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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

{Review} Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb

Book Title: Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy, Book #1)
Author: Robin Hobb
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publishing Date: August 12, 2014
Length: 667 pages
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

'Fantasy as it ought to be written' GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.

But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…

On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.

Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?

Suddenly Fitz's violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.

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I do not know how long it has been since I've last seen FitzChivalry Farseer. It's been a long time. I thought he was retired in Withywood and therefore snapped to attention and clicked request so fast at Netgalley when I saw this up for requests.

Do you have those books and characters? Where immersing yourself back into their world is like greeting a long lost friend?

In this case, I kinda wanted to smack Fitz on the arm and wake him the hell up. Haha. Robin Hobb picks up the story here roughly 10 years or so since we left off. Fitz is well ensconced into his role as Holder Tom Badgerlock and his wife Lady Molly. He is grieving, thinking that age is taking Molly away from him as she begins to insist that, despite having gone through menopause several years ago, she is pregnant. Having birthed 7 babies, she damn well knows when she is pregnant. She asks him to believe her, but she is pregnant for two years and Fitz has a hard time hanging onto the charade. Lo and behold, she surprises him when she goes into labor to birth their daughter, a tiny, pale, beautiful daughter they name Bee.

From there, the book continues with life on the farm, intrigue and politics seeping in here and there, and you realize that Fitz hasn't just been hiding in the persona of Tom Badgerlock...he's becoming Tom. And happily. Master Chade, along with Fitz's daughter Nettle, keep trying to lure him back, but he really isn't as mentally adept at picking things up as he once was.

If you're looking for the intense intrigue and action that was present in the other FitzChivalry Farseer books, you will be disappointed. This is the beginning of a new tale with old friends and new enemies and the tale is being woven and laid out. There are hints and instances you should keep in the back of your mind in the beginning as they tie themselves together by the end.

If you're anything like me and get lost in your books, I have no doubt you will be shouting and grimacing every time certain characters come into the scene. *cue eyeroll for Shun NOW*. And I'm not a supporter of being so much a gentleman that you don't turn around and tell a spoiled, little bitch to shut up, that it is YOUR house, she is a GUEST, and she will MIND HER PLACE. Can you tell that I hated Shun? Goes to show you how well Robin Hobb writes, doesn't it? When an author can evoke that much loathing, and on the opposite side for different characters that much care, you know you're in good hands as a reader and will be whisked away.

There is a gruesome town scene that made me choke up and cry. And then FitzChivalry continues thinking about it as it affects him greatly, having the Wit and all. I'm a huge animal lover and scenes of this nature make me want to vomit. I couldn't take it in Crime & Punishment when the horse is beaten even after death and I can't take it in movies, etc. So there were a few pages for me that were totally blurred by tears. I wish Fitz had killed that man, but then he'd probably be in jail so that wouldn't do us any good.

I knew what was coming as soon as Beloved made his appearance. And now...we wait. We wait (im)patiently for the next installment to see what unfurls before us. Quite impatiently. Haha.

I did NOT reread the FitzChivalry Farseer books before reading this one. You don't really have to. There is enough information to know who is whom, flashbacks to bring pertinent information, and the story as it is happening NOW that is important.

May I have some more, please?