical Elderings, Fitz is left alone and friendless but for the wolf Nighteyes and the King’s Fool with his cryptic prophesies.

©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

“Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers … what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.” ( The Times)
“In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons” (George R. R. Martin)

What listeners say about Royal Assassin

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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To much angst and not enough intelligence in story

I can’t finish this book. The characters are both hypercapable in some aspects but then also unbelievably useless in others. Provides a background for lots of self flagellation and angst, but not much else.
How can you continue accepting a “king” who is so cunning and manipulative he has everyone tied in knots and scared of reprisal, yet he allows a blatantly treasonous and shallow son to keep attempting to kill or disable him, and also orders no one else to stop him either. They all bloody deserve it for being so incompetent.
Eventually just gave me the irrits

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Some EXTRAORDINARY pronunciations

When a narrator can jolt a listener out of a world created by the author it is woeful. It's so hard to pick up the thread and move on when the irritation lasts a while. This narrator seemed incapable of sounding o as in hot, cot, dot etc. He insisted on adding an r... so hot became hort, cot- cort etc. I'm pretty sure it was an affectation (probably trying for received British accent) because every so often he forgot ... er I mean forgort haha and pronounced that sound as most people would... When he did slip up it was when he was moving faster through the text at moments of tension. He put in an OK effort in tone, pitch, speed etc, but there were a few 'blinders' in pronunication appart frorm the o sound.
If the story had been weaker I would have given up long before the end. Do editors ever listen to the product part way through a recording??? If they did, they could catch these irritants and deliver a much better product... er... prorduct.

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Stunning

This book is quite simply stunning and an amazing follow up to 'Assassin's Apprentice'. The audiobook is beautifully told, too, and thus you must add it to your library!

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Excellent book and performance!

Paul Boehmer acts so incredibly the characters in the book and Robin Hobb has written a truly wonderful story. It was thoroughly enjoyable experience!

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Even more awesome than part 1

I really enjoyed part 1 of this trilogy, Assassin's Apprentice, and hoped that this even longer sequel would be as good. Well, as it turned out I found it even better! Hobb's style of writing, especially when combined with Boehmer's narration, evokes something like a combination of a Grimm fairytale atmosphere, with hints of mythology and ancient lore. I could even detect some Star Wars, with a grand romance, great evil, lots of action and something resembling Jedi force use!

This is fantasy as it should be done. Can't get enough of it.

I cannot wait to start listening to part 3, and then on to the other six (!) Realms of the Elderings books (two more trilogies, yea!)

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The Best of the Best

There is no one like Robin Hobb, I loved all of her books and now listening to the narration has been an amazing re-journeying back into the Farseers lives.

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Great listen

In spite of other reviewers I thought the narrator did a good job. The story was good and involving.

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Getting used to the narrator!

Not cringing so much and despite upper class accent he is doing a fine job. The story is brilliant and worth the agony of narration.

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Absolutely stunning performance by Paul Boehmer

The Farseer trilogy is quickly becoming one of my favorite works of fiction. The author carefully builds a gallery of complex and believable characters that both fulfill and transcend their given archetypes. The setting is deep and engaging and the story that takes place there is an absolutely masterful tour of themes like loyalty, friendship, love, duty, hatred and sacrifice. Robin Hobb constructs a living, breathing world around the characters with the immersive writer's voice that she maintains throughout the work. This is in turn rendered magnificently by Paul Boehner, who reads it as if it were an autobiographical work from another life. I will recommend it to my friends, and I recommend it to you.

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Could not stop listening

Any additional comments?

An excellent follow up to Assassin's Apprentice, this book is full of action and adventure. Several times I found myself sitting in my car for several minutes at the end of my commute, waiting for a good place to pause the story, but they are hard to find! Once again, Paul Boehmer reads excellently, and does the story a great justice in the telling.

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  • Tai Jorgensen
  • 01-06-17

Dont know what it is...

I love parts of the book, when I get involved with strong feelings towards the charcters and events of the story. I just dont think that happens quite enough.
Not quite enough is what I think about much of this and the other Farseer books. I dont quite see it, dont quite feel it, dont quite love it.

And yet I want to read on.
I dont know what it is...

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bundoodragon
  • 07-21-16

Disappointing

I loved reading the first book in the trilogy, and still think Robin Hobb a good author. While the story here is inventive and I was looking forward to listening to this one, it was spoiled by the narration. Is this meant to be an English accent? Incompetent voice coach if it is. I would have given no stars if possible. I shall get the third book from the library and read it, far more satisfying to give the characters voices n my own head.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Samantha
  • 03-08-17

Great story but readers voice changes

accents forgotten and wrong voices used for the wrong characters it can be a little confusing

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • melpem
  • 04-12-21

I live these books but not the narrator

I have read the books many times and I never got the audio books dur to the narrarors annoying fake British accent but in the end gave in for the love of Fitz and the fool.
still annoys me

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-26-21

Narrator is appalling

Great story and great to read, but the narrator is awful, takes you out of the world. Recommend buying the book instead.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-22-20

excellent story and world-building but...

the performance is shocking at times, with a glaringly fake English accent. hire someone who's actually English if you want that kind of sound, it's passable at times but it's immersion shattering in some moments. he's obviously American

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-20

Fake British Narration

Paul Boehmer has one of the worst fake British accents I've ever heard. It sounds so strange to British ears! So many outlandish mispronunciations, I found it quite amusing... The book itself is fantastic, I enjoyed it even more than the first one. Night eyes is such a great character.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrew Cochrane
  • 08-28-18

narrated is inconsistent but story good

the narrate is just as frustrating as ever with his terrible fake accent, although it's less jarring 2 books in. I don't see why he changed his voice for Burridge compared to the first, nor why he changed it for Fitz from boy to man mid way through a chapter

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-26-18

Poor narration, great book

Despite really poor accent from the narrator this is a great book and I would heartily recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • K Walker
  • 12-20-17

Great Story, Mediocre Accents

I really enjoyed this book, a good story, well thought out. Sadly the reader drops accent a fair few times.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 06-22-17

Disappointing

This is a frustrating book. Fitz is so incredibly dumb that almost the whole book you'll be shaking your head wondering wtf the author was thinking. His friends aren't much brighter.

A big step down from book 1.

Performance was good.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 03-13-18

great story, average performance

fitz sporadically sounds american which is distracting and cook is irish when it pleases the performer. these inconsistencies take you out of this perfect world Robin Hobb has built. i wouldnt let these criticisms stop you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael L. Titter
  • 05-03-21

A classic story

I love this series and the performance is great. I will revisit this one for sure

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-21

Stunning sequel!

Such a great sequel. The character development continues where you left off in the previous book. such raw and real emotion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Valentina
  • 01-22-21

Great read

I love this series so much can wait to start with the final book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bronz
  • 01-03-21

Farseer series

Great story. Well read. Can't wait to get the next in the series. I love Tobin Hobb's writing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-20-20

great read

Inticing and great pacing throughout, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The narration was great too, not sure what others are complaining about. I will be starting the second book tonight and can't wait!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Murphy
  • 09-30-20

Just as good on the 2nd Listen!

Fantastic character development, you really care for the characters! This is my second time listening to it on audio. Just as good as the first time!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 04-29-20

A fun romp through familiar territory.

This story neither pushes new territory nor competes with any of the greats in fantasy; that said, it does bring with it a kind of cozy homeliness that's the mark of an author, comfortable in their tried and tested traditions. Worth reading of you're into fantasy but have consumed other, more noteworthy titles.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brie
  • 08-19-19

amazing book couldn't stop listening

more addicted than ever to this author now. can't wait to listen to the next one!

highly recommended