Published by Harper Voyager on May 4th 2017
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The final book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy.
Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river.
Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade’s protégé Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee's only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles.
Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected?
But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.
ASSASSIN’S FATE is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic fantasy.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not influenced my review in any way.
Assassin’s Fate is the third book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. As such this review is going to contain spoilers for all of the preceding Robin Hobb books that fall within the Realms of the Elderlings. To summarise my review, Assassin’s Fate was the perfect conclusion to a slow burning series, jam packed with action, fantastic characters and an almost unfathomably complex world.
Assassin’s Fate follows two parties, the rescue party for Bee and Bee herself. Where books one and two went incredibly slowly, book three was jam packed with action. When you look at the structure culminating in this third book, it is very different to any other trilogy I have read before. Books one and two were a slog. An enjoyable slog, yes, but slogs nonetheless. Book three on the other hand went from scene to scene of characters acting, reacting and generally moving forward as quickly as possible. It was refreshing. The pace livened up the whole series and forced me to turn pages with a vigour I hardly remember ever feeling for any of Hobb’s previous books.
I read this trilogy having only previously read the Farseer trilogy. Now I know this may be considered blasphemous to some hardcore Robin Hobb fans out there but I thought I could at least offer a perspective of someone who is not familiar with the complete Realms of the Elderlings collection. I never felt that I was so out of the loop as to affect my understanding and enjoyment of the story. I felt that the Fitz and the Fool books all sufficiently included backstory to the missing puzzle pieces, cleverly imbued within the narrative. I mean, Fitz is generally clueless, and was not present for most of the events in the other series, so he served as a pretty easy scapegoat who constantly needed Amber to explain things to him. As for the multitude of characters from the other series to navigate, I managed to pick up on their stories pretty quickly. I’m looking forward to going back and reading more about each of them in their respective trilogies.
The ending was perfect.View Spoiler »I, like most human beings, loved the friendship between Fitz and the Fool. I was so heartbroken (and yet kind of satisfied as well) at the end when the Fool chose to go into the stone wolf along with Fitz. The relationship between the Fool and Bee was tragic in his unconditional love and her childish (but reasonable) dislike. The characters are so true to themselves that they become practically tangible. Days after finishing the book I am still feeling echoes of their personalities and monologues, reminding me of parts of the story here and there. « Hide Spoiler
One of my favourite secondary characters was Perseverance.View Spoiler »He had such a wonderful character development arc. He went from a boy who just wanted to play his role as a stable hand, to a boy who knew he should commit himself to something and someone greater than him. Even to the point of standing up to Fitz so that he could go on his quest to save Bee. « Hide Spoiler
I hope that Hobb continues with Bee’s story, I would love to see more about where she goes. Especially after she has been through so much and become such a formidable (very) young woman.