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Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb
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Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2017/05/08/review-assassins-fate-by-robin-hobb/

Assassin’s Fate is an emotional roller-coaster of a book that is heartbreaking, bittersweet and absolutely perfect. This book is not just a perfect ending to The Fitz and Fool trilogy, but also to The Realm of the Elderlings series so far. So much so, that my only negative reaction is fear that there may not be another series in this world that Hobb has made me love so much. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely huge potential for more stories to be told there, but for this conclusion, Hobb expertly weaves together threads from all the prior series in to one epic conclusion.

For any readers that have previously wondered how disconnected the non-Fitz series are from the Fitz ones, I can say they do all come together in this final book. If you have not read Liveship Traders or Rain Wild Chronicles, I strongly advise you to go read those first as there are characters and references from every series that really just add an extra layer of enjoyment. All of The Realm of the Elderling books are worth reading and I believe you will get more out of this conclusion if you have experienced all of the prior stories first.

As in true Hobb form, this book is emotional. We have seen Fitz grow from the lost and lonely orphan into the man with more life experiences and heartbreak than any one human should have. He does at least have those moments of joy and fulfillment in between that makes it all so worth while.

His relationship with the Fool has been a constant for him, and while we have seen multiple faces of the Fool, seeing how Fitz reacts to his friends mysterious ways is interesting. Fitz has to deal with realizing that as close as the connection is between the two of them, there is still a tremendous amount of the Fool that is a mystery to him.

This book is split into two interwoven stories and perspectivbes. First there is Bee. Poor Bee, Fitz’s young kidnapped daughter, is at the center of everything. Her kidnappers do not treat her well at all, we know how the Servants treated the Fool, and she has to struggle just to survive at times, much less escape. But she is her father’s daughter, so you know she has a tremendous amount of fight in her despite her young age and small size. Her story is one of perseverance and survival, using any and all resources she can.

Then on the other side of things is Fitz. Fitz’s main goal is vengeance and retribution. He wants to destroy the Servants for stealing Bee and what he knows of them from the Fool only serves to feed that desire. They came and destroyed his home at Withywoods, where he and his family were supposed to be safe. They also tortured and crippled his dearest friend. Now they have his daughter. Yeah, you can be sure Fitz will want use all the training he had under Chade, training on all the different ways to kill, for revenge. Fitz has had a habit of blaming himself for all the problems of his world, particularly when bad things happen to those he loved. Even as he has matured, this trait still haunts his life. He blames himself for Bee’s capture and will not rest until he finds a way to pretty much annihilate the Servants.

The stories are exciting and addictive and this book ends the series with a fantastically epic conclusion. It really is perfect. I once again loved every page, and my hope after reading this is that Hobb will give us a new series centered on Bee. She is an amazing and fascinating character that would work extremely well as the center of a new series. Not that anyone asked me, but I can hope, right? ( )
  tenaciousreader | Aug 8, 2017 |
Assassin’s Fate is the third and final book in author Robin Hobb’s The Fitz and the Fool series. But it is not just an ending to this series but an end to many of the different stories in Hobbs’ Realm of the Elderlings epic fantasy told over 16 books in 5 series. I’m not sure how long it’s been since I read Assassin’s Apprentice, the very first book in the Realm written in 1995, on the recommendation of a friend but, from the first page, I was hooked.

It is hard to write a review of Assassin’s Fate without giving anything away but I really want to avoid spoilers here. Was it perfect – no, at times it dragged just a little, at times, it felt just a bit repetitive, and it could have been a tad shorter. And it is definitely not a standalone – to really appreciate the story, it is necessary to have read at least some of the other books and not just the other two in this series.

But, you know what, none of that really mattered. The characters, the adventure, the surprises, the absolute roller coaster ride both in the plot and the emotions it created made these flaws, which would have been huge in a lesser series, just seem like kindness on Hobbs’ part, a chance for the reader to catch their breath and get their emotions in check. And trust me, if it is true that Assassin’s Fate can’t be read as a standalone, if you haven’t read the other books but you would like a chance to immerse yourself in some of the best fantasy around, I can’t recommend the entire Realm of the Elderlings highly enough.

Hobbs has the ability to make even the most violent of characters sympathetic and to make readers care about them. Fitz and the Fool and many of the other characters have become like friends, people whose fate mattered to me. I have read several other reviews in which the writers talked of how they were crying by the end. I swore that I would not let this happen but Hobbs made a liar out of me. By the end, I had shed more than a few of my own tears. The story was compelling, heartbreaking, and satisfying throughout. The ending may not have been the one that I had hoped for but it was absolutely the right one.

I must say though that although I was satisfied with the way that this series and several of the others were completed and I have to thank Ms Hobbs for giving me so much pleasure over the last couple of decades, I really hope that there will be more entries in the Realm of the Elderlings because I miss the characters and the world already.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review ( )
  lostinalibrary | Jul 5, 2017 |
Have enjoyed all the Fitz and the Fool books from the first "Assassin's Apprentice" to the last, "Assassin's Fate". All the books in the series were difficult to put down and kept me guessing on each ending. Robin Hobb is truly a talented writer! Would recommend for anyone that loves great Fantasy Fiction! ( )
  cwpigg | Jul 5, 2017 |
Note: No spoilers for this book, although because it is the third in a trilogy, there will necessarily be spoilers for the previous two books.

This book, by no means a standalone novel, is the conclusion to the “Fitz and the Fool Trilogy.” The story continues the tale of FitzChivalry’s efforts to get revenge on the Servants of the White Prophet for the kidnapping and presumed murder of his daughter Bee. He is aided on his quest by his long-time friend The Fool; The Fool’s attendant Spark; Lant, who is the son of Fitz’s old mentor Chade; Bee’s friend Perseverance (or “Per”); and Per’s companion crow Motley. They complicate matters for Fitz and put him in even more danger, but Fitz of course only feels guilty for not taking better care of them all.

As this third and final volume of this trilogy begins, the group is in Kelsingra, a place where the Skill-magic runs strong.

The Fool decides (based on interpreting dreams) that Bee is still alive, and moreover, that she has been taken to Castle Clerres, the stronghold of the Servants. He also wants to go there to get his own revenge on them, demanding that Fitz “go to Clerres and kill them all.” The Servants, originally meant to help set the world on a better path, got corrupted over time and, as Fool contends, “care only for enriching themselves and their own comfort.” Now they breed those who have precognizant dreams, and profit from “disasters and windfalls.” Moreover, they cruelly tortured Fool for “disobedience.”

Fitz and his group learn that the dragons want revenge on Clerres as well, so they must speed there to rescue Bee, if indeed she is there and alive, before the dragons destroy everyone and everything in Clerres. The leaders of Kelsingra, who feel a debt to both the Fool and Fitz, arrange for their transportation. Part of the trip is accomplished by “liveships,” living ships made of wood formed from dragon cocoons and enhanced by the memories of those who served and died on the ships. A subplot running through the story is the desire of at least some of the dragons at the heart of the liveships to be released to realize their natural forms and destinies.

In alternate chapters, we follow the progress of Bee, who is in fact still alive, and her captors, a warped group from Clerres led by the evil Dwalia. Dwalia and her coterie had originally set out from Clerres to follow The Fool (known to them as “Beloved”) in the hope he would lead them to the Unexpected Son foretold in dreams. They decided Bee was this person, and, killing most of the people at Bee’s home in Withywoods, are now taking her to Clerres for interrogation (and presumably for Dwalia to be rewarded). [It should be noted that The Fool believes Fitz is the Unexpected Son, in addition to being Fool’s “catalyst” to change the world. Fitz, for his part, believes himself to be the foretold “Destroyer.”]

Bee, though weak and sad, is aided by the inner guidance of her wolf-father, Nighteyes.

Bee is put in a prison cell in Clerres, and there meets Prilkop, another prophet who has fallen out of favor with the Servants. She asks him, “Prilkop, just tell me. Do I break the future?” He tells her: “Oh child. We all do. That is both the danger and the hope of life. That each of us changes the world, every day.” Indeed.

Bee decides that the stored memories at Clerres harm the world:

“The problem is not that we forget the past. It is that we recall it too well. Children recall wrongs that enemies did to their grandfathers, and blame the granddaughters of the old enemies. . . . hates are bequeathed to [children], taught them, breathed into them. If adults didn’t tell children of their hereditary hates, perhaps we would do better.”

Thus she resolves to do something about the chain of vengeance. This will be her destined Path.

Meanwhile, Fitz and his group finally arrive in Clerres, and all the plot strands come together. The readers know at least some will not make it out alive, because the dreams have foretold as much. But the dreams are conveyed in symbols and allegories, and moreover refer to the Unexpected Son and the Destroyer, whose identities we also don’t know for sure.

Discussion: We know that in Fitz’s world, “Nothing is really lost. Shapes change. But it’s never completely gone.” But it’s not always clear in what ways this happens. Even the characters in the book aren’t always sure what is real, and what they just wish to be real.

The Fool continues to exercise a sway over Fitz that is very annoying, and I have to say I shared Bee’s assessment of The Fool, and was gratified that I wasn’t the only one to feel that way, even if it was a fictional person that shared my feelings! But this relationship has always been at the heart of the series, and the author stayed true to it throughout the story.

While I loved Bee and Per especially, as with the previous books in the trilogy, I found that some of the most endearing and unforgettable characters were not human.

Evaluation: Overall, in spite of my quibbles, this series is wonderful. Unlike other books of this length, I did not come away from this one (or any of the author's previous books in this saga) wishing it could have been edited to be shorter. On the contrary, I was very sad to see it end! When you spend this much time with memorable characters, it’s very hard to let them go! ( )
  nbmars | Jun 26, 2017 |
I love Robin Hobb's books and this book was good, but I'm just giving it 3 stars because it was much longer than necessary. It was better than the preceding volume of this trilogy; it would have been great but for the repeated sequences of capture-torture-escape.

All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the Fitz and Fool stories. The interaction of all the characters was enjoyable, their special talents were enviable, and Bee's early childhood and secret education were delightful to read. They are all great characters! ( )
  nhlsecord | Jun 12, 2017 |
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Voor Fitz en de nar, al meer dan twintig jaar mijn beste vrienden.
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Kinderen staan in een kring en houden elkaars hand vast
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De landkaart op de muur van de kaartenkamer in Aslevjal toonde een gebied dat het merendeel van de Zes Hertogdommen bevatte, een deel van het Bergrijk, een groot stuk van Kwarts, en landstreken aan beide zijden van de Wilde Regenlanden.
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