" We are here, Fitz, you and I, to change the future of the world... "
Keystone. Gate. Crossroads. Catalyst. Fitz is about to discover the truth about the Fool's prophecy. Having been resurrected from his fatal tortures in Regal's dungeons, Fitz has once more foiled Regal's attempts to be rid of him. Now, back in his own body, and after months of rehabilitation, Fitz begins the painful and slow process of learning the ways of a man again. Under the watchful eye of Burrich, old King Shrewd's Stablemaster, Fitz must learn to cast off the wild but carefree ways of the wolf and enter once more the human world: a world beset ever more viciously by the relentless Red Ship Raiders who are now left free to plunder any coastal town they please. But more immediately, a world in which he finds he is utterly alone. Regal has stripped the kingdom of its riches and retired to the inland city of Tradeford. Of Verity, on his quest to find the legendary Elderings, there has been no word; Molly, Kettricken and the Fool have all vanished. Unless Fitz can find Verity and help him in his quest, the Six Duchies will perish and there will be no safe place to live.
Assassin's Quest brings to a conclusion The Farseer Trilogy, a rich tale that improves with each book. As Royal Assassin improved upon Assassin's Apprentice, Assassin's Quest takes the trilogy to a new level and gives the reader what they want, and much more.
At the end of Royal Assassin Fitz had taken poison and died. Although we were sure that this was not the end for him, we eagerly anticipated how Robin Hobb might bring him back to life for the final installment of the trilogy. She did not dissapoint.
The pervading sense at the beginning of this book is hopelesness and Hobb must be commended for making this topic so enthralling to the reader despite this. She has our hero being thwarted at every turn and no lucky breaks seem to go his way. There is a hope though, and Fitz dreams that someday, somehow, everything will turn out OK. Don't bet on it though.
As the story builds towards its triumphant finale much that is unexplained is explained and the ending is exactly what the trilogy called for. The trilogy weighs in at over 2,000 pages and is as rewarding and enjoyable a read as I have experienced for some time. Not only fans of the fantasy genre will enjoy these books as there is such a large human element to them that they appeal to all. The three books improve upon each other and Assassin's Quest is a perfect conclusion to an absorbing tale.
I would thoroughly recommend the Farseer Trilogy to everybody and hope that you get as much enjoyment out of them as I did. Time to buy The Liveship Traders now!
Review by Floresiensis
7 positive reader review(s) for Assassin's Quest
City of Dragons, the third instalment in The Rain Wild Chronicles, will be published in the UK on the 23rd of April 2012. In advance of the book's release, Robin Hobb has kindly taken time to expound on the inspirations b [...]
Mary from US
This is the perfect example of how a trilogy should be closed. Assassin's Quest has a massive advantage in the reader already being immersed in the story thanks to the brilliant character- and world-building put in place in the first two novels, Assassin's Apprentice and Royal Assassin. The characters are now so real you can feel their emotions. I believe that ending a trilogy is very difficult and that the ability to do so with as much as a flourish as Hobb manages here is just confirmation, if any is needed, that she is one of the very best writers the fantasy genre is lucky to have. A triumphant conclusion to an excellent series.
Charlie from South Africa
The Farseer Trilogy has been excellent throughout. It has been moving, yet sometimes brutal, and the characters are amongst the best I have read in the fantasy genre for a long time. Hobb is a brilliant writer that really wrings every single emotion out of you. Recommended.
Nathan from US
I was really disappointed with the finale of the series. I would rate Assassin's Apprentice a 9/10, and Royal Assassin a 10/10. I have numerous problems with the book, but it is very difficult to go in depth with the issues without providing spoilers. I guess here is your warning; I hope I am not violating any code of conduct for this. This has loads of spoilers, and not just about this 3rd book. 1. The first two entries into the series focused on character and dialogue- which I loved. The third book focus's on this as well, but nearly with a completely different cast of characters. Gone for the most part are major characters from other books. Almost the only time we get to see them is in dreams or visions. It is a shame because while the story is about Fitz, there are important side characters that have been built up over the previous books, and now don't get the storytelling they deserve, especially considering this is the finale. 2. The focus of the book shifts from political intrigue in a kingdom to a mcguffin quest for Fitz. I guess Hobb got tired of the city-scape location of the previous books and decided she needed a reason to leave it. I don't agree with this decision- this story follows too closely to other books with standard fantasy tropes (LotR, Shannara, Dragonlance) where the hero and a group of people go on a journey to find the item they need that will save the world. In my opinion, she should have stayed in the 6 Dutchies and built a story around what Fitz is- an assassin. 3. This brings me to my third complaint- Fitz loses out on what made the first books so memorable- assassinations in a nitty-gritty universe, where stealth and cunning are rewarded. The theme of the book has completely changed from the previous novels- with a much more high fantasy theme flowing through it. You get the skill road, dragons, wit-users by the bushel, living stone, skill user squads, cities of ghosts, etc. At what point did the Farseer trilogy become Lord of the Rings? I understand that the changes began occurring in book two, and there has always been an undercurrent of magic in the books, but before AQ, it was always a subtle magic that was not so in your face. Now these people can do nearly anything- even switch bodies! 4. The magic brings me to my fourth complaint- the magic is used as a device to move the story along instead of the story evolving and magic happening to be there. Every time something crazy happens, there is a deus ex machina that occurs to save the day. There is basically no limit to what the skill or what the wit can accomplish. I need an heir but I'm almost dead? Swap bodies. (Since when can you do this? All of the sudden you can do this??!?). I am about to die and have no idea how to save myself, but I stumble across some dragons and low and behold blood and wit will wake them up. And they obey me. (Since when? You just happened to find out at the exact moment you absolutely need to? How convenient). I can go on. Lost on the skill road? Portal to city. Need to find verity? Map room. Need to scare Fitz? Mind control. My point is, these are all convenient plot devices that randomly occur with little or no previous warning to the reader in order to move the story along or solve a problem. The magic seems to be able to do anything. The ground rules needed to be established first in order for it to make some logical sense as to what the characters are trying to accomplish when they do something. Otherwise the magic comes off as an unexpected power or event saving a hopeless situation. There is far, far too much of it in AQ, and that is not clever, it is lazy writing. Maybe Hobb just ran out of ideas and needed to push out the book, I don't know. 5. Immense logical complaint. I have to say, it nearly killed me when Fitz tried to lie about his daughter to the fool, by pretending it was Verity's bastard. Fine, ok, he did it. But then- he got furious when they were contemplating taking his daughter away from him. I just don't get it. Where is the character's internal logic? You just tried to give away your daughter for a better life, but then you are furious when they later say they will take her for the throne? ... 6. Finally, my most personal complaint- I just didn't like how the story ended. I didn't get to see my favorites hardly at all in this book, which was a real downer. The 3 most important people to Fitz show up almost exclusively in dreams. Then we get new characters introduced (who are fine) but pale in comparison to the old stand-byes. A running theme is that Fitz is loyal to the kingdom, and sacrifices much to ensure it's rightful king takes his throne. This theme runs through all 3 books. But in this one, we constantly see Fitz do what he can for Verity, only to have horrible things happen to him, and even worst of all, they threaten to take his child as the queen's. How can he have any loyalty for them at all? They demand everything of him- even his life- and still nothing good ever happens to him. And even worse (impossible as it seems) his constant loyalty leads to losing Molly and his child. Heartless. I understand that this book isn't supposed to be happy, but even in other books that constantly challenge the reader's faith in humanity (Game of Thrones), at least the pain is distributed among the cast. Here, the worst things happen to Fitz. Over and over again. By the end, he's a physically broken down individual, whom almost everyone thinks is dead (and good riddance, that wit user), without any companionship from old series characters (save Starling- he should have strangled her for selling his child), a man who has lost his honor, his love, his friends, his family, his very identity. The one thing he still has is his dog. Such a frustrating ending. So- a 6/10. For me, 5 is average, and I still think this book has some things to offer readers, especially as a continuation of the great first two books. Frankly though, it doesn't live up to its predecessors. There are far too many flaws to overlook.
Roelf from The Netherlands
I gave the first book 4 stars. I did not like doing that, but I honestly could not stand all the drama. I stopped reading book 2 half-way earlier this year, but picked it up again last weekend. I felt that after rating book 1 as low as I did, I had to see this story through to the end. Robin Hobb has created an interesting world , filled it with a variety of characters and told us an interesting story. I had a really hard time getting through book 1 & 2, but book 3 was finished in a day. My brother and a good a friend both really like this series, but I had a hard time seeing it through. The amount of setbacks and drama our main character faces is a bit too much for my taste, but based on the other reviews, I have to conclude that I'm one of few who experiences the books as such (:
Estel from Lucknow
With this instalment, Ms. Hobb outshines the previous volumes; culminating the Farseer Saga in a breath-taking fashion. The quest isn't just about the rightful king but also about Fitz's introspective meanderings, groping for the answer to his ever-elusive question: 'When will he be truly at peace?'. Fitz's conflicting emotions; duties towards Verity and Molly have been deftly handled. His tale is heart-rending and I felt emotionally drained after finishing it. The ending is sad, but it seems realistic. I hope now Fitz is at peace and I am happy for it.
John from UK
The most captivating trilogy I have ever read. I love these books and I can't express enough how enjoyable they were to read. An amazing stroy teller. After reading this trilogy I went onto reading all of her work back to back.
Natalie from Cheshire
How do you complete a trilogy? Like this! Assassin's Quest was everything that I hoped it would be, Fitz is a great character and by making him far from perfect Hobb makes him more identifiable. Burrich is probably my favourite character of them all, his strength and dignity (when sober) make him a good role model. The ending is the most important part of a trilogy and is what you will always remember first when thinking back. It's perfect, if I could have asked Hobb to let me help her finish the book I don't think it would have been too different. A happy ending tinged with sadness and left open for more stories with the same characters. The Farseer Trilogy is a must read for fantasy lovers, characters, setting and storyline all excellently written.
Jamie from UK
This was the best book in an enthralling trilogy. I was with Fitz all the way and just hoping that things would finally work out OK for him. It was a very moving ending that still makes me misty eyed now when I think about it. I went out and bought the follow up trilogy the next day, that's how good this is!
9.1/10 from 9 reviews