I have a feeling that everything is going to come together like it did in Ship of Destiny and blow my mind. Hobb has devoted so many 1000s of pages to this world and she is synthesizing it into something ever more incredible. It seems like she can both do no wrong and get away with anything. Because of the long-built depth and richness of this world and our complete investment in the characters, 100s of pages of not all that much happening are still heaven. And a LOT still happened in this book. It had second-bookish moments, but just so much awesomeness: trauma, tension, time with old characters and intriguing new ones.
(view spoiler)[And, oh what character development. I was crying behind my sunglasses as Fitz was revealed and acclaimed at Buckkeep, but even more pleased to see the realistic and not entirely welcome fall out, watching him find himself in another new and unfamiliar role. And the way Fitz and the Fool's relationship has developed, their understanding of each other, is wonderful. I was so heartened to see his acceptance of Amber.
I'm basically incapable of writing a review that isn't just rambling and fangirling, so I will hold my full judgment until the trilogy is finished. (hide spoiler)]...more