Sean Barrs the Bookdragon's Reviews > Royal Assassin

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, 5-star-reads
Read 2 times. Last read October 9, 2015.

Fitzchivalry really does feel sorry for himself. He is very whiney at times, and this is often misinterpreted as self-indulgent uselessness. But, in my opinion, that’s completely unfair. Resting on his shoulders is a whole host of burdens. They would, no doubt, overcome a lesser man. Every decision he makes is hindered by his obligations. Indeed, nothing is easy for Fitz; he is restricted by his position in the world. This doesn’t make him useless, but limited in the actual paths he can take. Sometimes he doesn’t really have a choice, so his inaction can be seen as hesitation whilst he tries to find the best path.

A touch of Romance in the chaos

description

Somehow amongst his vast duties to his King, which include being his personal assassin and a reservoir of magical strength for his son, Fitz manages to find romance. This is a feat in itself because Fitz is also magically bonded to a wolf, which demands a great deal of his already sought after attention. And to top it off, he is hunting down and killing those that have had their minds destroyed by the mysterious invaders. Then there’s the skill magic which is a constant drain on his mental and physical resources. So, the fact that he has actually managed to find love, in this quagmire of murder and court intrigue, is truly remarkable. However, this could never become serious in this moment of FitzChivalry’s life because he just has too much going on.

Therefore, what will lead him into love will, ultimately, lead him out of it. Fitz is a king’s man, and that must always come first. His honour demands it; the six duchies demand it, and his masters demand it. He has no choice but to give everything he has over to the Farseer reign; he has to because they have no hope of defeating the red ships without him. Fitz simply isn’t ready for the relationship he pursues, which, of course, he doesn’t really know. Not yet anyway. I guess he learns a lot through this novel and, as ever, develops into a better person. Life certainly isn’t easy for Fitz.

A king that could (should?) have been

description

A moment presents itself in this novel; it is a moment that would have changed Fitz’s life forever; it is a moment that would have changed the six duchies, and the nature of this story, forever if Fitz has given in to temptation. His honour and integrity are immortalised in this moment; it was at this point in the story that I realised the true nature of the protagonist. He is an assassin, but his personality is more suited to that of a noble knight. Fitz will always come through in the end, but it’s good to know where his loyalties lie. He will always have a role to play; he will always be truly loyal to the Farseer throne, but could never take it for himself. He is “sacrifice” not King. Something tells me there are the pale fingers of the Fool in all of this; he doesn’t want his catalyst, and his pack, tied down.

“Come, hunt with me, the invitation whispers in my heart. Leave the pain behind and let your life be your own again. There is a place where all time is now, and the choices are simple and always your own. Wolves have no kings.”

This novel was so much better than the first one, which says a lot considering I gave that five stars. I think this is mainly because Fitz has a much larger role to play. He can change things and has strong political opportunities of his own; he can, essentially, become more than he is, if he so chose. Fitz was too young to alter the fate of the Six Duchies before. Now, in this, he is much older. His voice has more weight and his actions have larger consequences. However, he may be older, but he still hasn’t fully developed his wisdom. When the chance comes for justice he almost loses everything; he will most certainly learn from this most reckless error.

I love the magic; I love the characters; I love the writing: I simply love it all.

The Farseer Trilogy
1. Assassin's Apprentice-An overwhelming five stars
2. Royal Assassin- A character defining five stars
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 16, 2014 – Shelved
May 27, 2015 – Shelved as: fantasy
Started Reading
October 9, 2015 – Finished Reading
February 13, 2016 – Shelved as: 5-star-reads

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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Srividya I simply love this series. I have just read the first two and am going to read the third now but I simply fell in love with it. Hobb really writes beautifully and Fitz, well despite his many faults is someone who you end up loving and cheering for! :) Glad you enjoyed it too!


Craig "NEEDS MORE DAMN TIME TO READ !!!!" I picked up some Hobb books today. Heard good things about her. Unfortunately they are a mish mash like part one of this series part two of that and so on. It's a start though!


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Srividya wrote: "I simply love this series. I have just read the first two and am going to read the third now but I simply fell in love with it. Hobb really writes beautifully and Fitz, well despite his many faults..."

I do too. I'm finding myself judging other fantasy novels by the benchmark Hobb creates!


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Craig "NEEDS MORE DAMN TIME TO READ !!!!" wrote: "I picked up some Hobb books today. Heard good things about her. Unfortunately they are a mish mash like part one of this series part two of that and so on. It's a start though!"

It is indeed. I actually started with the seventh book in the series, them I went back to the start. ;)


message 5: by Markus (last edited Oct 10, 2015 12:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Markus I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't understand how a person with such a good book taste can actually love this...

Nah, just kidding. Heh. I did think the first one was good and the second okay, but it's mostly after having finished the third that the series has been sinking in my estimate. I see the appeal in these books, and there are certain aspects of Hobb's writing that I do like, but unfortunately Assassin's Quest is the worst fantasy book I have ever read.

And great review btw, even though I do disagree with about half of it, lol.


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Markus wrote: "I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't understand how a person with such a good book taste can actually love this...

Nah, just kidding. Heh. I did think..."


I read your reviews as well for these, and I can quite easily see how you’d feel this way. It was quite convincing in parts.

But, for me, this series is really good. I think its best element, and also its biggest flaw, is how character driven it is. If you can’t sympathise or relate to Fitz then the story will be translated as quite poor.

He is frustrating at times, and a little bit silly, but that’s just part of his character. For me, he feels quite human rather than an overblown hero. And his relationship with the Fool is what makes me like this series so much.

Her writing is very long winded at points. But, in all honesty, I don’t really care. I find myself completely taken in by her narrative more so than other fantasy authors. And I’m not entirely sure why.

I do recognise that this does have some flaws, the third book especially (my rating will be a little lower for that one- for Regal’s sake alone.) But, my rating is offset by my complete investment in the story and love of the characters.


Robin Hobb hits the nail on the head for me. The more I read her books, the more I begin to judge modern high fantasy by her standards. I know this may sound inconceivable to you, as you dislike her novels, but, for me, her books are wonderful. I also feel that in the Tawny Man Trilogy she manages to work out some of the hindrances to the plot. (e.g confusing and inconsistent villain)

And thanks- I realise that this is an incredibly long winded reply! Lol. ;)


Markus Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't understand how a person with such a good book taste can actually love this...

Nah, just kidding. H..."


Oh, no. I get that. There are many books I would consider objectively good even though I don't like them. I think Assassin's Quest is objectively bad, but that's still just an opinion. An if people can enjoy what I didn't enjoy, I think that's a good thing.

As for me personally, I know that I hated Assassin's Quest more than I could have. While reading the first two books, I was being very generous to them because I thought "Hey, it probably gets better eventually" (I was in doubt about the ratings for both books and rounded upwards for both). When the third book did not actually get better, but worse, I was so disappointed I could have... I don't know. You get the idea.

However, I really like Robin Hobb. I am glad that she's able to give you this kind of feeling. And I am definitely going to keep reading the series at some point.

The long replies are the best replies.


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't understand how a person with such a good book taste can actually love this......"

That's fair enough. I do agree that it has its fault. But, my love of the characters saved the day for me. It is the only book she's written in which Fitz is a narrator, that I consider less than five stars.

I know what you mean. I felt like that with the second book in the wheel of time series. I hope the third book is better than the second!

Her writting just seems to carry me away. I can read 200 pages of uneventful prose and not care less. I'm not sure how she does it really! ;)


Markus Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't understand how a person with such a good book taste can actual..."

Also fair enough. I thought the characters were horrible. But that's highly subjective.

That's really interesting, because it seems we have the opposite opinion of these two series. Wheel of Time is the series where I can read 200 pages of uneventful prose and not care less. Unfortunately, The Dragon Reborn is probably the weakest Wheel of Time book, so I hope you won't hate it as much as I hated Assassin's Quest.


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't understand how a person with such a good..."


That feels me with a sense of dread. The The Great Hunt was a real struggle for me. I though the character devlopment had gone backwards and that Jorden loitered around just to make another book.

I hope I don't find The Dragon Reborn too bad because it might put me off the series for a while like the The Great Hunt did.

I only like two characters from wheel of time- Lan and Perrin. The two didn't get much page time in the last book at all.


Markus Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't understand how a person w..."

Hah, better to be prepared. I love Wheel of Time (probably more than ASoIaF at this point), but I think the protagonists are the worst ever. I mean... I fucking hate FitzChivalry Farseer (sorry about that), but I'd pick him over Rand al'Thor any day.

Then you are more critical of the characters than I am. Because I just hate the protagonists (all the people from Emond's Field). I think just about every single supporting character is great.

About Perrin... he will get a lot more page time in The Dragon Reborn, but believe me, that is not a good thing.


Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "Bookworm Sean wrote: "Markus wrote: "I think this is the first time we actually disagree about something, Sean. I don't und..."

Gosh that doesn't bode well if you'd pick Fitz, who you hate, over reluctant Rand. I'm not looking forward to reading the third, but I shall do so still at some point!

So far, I like Perrin. He seems quite dark and broody, but that may change. I hope not though.


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