Archive for Fool’s Assassin

Fool’s quest [book review]

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2016 by xi'an

Although I bought this second volume in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy quite a while ago, I only came to read it very recently. And enjoyed it unreservedly! While the novel builds upon the universe Hobb created in the liveship traders trilogy (forget the second trilogy!) and the Assassin and Fool trilogies, the story is compelling enough to bring out excitement and longing for further adventures of Fitz and the Fool. Many characters that were introduced in the earlier volume suddenly take on substance and meaning, while the main characters are no longer heroes of past eras, but also acquire further depth and subtlety. Even long-lasting ones like Chade. I cannot tell whether this new dimension of the plights affecting the Six Duchies and its ruler, King Verity, was conceived from the start or came later to the author, but it really fits seamlessly and increases by several orders of magnitude the epic feeling of the creation. Although it is hard to rank this book against the very first ones, like Royal Assassin, I feel this is truly one of the best of Hobb’s books, with the right mixture of action, plotting, missed opportunities and ambiguous angles about the main characters. So many characters truly come to life in this volume that I bemoan the sluggish pace of the first one even more now. While one could see Fool’s Quest as the fourteenth book in the Realm of the Elderlings series, and hence hint at senseless exploitation of the same saga, there are just too many new threads and perspective there to maintain this posture. A wonderful book and a rarity of a middle book being so. I am clearly looking forward the third instalment!

Fool’s Assassin

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2015 by xi'an

When I learned that Robin Hobb had started a new Assassin’s trilogy, Fitz and the Fool, I got a bit wary, given the poor sequel to the Liveship Traders trilogy I read in the hospital two years ago, and the imperfect Soldier Son trilogy… But also excited, for The Farseer Trilogy is one of the best fantasy series ever! Now that I have read Fool’s Assassin, the first volume of the trilogy, I can only wait for the second one, Fool’s Quest, to appear next summer.  Unsurprisingly, reconnecting with the universe of The Farseer Trilogy is almost enough per se to make reading this book a pleasure, even though it seems to draw too much from the past volumes to gain independent praise, except in the accelerating final chapters. The style conveys too much the homely feeling of Fitz as a retired country squire, surrounded by family and friends. There is obviously a new plot, a new danger to the Six Duchies, and new characters, one of which is singularly attaching!, while Fitz remains as obtuse and whining as in earlier volumes (which is a joy to behold once again!). So now that the setting has been painstakingly and that the game is afoot, I hope the second volume will keep up with the pace of the final chapters… (Nice cover by the way if unrelated to the contents of the book, apart from the snow!)