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Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy) by…

Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy) (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Robin Hobb

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5,04960893 (4.17)97
Title:Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy)
Authors:Robin Hobb
Info:Voyager (1997), Paperback, 768 pages
Collections:Your library

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Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb (1996)

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English (56)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (60)
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This is the second book in the Farseer trilogy, the story of the kingdom of the Six Duchies and FitzChiverly, the bastard son of a prince who is trained as an assassin. To read Royal Assassin, you really need to have read the first book, Assassin’s Apprentice.

While the first book did wrap up nicely, it left plenty of issues unsolved. The Forged ones (people without any humanity who are tools of the vicious Raiders) and the Red-Shipped Raiders themselves continue to devastate the Six Duchies. Regal is still alive and vying for the throne. King Shrewd continues to grow weaker, and King-In-Waiting Verity continues to be unsuccessful in his attempts to drive off the raiders and preserve the kingdom.

With imminent doom on the horizon, you’d think Fitz would find something to worry about other than his Love Interest, Molly. The first half of the book (and some sections afterwards) are overwhelmed with emotional turmoil and aghast over Molly, who continues to fulfill no role whatsoever in the actual plot. She’s there simply has Fitz’s One True Love. Otherwise, we as the readers couldn’t care less. She’s also three years older than Fitz who is fifteen – yet much drama results over her complaining that he is acting “like a child” or “like a boy.” The age difference is annoying enough, but Molly really needs to employ her brain when she makes such complaints. To me, Molly and all the dramatics over her were the biggest flaws of the book.

Luckily, there was one female character who was admirable – Kettriken, the foreign wife of Verity who is adjusting to her new role as Queen-In-Waiting. Kettriken is caring and competent, and she’s devoted to doing whatever’s right for her kingdom, no matter the cost to herself. She’s able to defend the kingdom both with her words and with her sword. Unlike Molly, Kettriken is highly significant to the plot. As such, I would name her the female lead.

Unfortunately, there is no other female character who is so admirable. I’ve already spoken on my issues with Molly. The only other major female character is Lady Patience, who’s somewhat ditzy and only peripherally involved in the plotting and intrigue. If you’re looking for a series with important and admirable female characters, look else where.

For all my grumblings about Molly and the slower beginning, I did like the book.The tension and pace really pick up in the last third or so. Anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. The situation is desperate, and I desperately want to know how it works out.Like any second book in a trilogy, the ending doesn’t give all the answers. However, it doesn’t leave us in the middle of things either.

If you’re looking for a high fantasy novel with big stakes and political intrigue, I’d suggest this trilogy. If you’re looking for a rewarding sequel to the first book, you won’t be disappointed. ( )
  | Jul 11, 2014 | edit |
I loved this series of books, and this one in particular. Robin Hobb's character development is where she really shines, and Fitz was a character I truly cared about and couldn't get out of my head. This is a good follow up to the first book, and if you enjoyed it, then you'll enjoy this one. ( )
  RoseCrossed | Jun 20, 2014 |
A bit draggy in spots, where the plot didn't catch up and there wasn't enough action. Hobb favors "telling, not seeing" to detail certain events in the kingdom, which can be very wearisome at times. Overall, when the characters actually did things and were motivated, the book picked up. Not as good as Assassin's Apprentice, but still, definitely good enough to want to read the sequel. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
This review refers to the whole Farseer Trilogy:

I read The Farseer Saga years ago and it is still one of my favorite epic fantasies. Its main strengths are its simple writing style and excellent characterization.

Robin Hobb's prose is lovely — straightforward and simple. It never calls attention to itself (and therefore away from the story). The characters are complex and believable. Fitz is my favorite fantasy "hero" and someone I came to really care about. He's not perfect, he's not beautiful, he's not a master swordsman. He's an abandoned bastard coming of age. He's insecure, he's lonely, and sometimes he broods. Not in an annoying whiny way, but in a normal, realistic way.

Things don't always go so well for Fitz. His story is heart-wrenching, and I felt emotionally drained after I finished it. But somehow, that was so satisfying.

Read more Robin Hobb book reviews at Fantasy literature. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

FitzChivalry Farseer, who barely survived an assassination attempt by his uncle, Prince Regal, has returned to Buckkeep where the King, his grandfather, lies dying. His other uncle, Prince Verity, is exhausting himself by trying to keep the kingdom together in the face of increasing attacks by the Red Ship Raiders. The Raiders continue to capture and, through some unknown process, “Forge” citizens of the Six Duchies. When these Forged citizens, who are now more like animals than people, are released, they start moving toward Buck Keep. What are they doing? Do they have some sort of programmed mission? What is the goal?

When Prince Verity leaves the castle to look for the ancient (perhaps mythical) Elderlings, life becomes even more difficult for Fitz. He has the horrible job of tracking and killing the Forged Ones; he must avoid Prince Regal’s attempts to kill him; he suspects that King Shrewd is being poisoned; he has to keep secret his ability with the Wit; he has to make sure Kettricken, Verity’s Queen-in-Waiting, is happy and safe in her new home; he must stay away from Molly, the girl he’s in love with while keeping Celerity, the girl that King Shrewd wants him to marry, at arm’s-length.

It’s all rather grueling and the story becomes more and more intense as time goes on. Fitz has the choice to sit and sulk, or to suck it up and act like a man. Fortunately, Fitz has some allies who he knows he can trust: Burrich, the stable master who raised him; Chade, the assassin who trained him; Patience, his dead father’s seemingly scatter-brained wife; and the Fool, an enigmatic little fellow who sometimes shows up with a mysterious riddle that turns out to be exactly what Fitz needed to hear.

Royal Assassin is an excellent second book in Robin Hobb’s FARSEER SAGA. It’s full of action, great characters, intense emotion, political intrigue, and ugly treachery. It’s a little hard to believe that a teenager could be wise enough to be counseling royalty on statecraft and affairs of the heart, but it’s hard to resist FitzChivalry Farseer’s appeal as the inconvenient bastard of a much-loved dead prince. In the first book, Assassin’s Apprentice, Fitz was protected from his ambitious uncle Regal by King Shrewd and Prince Verity, but Shrewd is dying and Verity is gone, leaving Fitz to fend for himself. Hobb hasn’t treated Fitz well up to this point so, even though these events are related in the first person by a future Fitz, the reader feels no assurance that Fitz is going to be okay. And, indeed, he isn’t — the ending is surprising and devastating.

I’ve read these books before, but I can’t wait to torture myself again with the third volume of the FARSEER SAGA: Assassin’s Quest. This time I’ve been reading Tantor Audio’s versions which are narrated by Paul Boehmer who does a great job portraying some of my favorite characters in all of fantasy literature. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Hobbprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santikko, SauliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Giles
And for Raphael and Freddy,
the Princes of Assassins
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Why is it forbidden to write down specific knowledge of the magics?
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
"Het zijn kwade tijden. En ik vroeg me af of er wel ooit een eind aan zou komen. Het was een vraag die ik me in de daaropvolgende jaren nog vaak zou stellen." - FitzChevalric
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in the portuguese edition the royal assassion was split between o punhal do soberano e a corte dos traidores
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553573411, Mass Market Paperback)

Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and returns to the court where he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life. With the King near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened. Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns. In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands--and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Fitz, crippled in his first mission as an assassin, intends to take refuge in a distant kingdom, but is drawn back to his home and the court of the Six Duchies when he learns the kingdom is under attack from outside enemies and inside traitors.

(summary from another edition)

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