Monday, May 5, 2014

Unraveling: Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
Title: Royal Assassin
Series: The Farseer Trilogy Book Two
Author: Robin Hobb
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: March 1, 1997

The second volume in Robin Hobb's internationally bestselling Farseer series, now reissued in gorgeous new livery. We are here Fitz, you and I, to change the future and the world...Fitz dreams of Red-Ship Raiders sacking a coastal village, leaving not a single man, woman or child alive. Tortured by this terrible vision he returns to the Six Duchies court where all is far from well. King Shrewd has been struck down by a mysterious illness and King-in-waiting, Verity, spends all his time attempting to conjure storms to confuse and destroy the Red-Ship Raiders. And when he leaves on an insane mission to seek out the mystical Elderings, Fitz is left alone and friendless but for the wolf Nighteyes and the King's Fool with his cryptic prophesies.
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My Thoughts

Well this book was all kinds of depressing and hair-pulling frustrating.

The first half was the frustrating bit. I just didn't understand why they didn't do anything. I went from frustrated to annoyed to just plain old confused till I realized that what was so obvious to me was apparently a huge mystery to them. Who would have thunk it? It was just so damn glaringly obvious what was going on that it never occurred to me that they hadn't put it together therefore there was no need to be actively doing something to correct things.

They had all still being in the information gathering stage. Actually not even that really. They just kept going and just assumed everything was going to the crappers. No one had thought that they were being sabotaged. Not until Fitz put it together and told Chade and even then Chade was super skeptical.

The man (Chade) is way too emotional to be an assassin. Then again the assassins portrayed here are of a different ilk. Yes, Fitz was trained, but it was a very different kind of training than I'm used to reading about. Fitz training was all rainbows and unicorns compared to most that I've come across. He is most proficient with poisons. He sucks at fighting fisticuffs and swords are meh, he is average with knives, and he is best with an axe. He should have trained more with all weapons, become proficient at knife throwing at least. But he wasn't and he isn't. So he is lacking in quite a bit which would have come in handy here in my opinion, but I digress. Point is their type of assassin stuff is much more embroiled in political maneuvering than actual killing. There is however something to be said about just outright killing some people *cough*Regal*cough*.

Anyway! Once Fitz, Chade and the rest figured out what was going on they finally started scheming. This is when things started getting depressing and even more frustrating. Regal was undermining EVERYTHING, and it was pissing me off to no end that they didn't/couldn't put a stop to it/him. I was frustrated to no end that they didn't just kill him. Make an accident happen somehow, poison him, DO SOMETHING. But no, political shit has to be more subtle than that apparently. BUT it was totally okay for him to be doing those things to their group. Obviously I just don't get all this political maneuvering and bullshit spouting left and right.

I eventually looked past that because at least things seemed to be getting done now. Kind of. Then those last few chapters came along and it was just painful to read. Not because the book itself suddenly got worse, but because of what happened to Fitz. It hurt to read about. Hurt to have to watch him go through all that and no one to help him out because of fucking Regal. And it didn't end in any kind of happy note and I'm left here half ranting half grieving.

One thing that can be said for certain about these books is that they'll make you feel. Because of it's slow pace and it's writing style you get this great connection to the characters and you just can't help but feel for all of them. With that said I'll be taking a short break before tackling the last book.


Would I Recommend it?


Other books in The Farseer Trilogy:


  1. Nice review, and I agree on almost all counts. I liked these books but they were a bit... depressing, and so much bad stuff happens to Fitz after a while I was like, enough! Give the guy a break. :) And yes Regal was SO obviously a dog, why didn't they just off him? Never understood that either- here they are assassins supposedly but they didn't play nearly as dirty as Regal and the queen.

    i understand there's a new Fitz book coming, and while these books did frustrate me at times I thought Hobb was a great writer and I think about going back to this seris every once in a while...

  2. Yes, he really deserves a break. Right? It was like they were playing within the rules for assassins, which is just weird. They are assassins, just kill him already lol.

    I actually have the e-arc of Fools Assassin's. It's what finally got me to read these. I'll eventually get to it, but I had to take a break from Fitz for a bit.


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