"We are here, Fitz, you and I, to change the future of the world..."
Royal Assassin is the second book in Robin Hobb's fantasy series The Farseer Trilogy and follows on from the events in Assassin's Apprentice.
The book begins precisely where we left off and FitzChivalry is slowly recovering from the poision administered to him. The effects have left him prone to fits and spasms and in this state he must travel back to Buckkeep to face his tormentor and poisoner, Prince Regal.
The main character Fitz has grown and is now a teenager. The books narrative has also matured and there is a distinctly darker feel to this middle novel. Although we are with Fitz in his struggle, Robin Hobb does not shirk from showing us his failings as a human being and how his actions also hurt others.
"My body spasmed and the back of my head rebounded sharply off the bedstead. I cried out involuntarily, a gargling wordless cry. In an instant Jonqui was there, calling Burrich back, and then they were both holding down my flailing limbs. Burrich's body weight was flung on top of me as he strove to restrain my thrashing. And then I was gone."
Royal Assassin: Dreams and Awakenings
The Red Ship Raiders are still attacking the coast of the Six Duchies and Prince Verity is hard pressed to use his skill to keep them at bay. King Shrewd's health is failing and Regal continues plotting to further his own position. In to the midst of all this comes Molly, Fitz's childhood friend and companion. They embark on a relationship that brings her into danger as there are those who would hurt her to get to FitzChivalry.
This is a continuation of a tale full of treachery and injustice. The superb writing makes you angry at the unfairness of life and enables you to become closely attached to the central characters in this tale. This a marked improvement on the first book ( not that the first wasn't good). This tale will not leave you with a feel-good factor so it only goes to show just how well written it is. It is no small task to get a reader to follow characters through misery, unfairness and injustive, but Robin Hobb manages it with ease.
She turned and walked away from me. She still hugged herself, as if to keep herself from flying apart. She looked very alone, in her draggled blue skirts with her proud head bowed. 'Molly Red Skirts,' I whispered after her, but I could no longer see that Molly. Only what I had made of her."
Royal Assassin: Threats
The book's ending leaves you reaching for (or buying) the final part of this wonderful trilogy because you simply must know how everything turns out. You will be left hoping for a happy ending for Fitz and those close to him and an unpleasant end for Regal and some others. Be warned though, judging by the events that have already occured, Hobb may not give us what we hope for...
The book's cover illustration's are by the wonderful John Howe.
"Refreshingly original" Jenny Wurts
Review by Floresiensis
3 positive reader review(s) for Royal Assassin
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 [...]
Chris from Australia
This book didn't flow as well at first for me. At times I felt frustrated reading it because many chapters felt too similar. Fitz's gruelling routine made me lose the sense of wonder and excitement in the world. Apart from those things I loved it. Characters and relationships are again well developed and expanded upon. The way Hobb writes the climax in the book captivated me and made me forgive those slow moments earlier on. One more book to go to conclude the trilogy but I know I will be buying more of Hobb's novels in the near future.
Estel from Lucknow
The tale of FitzChivalry gets more intriguing and mesmerizing. But sadly, things don't always go so well for Fitz. Characterization, the hallmark of Ms. Hobb's creativity, is once again subtle and deep. All the characters mature throughout the novel, be it Fitz, Molly, Burrich, or Kettrickern. And the ending ... the ending will just grab you by your guts. So, my advice: buy this novel only along with its sequel, otherwise not.
Natalie from Cheshire
George Lucas got it right with The Empire Strikes Back. The middle of a trilogy is a time to expand on the story and characters and set everything up for a fantastic finale. This is what Robin Hobb does, a great middle book!
8.6/10 from 4 reviews