It wasn’t Tolkien and Lord of the Rings who taught me to love fantasy. Nope. Weis and Hickman’s Chronicles Trilogy from the DragonLance shared world series is responsible for that. I fell in love with this story of – of course – unlikely heroes who go on a quest to save the world of Krynn and I fell in love with this world of kenders, draconians, gully dwarves and so much more.
It’s been about 15 years since I read this trilogy and since then I have loved fantasy – and I have read and loved Lord of the Rings too. However, I feel that it’s hard to find good fantasy. More often than not, fantasy is either a band of unlikely heroes – as in LOTR and in DragonLance Chronicles – or one hero facing overwhelming odds but still finishing their quest – like in Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1). There’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s done in a new and refreshing way.
The Farseer Trilogy is of the second kind. This is definitely one hero against the world – and never more than in this third book. When we left Fitz in the second book, he had been tortured by Regal, died and had been brought back to life by Burrich and Chade, his sort of adoptive father and his sort of uncle. When we meet him in this one, he is slowly trying to learn to be alive and a human again – after having survived by letting his soul live inside of Nighteyes.
He becomes more and more himself but with a lot of anger inside after being tortured in the Buckkeep dungeon. Anger which he lets loose on Burrich which makes both Burrich and Chade leave him alone to grow up and learn to be his own man. So what does Fitz do? He goes after Regal who has crowned himself king and has moved his entire court away from the coast and left Buckkeep and the coastal duchies to fend for themselves.
But Regal and his group of Skill users are not an easy target which Fitz learns the hard way. This forces Verity to interfere to save Fitz and by doing this, he puts a quest in Fitz’ head – to find Verity.
Verity left on a quest to bring the Elderlings back to safe Buckkeep and save the kingdom and is somewhere beyond the Mountain Kingdom. Followed by Regal’s guards and his skill users, Fitz flees towards the mountains and picks up a group of – yes, you guessed it – unlikely heroes on his way. Most noteworthy of course is always Nighteyes. Fitz’ wolf companion is a huge part of what makes this book special and Hobb manages to create great scenes and amazing action both when Nighteyes is around and when he joins a pack of wolves and leaves Fitz to fend for himself for a period of time.
This is the longest book in the trilogy and it is a bit too long in places. Part of the traveling gets longwinded but still, the book has amazing characters. Kettle and Starling end up as part of the group traveling with Fitz and especially Kettle is a mystery. But even more of a mystery is, why Verity has been gone for so long and what, if anything, he has discovered.
Despite it’s flaws, this is such a good book. Even when I thought it a bit long-winded, I was still intrigued and read every chance I got. I just wanted to know what happened to Verity and Kettricken and if they would ever find each other again? To the Fool who disappeared with Kettricken when they fled Buckkeep and Regal. To Molly, Burrich, Chade, the Lady Patience and all the other characters we’ve grown to love over these three books.
And especially what happened to Verity. Without revealing too much, I have to say that he finds what he was looking for – but that it maybe wasn’t quite what he expected when he set out on his quest.
Finally the cover of this book promises dragons – or at least one dragon – and yes, there are dragons. Not your regular fantasy fire breathing dragon though. These are much more complex creatures – and I absolutely loved them.
Without revealing the ending, this is definitely not your typical ending. Because of this, because of these books being so good and because I want something to come after this for Fitz and Nighteyes, I’m really happy that there are more books about Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. This series has rekindled my love of the fantasy genre.
First line: I awake every morning with ink on my hands.
- Title: Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy #2)
- Author: Robin Hobb
- Publisher: Harper Voyager
- Year: 2007 (original 1996)
- Pages: 838 pages
- Source: Own collection
- Stars: 4 stars out of 5
Don’t be disappointed when the next trilogy begins elsewhere. Eventually, if you keep your eyes open, the Fool will make an appearance and even, if in a very different guise, Fitz.
The next one is the one about the ships, right? And even though I like Fitz and the Fool, I like them more for giving me the opportunity to explore this world. I would be just as happy with a book about Kettricken and how she gets on after the events in this first trilogy.Unfortunately they didn’t have an entire trilogy when I last went book shopping and I bought a bunch of other books so I’ll have to wait a bit before moving on in this world. How many have you read?
This is one of my favorite fantasy series. I began reading Hobb’s The Liveship Traders Trilogy, which is loosely connected. My favorite remains The Farseer Trilogy, although I followed through with The Tawny Man Trilogy. Great fantasy!
I plan on reading all the series too, both the ones with and the ones without Fitz and the Fool. She is a great fantasy writer and she creates amazing settings and even most of her secondary characters are well thought out.
I love Robin Hobb so much. I read the Farseer’s trilogy (didn’t love the first book that much but by the end of 3rd I was a fan!) and started the next trilogy a while back, the one with the ships. I am, however, looking forward to seeing the characters from the first three books again – especially The Fool.
I am so glad she is writing a new trilogy about the Fool and Fitz but I’m still equally as excited about all the books by her I get to explore before making it to her new trilogy.