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2016 - ARCHIVED > Assassin's Quest - Prologue - Chapter 5

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message 1: by Cat (new)

Cat | 8 comments Greetings,

First of all, I kind of missed Fitz, being that some months have passed since I've read the first lines of this book, other than that, I already managed to re-read the part I've read before, and then to adventure into new action.
I actually stopped last night, in the end of chapter four, which gives me the perfect placing for this comment, without being spoilled of what is to come, probably I will look back and think "What was I thinking?!".
Although I really like Fitz, I get a bit annoyed when he is so in doubt of himself, and all angsty with life and people around him, although I understand that he is still pretty much a boy in a man's body and life hasn't been easy. I am still hoping for him to became the "All mighty power full Wit/Skill Master" person I expect.
So far so good, I hope to get further into it tonight :P

Best Regards


message 2: by Abner (new)

Abner | 90 comments Something I'll like for anyone to discuss with me is: Fitz is writing these books as a "history" so we are reading the past in some or all of the intro to each chapter, they are written in "present" time, where is is how many years old? I know he has a boy, but it says that he has seen people getting married and their children come of age which I guess is at 14 years, so this boy of his is not his first son assuming we already know Molly is pregnant by the cook's hints ant the end of royal assassin.
Do we ever get a book in the "present" time? where he's not writing "a history of the six duchies",also he still calls it Six so they never got separated, the mountain kingdom never joined?

These are some of the questions inspired by the prologue and the intro in "present" time for each chapter.

Fitz is like a wolf cub now and needs to be "trained" to behave as he starts to get back to be himself.

Verity bugs him into say that he is alive in front of Burrich and Chade maybe to keep them with hope that he will come back. So Fitz seems to have a better grasp of the skill since he is not closed, like verity had told him, being open sometimes is simply not being closed.

I like the way Hobb recaps the end of last book by having Fitz explain wtf happened to Burrich which he doesn't really know, it adds to the story with Burrich's reactions and serves us to have a recap/clear explanation of what happened.

Also do we get the White Ship and Will correlation explained? I somehow missed this.

Fitz is having an existential crisis, and lashes out at Burrich and Chade, emo whinny bitch pull yourself together (at least he is not a one-dimensional character lol).
Even though he says that he never got a say in what to do he always did what he wanted despite what everyone told him not to do and Chade tells him this plainly.

Holy crap, Burrich's history at last!!! Chivalry was like his older brother/teacher even though they where the same age. He gave him 3 changes and then mentored him teaching him to fight, read and write, and put him in charge of his animals.

Fitz is trying not to spy on Molly and see how shes doing, but after he dozes to sleep he links with her mind(?) and he sees Burrich stitching a little boot, he said he was going to see a friend who needed help specially with her roof, when Fitz last saw Molly she was in a hut with crumbling roof, also Burrich was sipping tea instead of brandy and apologizes for cursing. This confirms that he is with Molly and she is pregnant with fitz's son, I think he knew this before he even rescued him from the cell, hence why he knew he danced between she sheets with her. Also patience was talking about a wool blanket, Chade thought it's was for Kettricken's baby but she's in the mountain kingdom so the blanket is for Molly's and Fitz's son, too obvious I think.

This Honey character,what a horny bastard, I don't think she doesn't take rejection well haha, Twice she threw herself at Fitz and got rejected then
she insinuated that he was impotent lol

Fitz learned to skill-walk? and we see how verity really helped his people by taking control of the bodies and fighting for them when they have no more energy.

F**k you Will!!!!


message 3: by John (last edited Jun 19, 2016 04:37PM) (new)

John | 219 comments So Fitz is back from the dead, but in many ways in difficult straights similar to his predicament that began Royal Assassin, except this time he has taken on wolf-like behavioral traits that may or may not disappear with time. He also, as memory of his life as a human comes back to him, begins to remember the traumatic nightmare of his beatings and torture at the hands of Regal's henchmen.

No wonder he would prefer to go back to living like a wolf.

The idea of coming back "wrong" is a fairly common literary trope, as in Frankenstein, The Monkey's Paw, Stephen King's Pet Sematary and the beginning of season six of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, where Willow uses dark magic to resurrect Buffy, who returns with an ineffable feeling of anhedonia and an intuition that she is completely out of sorts with her life.

In real life, you might compare this to what many women experience when they undergo a hysterectomy and have a dramatic loss of quality of life; feelings that they often have difficulty explaining to their (often male) gynecologists, who can't quite grasp on a subjective level what their patients are going through.

Somewhat similarly, Burrich and Chade are having to fumble through educated guesswork in rehabilitating Fitz, not altogether successfully.


message 4: by Alicia (new)

Alicia | 26 comments Prologue

Ughhhhhhh that prologue!!! It is just so upsetting to see it all so bleak! Does he never see Lady Patience again?! He's living with pain in the future! I know some have found it tiresome to be mostly at one location for two books, but maybe it was for this purpose, that when Fitz claims that he'll never return in any way you feel that pain to? We've grown so use to the backdrop of Buckeep, that to have it just taken away, hurts.

Chapter 1
I'm really glad that it picked up right where it left off, how interesting that Fitz pretty much just subconsciously kept his memories blocked off with his wolf identity Changer. It's so sad that at this point Fitz believes that death would have been kinder...

Chapter 2
I think we finally get the full scope on Fitz just being a teenager here. These adults hoping and wishing that he did/would act like an adult instead of a selfish child.

Chapter 3
I'm happy that Chade left letting Fitz know that he loves him even if he can't let Fitz get mixed up in things again, and that even though Fitz said all those things to Burrich, they were able to part on good terms. I'm saddened that Fitz believes that he will never see them or be apart of their lives again and Verity on the verge of death and being hunted...

Chapter 4
Nothing can go right for Fitz... So on top of everything his supplies were taken by Forged ones AND he has PTSD that triggers when he truly needs to defend himself....

Seems when he tries to venture into civilization again he's a little rusty and of course gets himself into a situation he's not quite ready for.

I'm curious on how long "King" Regal thinks he can make things last? If we take all the protagonists from the picture and just let him do his thing... how does he fathom that things will go well and he'll remain in power for the long run? He's cut off trade to the mountains, the coastal dutchies have already proven they aren't loyal to him, eventually the people will be forced away from the coast entirely to move inland, the forge ones will follow the people... I don't see how he'll be able to live the lavish life of a King with no people to provide anything..?

Chapter 5
Fitz is coming to terms that he had quite the support team before and now that their gone he has trouble getting by.

Will is such a pain in the ass... So much for Fitz being able to take Regal by surprise... hoping Nighteyes did some lasting damage!

I wonder if Will and the other coterie members are the ones Verity is afraid of?


message 5: by John (last edited Jun 17, 2016 03:11PM) (new)

John | 219 comments Alicia wrote: "Prologue

Ughhhhhhh that prologue!!! It is just so upsetting to see it all so bleak! Does he never see Lady Patience again?! He's living with pain in the future! I know some have found it tiresome..."


You're right about the PTSD, Alicia! I had wondered when reading this originally why Fitz was so overcome with fear in the sort of hand-to-hand fight that he had been in many times before, and now it's clear that the dungeon beating and torture has conditioned him to feel a sense of helplessness when faced with these situations.

And yes again, Regal doesn't appear to have any long term strategy that makes sense against the red ship raider threat. He will eventually lose by attrition unless he finds a way to stack the odds in his favor. I figure the only reason he hasn't already been routed by now is that the raiders are a sea-faring people and may not have the personnel or military expertise yet to lock down and secure the interior lands that are farthest from supply lines to the coast.


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy Richey Not really enjoying these chapters as much. I feel like it is dragging on a bit and not much new development so far. It's so very sad and depressing to see Fitz at this low point. Glad he has Nighteyes and sometimes Verity, sorta. More and more hints that jolly is pregnant and he still has no clue! How long till we get more understanding of the forged ones?


message 7: by Abner (last edited Jun 17, 2016 08:56PM) (new)

Abner | 90 comments Alicia wrote: " He's cut off trade to the mountains, the coastal dutchies have already proven they aren't loyal to him, eventually the people will be forced away from the coast entirely to move inland, the forge ones will follow the people"

I don't know why but I think he is conspiring with the Red-Ships in some way. I base this mostly because of the events of Neatbay, Regal cut off the messages on purpose so no help would come, but the thing is Burrich notices that they left no defenses at their Rear, he deduced that they Raiders expected no help to come. Either they have some REALLY powerful Skill users or someone assured them that they will be free to storm Neatbay and no help would come.

Samantha wrote: " The Tawny Man trilogy (the trilogy after Liveship) we actually pick up with Fitz when he is currently writing the history that you read at the beginning of each chapter and learn more about this "boy" etc."

Thanks Samantha, I'm a stickler for timelines and the way Hobb started the Farseer trilogy it's interesting to me because they are first person and a re-telling of the past. It'll be awesome too see the full event timeline if they are spoiler-free or at least we'll see it at the end of the Hobb-a-long.

Amy wrote: "I feel like it is dragging on a bit and not much new development so far. How long till we get more understanding of the forged ones? "

When he encounters Old Blood in the next few chapters you will get some answers or at least speculations on the Forged ones that make sense. Every time something happens that hints Molly's pregnancy and baby I scream out loud "You dense motherf**er!! how can you not comprehend this!!"


message 8: by John (new)

John | 219 comments The speculation about Rosemary potentially being a spy or even an assassin for Regal fails to underscore the most important thing, namely that it's completely and utterly without merit! There is no credible evidence whatsoever to prove she has done even the least of the charges brought against her; that she is a tattletale.

The rumor begins with Regal and Fitz's encounter in the dungeon in Chapter 30 of RA. Regal gloats and chides Fitz with how he was always several steps ahead of him; including instances of Kentricken's secret plans and movements being talked about that Regal became aware of soon after. But at no time does he indicate to Fitz the source of the leak of information.

Fitz is speculating that Rosemary( "always underfoot") might be the culprit; and when Fitz thinks {Rosemary}, it is not being stated out loud but is only a thought in his mind; therefore, it is never heard by Regal to react upon, so there is no confirmation or denial from Regal on this matter.

It is far more likely that the coterie of Will, Serene and Justin, through Skill-seeing(like what Fitz and Shrewd do in the Siltbay sequence: witnessing events outside of their presence) in RA; and Skill-spying(which Fitz hadn't even known was possible) on Skill conversations between Verity, Shrewd and Fitz; are the source of Regal's spy intelligence.

I know of no instance of Rosemary being a tattletale on anyone's behalf in the text; the poisoned basket and greased stairs could have been done by any of Regal's known entourage acting on information from Skilled communique; and even Chade speculated that Will might be a Skilled assassin (which turned out to be true, as with Serene and Justin) and possibly the one who greased the stairs.

If these insinuations about Rosemary hadn't come from Fitz's seemingly authoritative judgments, they would have carried little weight at all.

The author may have plotted all this as smoke and mirrors, a literary sleight of hand to shift the readers attention away from the more likely culprits (The Skilling coterie) because she realized that she had written the coterie to be too powerful for it to be plausible that they wouldn't have destroyed the Farseers long before now; so she doesn't want readers to dwell upon this so long that they can no longer suspend disbelief and become disengaged with the novel.

Also consider that she can play out the situation as it stands, in any way she sees fit for future volumes. Whether Rosemary returns later in the series as an adult, with her being a complete innocent of any misdeeds in RA; or as a villain who actually and deliberately perpetrated all the crimes Fitz accuses her of here, the lack of any truly damning evidence gives the author total narrative flexibility.


message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 52 comments I seem to not be as fond of the beginnings of these books as I am of the endings. Honestly, it is, again, a bit of a fight for me to get through the first chapters.
I thought the beginning with Fitz learning to be human again was a really interesting twist but otherwise I feel like I have read this already.
There's Fitz recovering from his near-death experience, again. He feels worthless and weak, again. He fights against his friends and pushes them away, again. And the only thing on his mind is Regal and his revenge. AGAIN.
I get that after what happened in the last book Fitz isn't just going to be "normal" and he has to deal with some stuff, but the truth is I am not the biggest fan of the "tormented hero" storyline and felt it was already overdonw in the last book.
Also I'm really pissed that something was spoiled for me from the back of the book, so I think I know where Burrich is (Who I just love by the way)
I hope Fitz stays with the minstrels for some time and once he gets a grip on himself I'm sure I will be all for this book because all the hint just seem to point towards a really intense finale.


message 10: by John (new)

John | 219 comments Sarah wrote: "I seem to not be as fond of the beginnings of these books as I am of the endings. Honestly, it is, again, a bit of a fight for me to get through the first chapters.
I thought the beginning with Fit..."


You're right, Sarah! It is kind of a repetitive way to start things off; I was just glad that Fitz wasn't still dead at the beginning of the book, and we didn't have to endure a whole resurrection chapter before the main plot unfolded.

The front cover of this old edition of Assassin's Quest I have has a spoiler too! It shows Kettricken in the background doing---what I can't tell you! LOL.

GO TEAM BURRICH!


message 11: by John (new)

John | 219 comments Samantha wrote: "OK so I have a bit I really want to say about the first couple of chapters and then I will get to reading what everyone else thought. But basically this first bit frustrated me the first time I rea..."

A lot of us know how much you hate to write, Sam, so it really means a lot when you take the time to address what matters to you about these books and why the characters in them are so meaningful to you personally. Surely Fitz doesn't have a friend in his world that understands him like you have expressed here; Burrich, Nighteyes, Chade, Patience; all have something of a narrow solipsistic moral perspective that even when sympathetic, often misses wide of the mark at getting to that dark lonely place inside of Fitz where he always resides. Even the Fool can't fully see inside of Fitz because his is such a unique and idiosyncratic perspective, that opaqueness often replaces clarity. And for everyone else, who would want to spend even an instant trying to know the depth of pain that Fitz takes for granted? Nobody. But you've gotten closer than most.

Maybe if Verity or the spirit of dead King Shrewd had been present, the bitterness of Fitz's words wouldn't have lay so heavily on Burrich and Chade: a more even distribution of the blame for breaking Fitz's spirit by the addition of others worthy of shame.

Burrich got maybe more than he deserved; and had the failures of the lonely life he had chosen thrown in his face as judgement and rebuke; Chade knew what was coming and ever the manipulative assassin took down Fitz with words he had known would belittle him; then exiled him, like he had over that knife when Fitz was a child.

Like Fitz, Molly deserves a modest judgement. She comes from child abuse and poverty, and was ruined financially by her father's debts before she re-encounters Fitz at Buckkeep.

She cannot afford another reverse; a pregnancy or abandonment consigns her to a life of want. She can't afford to be wrong, and Fitz can't tell what she needs to hear without jeopardizing her life; the reader may possess the secret knowledge that provides the perspective to understanding Fitz, but circumstances have ensured that she cannot no matter how she tries.

Surely she is as blameless for how things turned out as Fitz, and can be extended a like measure of compassion as well.


message 12: by Anita Reads (new)

Anita Reads | 22 comments Ok, so I'm so far behind, but trying to get a lot read over the weekend here.

First of, the first chapters are a little slowish. I definitely understand why Fitz was so angry in the first few chapters. It seems as no one really understand what he's going through at all. I also understand why he for a long time considered just staying a wolf, without the burden that comes with him having to be a 'King's man' all the time.

I'm sorry to see that Fitz is more or less on his own now though. Hopefully we'll see both Burrich and Chade again, because even though they've not always understood Fitz, I think they mean well and do really care about him.

Very interested to see what will happen now. That was crazy what happened with Will.


message 13: by Emily (new)

Emily (midwinternightingale) | 23 comments Samantha wrote: "What the heck was Fitz supposed to do in Royal Assassin? Chade literally kept him in the dark about sooooo much! He was literally being pulled every which way and forced to make rash/quick decision on little experience...Molly I always struggled with because I felt like she never truly tried to see things from his perspective.

Great insightful comments Sam - I have to pick a little bit of a bone with this though - Fitz kept Molly in the dark about ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING - first who he was, then his 'profession', he was also never (as far as I recall we are told) truthful with her about his grandfather's plans for him and Celerity and the full extent of hopelessness of their ever being able to marry, and although you are absolutely correct to point out that his childhood experiences would have been enough to traumatise anyone, he didn;t choose to share any of that experience with his partner. I don't feel that Molly could have been expected to see things from his perspective when he never gave her any of the tools to do so.

Now you'e got me thinking about it though, I do find it interesting that his behaviour towards Molly does somewhat mirror the way that Chade and the others have treated him growing up. If you are constantly being used as an unequal pawn in other people's intrigues, kept in the dark as to the real reason behind the orders you are given, and having blind obedience demanded of you, even to the point of mortal danger, by the people you love; well, then it makes a lot of sense to me that you would grow up with quite an unhealthy and immature relationship to honesty and openness in your relationships. Chade and Shrewd have taught him to normalise deception and secrecy and he continues the self-destructive cycle (in the end, Molly also makes the decision to keep her own council).

Basically, the behavior Fitz is exhibiting goes beyond teenage angst. It's behavior you would see someone with PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

You wouldn't tell someone you know suffering from these things to just get over it.


This is such a good point - although I did feel this section dragged quite a lot in terms of narrative pace, it makes a lot of sense that it would take Fitz a long time to be able to even consider what action to take next, and I'm glad Hobb didnt just portray him as 'bouncing back' in an unrealistic way. Although I find Fitz quite frustrating at times, I'm so glad that he is a complex protagonist, not some kind of teflon cookie-cutter hero.

Apologies, I am very tired this evening which always results in an inability to write in anything other than very looooong sentences :p


message 14: by Emily (new)

Emily (midwinternightingale) | 23 comments John wrote: "GO TEAM BURRICH! "

I want to join, can we make t-shirts? ;)


message 15: by Emily (new)

Emily (midwinternightingale) | 23 comments Samantha wrote: "Hey Abner to answer your about whether we ever get to be with Fitz in the present time: the answer is yes. The Tawny Man trilogy (the trilogy after Liveship) we actually pick up with Fitz when he i..."

Super interesting about the timeline stuff, and very cool to get the chance to meet her and ask her a proper question too (the one or two times I have ever met authors at book signings it has been far too production-line-esque to actually ask them something meaningful).

I have really struggled to keep tabs on how old Fitz is actually meant to be at this point (partly because ti was several months for me in between reading books one and two)


message 16: by Emily (new)

Emily (midwinternightingale) | 23 comments John wrote: "the beginning of season six of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, where Willow uses dark magic to resurrect Buffy, who returns with an ineffable feeling of anhedonia and an intuition that she is completely out of sorts with her life. "

This is exactly the reference that came to mind for me in this section. Also, surely the sentence 'an ineffable feeling of anhedonia' deserves some kind of medal in and of itself


message 17: by Emily (new)

Emily (midwinternightingale) | 23 comments I am both super behind and super tired so just wanted to get down a couple of stray thoughts before reading on - have really enjoyed everyone's comments!

- Loved the initial section of Burrich trying to 'retrain' Fitz into being human. Really powerful re-imagining by Hobb of how in-the-moment, animal instincts might manifest in a human body

- I just love Burrich more and more, and his relentless caring for Fitz (even if he doesn't always get it quite right) is really endearing, Really interesting to hear some more of his history, and that he is not from the six duchies at all - once again I am curious to know more about the wider world of this universe. I am still holding out for a Burrich/Chivalry romantic backstory - what is the real significance of the blue earring?

- Somewhere in the middle of this section it really started to drag a little - I could understand that Fitz was almost paralysed by trauma, but once he had cut his ties and decided to move on I wish he had got on with it a bit quicker (just from a pacing point of view - it's a long book!) Really picked up in the last chapter though.

- Why do you think Fitz' instinct was to hunt down Regal, rather than try to find Verity? I've stopped expecting him to make very sensible decisions but I can't see how he truly 1. hopes to acheive this 2. thinks that this is going to help the six duchies (surely with Regal, Verity and Kettricken gone there will just be power vacuum and outright civil war?)

- I do love a good wandering band of musicians. They give me happy nostalgic feelings for Cart and Cwidder, the first book in the Dalemark Quartet (which is one of my favourite series by possibly my all-time favourite author Diana Wynne Jones). Hope they stick around (but think they probably won't).

- Skill-walking is an interesting development! I thought that whole dream-sequence was really vivid and well done

- I wish Fitz would remember his previous revelation about how skilling attracts Forged Ones and skill a little less! I get that he can't help if he skills in his sleep but he definitely can help skilling out to find Molly, for example

- On that note, glad to see that Burrich is (I assume) taking care of Molly. Second the commenter above who expressed disbelief at Fitz's obliviousness to Molly's pregnancy - he wa making baby shoes Fitz, for goodness sake put two and two together....


message 18: by John (last edited Jun 27, 2016 10:50PM) (new)

John | 219 comments Emily wrote: "John wrote: "GO TEAM BURRICH! "

I want to join, can we make t-shirts? ;)"


Of course, Emily! But first, I have to unload a whole boat full of GO TEAM CHADE! shirts at pennies on the dollar( Chapter Two is not going over well with the aFITZcionados). Hahaha LOL


message 19: by John (new)

John | 219 comments Emily wrote: "John wrote: "the beginning of season six of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, where Willow uses dark magic to resurrect Buffy, who returns with an ineffable feeling of anhedonia and an intuition that she i..."

Oh Yes! Anhedonia ! That's a Balkan country quite near Macedonia. In a recent poll measuring happiness and life satisfaction among citizens of different European nations, Anhedonia understandably finished dead last! ;)


message 20: by John (last edited Jun 27, 2016 08:01PM) (new)

John | 219 comments Emily wrote: "I am both super behind and super tired so just wanted to get down a couple of stray thoughts before reading on - have really enjoyed everyone's comments!

- Loved the initial section of Burrich tr..."

About Fitz going after Regal : This is a completely addle-minded obsession with him; I have to think the PTSD has much to do with it. On this second point though, and aside from Verity returning, Kettricken's child is still heir; If by some miracle, Fitz assassinates Regal ( and good luck with that now that Will has discovered Fitz is still alive!), we know from early in Assassin's Apprentice that next in succession would be August, their Skill blasted cousin. That may head off civil war ( or not).


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