Liked didn’t quite love.
Royal Assassin continues pretty much straight where Assassin’s Apprentice left off. Fitz is still in the mountains recuperating after his bout of poisoning at the hands of Prince Regal, ponding whether to remain for the Winter or start the trek back to Buckeep and the burden of being the bastard.
I like how this sequel we delve so much deeper into the backgrounds of a few of the characters and their reasonings behind where their loyalties lie. Which I feel was really the main focus of the book. There are various situations where Fitz finds his faith and trust for his king pushed right to its limits. He even at times I feel circumvents his oaths in a way that still isn’t treason but is better suited to his point of view. We do see some growth throughout the storyline but I feel there is still so much more that he is capable of and hasn’t shown his full potential yet.
I find Molly to be a little bit unlikable. I see the reasoning behind her character and how Robin Hobb utilised her as a way for Fitz to truly display either his love and commitment to her or to the Farseer line. I felt she went into the whole situation well aware of how she will be perceived and accepted the inevitable for what it was yet still she demanded Fitz to choose her knowing he wasn’t going to. I think it was the back and forth that bugged me the most. One day she will be accepting of Fitz’s situation and would just live for the moment and try to be happy and other days she would reject him completely and not be open to any kind of compromise.
The pacing of the story was a little off for me. There were certain sections that were very action packed with high intensity and then the plot would become stagnant and a little dry. This is a very politically driven plot with a few fantastical elements thrown in, whereas I would prefer the reverse. I felt like it was just a little too long as well, not enough happened for me to justify the book being 648 pages. I think had this book been around the 400 page mark I would of been a lot more engaged.
I want to know more about the mysterious Elderlings, I want to see Fitz utilise more of his assassin abilities and have a few more covert missions. There just wasn’t enough oomph in this for me.
⭐️3/5 stars still a solid fantasy read, just not entertaining enough for me, I’m hoping for an explosive ending!