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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,614
  • 4 Stars
    1,398
  • 3 Stars
    398
  • 2 Stars
    93
  • 1 Stars
    51

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,502
  • 4 Stars
    1,025
  • 3 Stars
    245
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    32

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,261
  • 4 Stars
    1,099
  • 3 Stars
    356
  • 2 Stars
    81
  • 1 Stars
    53
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Better than the first book.

This one got engaging around chapter 19. The queen in waiting story line added a lot to the overall plot.

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  • Story

The cover looks like a bad meme... decent book.

What made the experience of listening to Royal Assassin the most enjoyable?

Good complex story. Lots of betrayal and frustration.

What did you like best about this story?

A better understanding of how clenched medieval buttcheeks really are.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, but when I did listen to it I had a hard time doing anything else.

Any additional comments?

I'll get the bad stuff out of the way first... There was so much honor and ridiculous posturing in this story that it almost ruined it. I have trouble believing that even IRL courtly life was this tightly clenched at all times. It suffered from what many YA books suffer from... they assume that anyone under a certain age doesn't think about anything but feelings then they use that as a very limp tool to push the various plots forward. "I didn't know what to do, so I did the thing I shouldn't have because, feelings." Or... this one always gets me... "Right then I should have told her that everyone was trying to kill her, but I couldn't because I didn't want everyone to talk bad about me." And guess what... she dies. I'm exaggerating for emphasis of course, but it happens so often it becomes obvious to the reader and just makes roll your eyes and wonder what dumb thing is going to happen next because feelings.<br/>The main character is so up his own ass through the book that any time he acts with clarity it's a surprise. Also, for an assassin he is paranoid about all of the wrong things. During no part of the book did I ever thing of him as dangerous in any way.<br/>Ok, that said... the character's position and the various character dynamics are great and help to weave a good story. I like that there are tid-bits of an underlying story under all of the pomp and YA flailing. The author is really good at keeping their plates spinning, I just hope it all pans out as the story continues. It could all end terribly for all that and I wouldn't care if you just helped me, as the reader, to believe it.<br/>One more thing: The cover... first of all... he likes axes... why does he have a sword? Second, it looks like a terrible meme... it's just missing a housecat. Just, invest in a decent cover artist and update, for the sake of your book sales.

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Fitz is magical

What a true hero, good natured and kind hearted man this Fitz Chivalry. I started the series with the last three books, "The Fitz and the Fool" I believe is the correct order of the names. In these novels, Fitz is retired from the King's service and living as a husband and father. Fitz Chivalry, Beloved (the Fool) nor Night Eyes are newly introduced characters however, I enjoy learning how they came together as a pack. It's all very captivating. I especially love Hobb's reflections on animals including comparisons and distinctions between man and beasts. She writes about animals with dignity and respect.

The story is just intriguing. The details and execution is spot on and so fantastically delicious I can't get enough of it.

Sadly, it deepened my confusion on Hobb's creation of Fitz's daughter Bee, her obnoxious personality and disposition but I'll reserve my opinion of the little cockroach for the reviews I've yet to post on Amazon.

To conclude, I'm glad I read the series early books. I usually always read a series in the proper order, as the author recommends or of course how it's numbered and listed. It worked out well and actually renewed my love of Beloved and Fitz. Fitz is one sexy fictional man.

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Fitz and the Fool

Robin Hobb is a true master of the fantasy genre. The story of Fitz is a coming of age book, which almost has a Shakespearian and Arthurian air. There is something for everyone in the series of Fitz books.

I could probably speak for hours on the merits of this series, but I won’t waste your time, that you could be spending listening to this series instead.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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A Tale of Drudge & Misery With No Payoff

Might this author think her prose so worthy that she may soe her seeds of death and misery with nary a coin for the Birdman? I dislike authors who think to distinguish themselves by writing endless tales of death and hardship. After two books, I simply cannot afford to invest anymore time in this woesome prattle... Reeks of Game of Thrones misery without the pomp and circumstance...

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Good writing, terrible story.

It's boring and stupendously frustrating listening to these handful of characters make stupid decisions and be overcome by such a stupid villain character. I deleted this book after seeing there was still 11 hours to go because I just couldn't stand it anymore.

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Loved it

What did you love best about Royal Assassin?

If you liked the first book this is more of the same great writing. I found myself really relating to the characters. High recommend. I am shelving it somewhere near the Red Rising Trilogy. Very different stories but both really speak to me.

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frustrating

An entire book of victims with ZERO heroes. The only character to take positive actions towards achieving any goals is the villain. An entire cast that wishing to talk about all the problems in the world but do nothing. The villain is allowed to run wild with zero opposition. I don't want to get lost in a fantasy that is even more frustrating an impotent then real life.

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Well crafted characters but everything else is awful.

Hobb does an excellent job of creating interesting fleshed out characters. However, the plot and story do those characters no service.

This is a very very long book and yet, in a way, almost nothing happens in it. There are some important events but Hobb is more concerned with the daily lives and slow changes in the relationships of her characters than with the attempted usurpation of the throne the story is ostensibly about. This is a huge problem because while those relationships can be interesting for a time it eventually becomes clear that everything that goes wrong is because of the good characters' inaction. The main character knows what the villain's plan is and throughout the story either chooses to do nothing to stop it or is told to do nothing by his superiors. So when bad things happen it was impossible for me to feel bad for him because he'd done nothing to prevent them.

This book is awful from all points but one. The characters. But if the villain wins because of the main characters staggering incompetence and an utter lack of attempts to stop him, good characters are not a saving grace. I turned on them long before the story ended because of their stupidity and refusal to do event the slightest thing to hinder the villain. I only completed the book out of obligation.

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Absolutely frustrating

This has got to be the most frustrating piece of fiction I've read in a long time!! There is a clear line of of good and evil. Nothing new there but the foolish, naivety of the characters to properly deal with their foes is astounding. Instead, they continuously turn a blind eye to all their plots and schemes. In fact, they take it one step further and grant their foes every opportunity to take advantage of them and yet seem to manage shock and surprise at the outcome. This book left me baffled. I didn't even want to finish it.