Valentina's Reviews > Fool's Assassin

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb
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I had high anticipations and I started reading with some apprehension. I was one of those readers that never forgot the bittersweet ending of Fool's Fate. I felt if was unjust, especially for some characters. That said, I was more than happy to see where Robin Hobb wanted to go with this new story, I was thrilled.

I'll start with saying that the story proceeds at a very slow pace. This might be fine for the "old" readers, they are used to Fitz and his musings. At the same time it helps the new readers to understand a bit what happened before. It wasn't much the first part that bored me, but actually the whole middle section, from where we start to read our second narrator. This second narrator is interesting, yes, the problem is that in that whole section nothing much happens. At times we just get the same events from two points of view.
When something actually happens, it is relegated to just a few pages in a sea of common events, dresses, shopping and house keeping.
(view spoiler)
I felt the characterization was a bit lacking too. Chade and Riddle had a bit more of spotlight, and they were the best ones in my opinion. I liked when Hap came up, and Patience and Kettricken were, as always, fantastic. As for the new characters, for now they aren't really memorable ((view spoiler)).
Moreover, I want to stress out that Fitz not only has lost his edge, but he is dumber than ever before. He is his usual insensible and self-centered self, but the real problem is that whenever a strange event occurs, he is unable to deal with it and to solve the "mysteries". Worse than that, they seem almost unimportant to him, he just makes a few questions, ponders a bit, and time passes and he is distracted by said house keeping. Let me elaborate in a spoiler heavy tag.
(view spoiler)
The Fool's presence permeates the book, even though he appears only at the end. But when he does appear, that's when the book starts shining. We see him only briefly though and he is in such a state that I'm not sure I liked how he was introduced again. (view spoiler)
Finally, in the last 100 pages the story starts. Up until that point we have just hints and recollections. This whole book just provides a setting. Usually in Robin Hobb trilogies it's the second book which goes at a slow pace. In this case, the first one is already really slow. I read the 600 or so pages in three days, but I have to admit that it takes a strongly dedicated reader, and one that really cares about the characters from the previous books, to go through this one swiftly.
There are some interesting concepts throw in there, the story looks promising. (view spoiler)
It is the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, but for now "Fool's Assassin" is a deceiving title, we didn't get much of the Assassin or of the Fool part.
Fitz is in for another world on pain apparently, and this time I really hope that in a few years we will read a truly happy ending, not a "content" one.

Overall I give three stars. It is a nice setting, a nice read to get in touch with the characters we loved so much, and looks promising. I can't give more because there aren't enough memorable moments in it.


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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 20, 2014 – Shelved
August 20, 2014 – Finished Reading

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