King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul.
I really enjoyed seeing Fitz’s evolution over the course of the plot. At the start he is still more wolf than human and watching him struggle to retain his humanity was highly entertaining to read. The scenes between Fitz and Burrich during this time were incredibly poignant and touching. Burrich really displayed how much he loves Fitz and we see him step up and save Fitz time and time again. I can’t say I appreciated the way Fitz spoke to him and pushed him away but I’m glad we see him eventually move on.
I found Fitz to be a little petulant and childish for most of the book. At the start when he starts on his journey to kill Regal with no plan just his ego and his wit leading him into a trap. The fact that he even thought to himself what if Will was using the skill to coax him to Tradeford and then walk right into the trap was frustrating. He was so hell bent on killing Regal for his own gain that all of his assassin skills just went right out the window.
Nighteyes was one constant in the story that I loved. His relationship with Fitz and his simple way of life was a breath of fresh air in the plot. His dedication to Fitz and steadfast logic I think really prolonged Fitz’s survival.
Starling wasn’t a favourite character of mine. I found her to be a bit of an opportunist and didn’t really care for Fitz or his wellbeing, just wanting to us him for her own personal gain. I think the fact that she followed him so far and her song didn’t even end up being about him was ironic. Selling out Nettle to the Farseer throne was really the last straw for me with her. She never even really apologised to Fitz about it either which really grated me.
The story as a whole just really dragged and got very repetitive. I understand the book is really centered around this quest that Fitz has to undertake to find King Verity but I think a solid 400-500 pages was just Fitz travelling and making and breaking up camps. There wasn’t enough action or a real sense of adventure for me. By the end when we started finally finding out answers to all the questions that have been posed throughout the series I wasn’t really interested or invested anymore.
I story is very immersive, epic and I can respect the way Robin Hobb wove the plot in a way that makes you really delve deep into these characters, it just wasn’t the story for me.
⭐️2/5 stars Not enough happened for me to justify the length…
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!
Back in January I posted about 5 Fantasy Series that I wanted to start in 2019 and I did an updated post in May, so I decided to do one last update and see where I am at with these 5 series that I wanted start this year!
The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima – I completed this series back in May and absolutely loved it, now one of my all-time favourite fantasy series and I am dying to start The Shattered Realms series!
The Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes – I am now half way through this 6 books series. I am really, really enjoying the direction of the series so far, and it gives me serious Game of Throne vibes!
The Witchlands Series by Susan Dennard – I have completed all four books that are currently out at the moment. This series took me by surprise; I didn’t think I was going to like it as much as I did!
The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks – This series is really intimidating me for some reason. I have all four books that are out currently but I have been overlooking them for other books. I really need to priorities these books because I have heard such great things, I may actually try and start The Black Prism this month and see how I go!
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb – I have read The Assassin’s Apprentice only so far. It was during the Reading Rush and I found it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It was lacking a little bit of action and adventure and kind of dragged a little for me, which in turn has put me off from continuing on with this series. I am still going to give Royal Assassin a try, but I have not plans to in the immediate future!
This week’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt is Books on my Summer 2019 TBR list. Well over here in Australia it’s winter at the moment so this is really the time of year I get stuck into more epic fantasy and series with some mystery/sci-fi thrown in. All of these books have been on my TBR for ages now and I really want to knock them all out this winter!
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Finale by Stephanie Garber
The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan