Assassin's Quest (Farseer Series #3)

Assassin's Quest (Farseer Series #3)

by Robin Hobb

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Overview

“An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest—perhaps to death. Only Verity’s return—or the heir his princess carries—can save the Six Duchies.
 
But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him—currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was.
 
Praise for Robin Hobb and Assassin’s Quest
 
“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin
 
“Superbly written, wholly satisfying, unforgettable: better than any fantasy trilogy in print—including mine!”—Melanie Rawn

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553565690
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1998
Series: Farseer Series , #3
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 768
Sales rank: 30,188
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Robin Hobb is the author of the Farseer Trilogy, the Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, the Soldier Son Trilogy, and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. She has also written as Megan Lindholm. She is a native of Washington State.

Read an Excerpt

Chade came back one day. He had grown his beard long and he wore a wide-brimmed hat like a peddler, but I knew him all the same. Burrich wasn't at home when he arrived, but I let him in. I did not know why he had come. "Do you want some brandy?" I asked, thinking perhaps that was why he had come. He looked closely at me and almost smiled.

"Fitz?" he said. He turned his head sideways to look into my face. "So. How have you been?"

I didn't know the answer to that question, so I just looked at him. After a time, he put the kettle on. He took things out of his pack. He had brought spice tea, some cheese and smoked fish. He took out packets of herbs as well and set them out in a row on the table. Then he took out a leather pouch. Inside it was a fat yellow crystal, large enough to fill his hand. In the bottom of the pack was a large shallow bowl, glazed blue inside. He had set it on the table and filled it with clean water when Burrich returned. Burrich had gone fishing. He had a string with six small fish on it. They were creek fish, not ocean fish. They were slippery and shiny. He had already taken all the guts out.

"You leave him alone now?" Chade asked Burrich after they had greeted one another.

"I have to, to get food."

"So you trust him now?"

Burrich looked aside from Chade. "I've trained a lot of animals. Teaching one to do what you tell it is not the same as trusting a man."

Burrich cooked the fish in a pan and then we ate. We had the cheese and the tea also. Then, while I was cleaning the pans and dishes, they sat down to talk.

"I want to try the herbs," Chade said to Burrich. "Or the water, or the crystal. Something. Anything. I begin to think that he's not really...in there."

"He is," Burrich asserted quietly. "Give him time. I don't think the herbs are a good idea for him. Before he...changed, he was getting too fond of herbs. Toward the end, he was always either ill, or charged full of energy. If he was not in the depths of sorrow, he was exhausted from fighting or from being King's Man to Verity or Shrewd. Then he'd be into the elfbark instead of resting. He'd forgotten how to just rest and let his body recover. He'd never wait for it. That last night...you gave him carris seed, didn't you? Foxglove said she'd never seen anything like it. I think more folk might have come to his aid, if they hadn't been so frightened of him. Poor old Blade thought he had gone stark raving mad. He never forgave himself for taking him down. I wish he could know the boy hadn't actually died."

"There was no time to pick and choose. I gave him what I had to hand. I didn't know he'd go mad on carris seed."

"You could have refused him," Burrich said quietly.

"It wouldn't have stopped him. He'd have gone as he was, exhausted, and been killed right there."

I went and sat down on the hearth. Burrich was not watching me. I lay down, then rolled over on my back and stretched. It felt good. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth of the fire on my flank.

"Get up and sit on the stool, Fitz," Burrich said.

I sighed, but I obeyed. Chade did not look at me. Burrich resumed talking.

"I'd like to keep him on an even keel. I think he just needs time, to do it on his own. He remembers. Sometimes. And then he fights it off. I don't think he wants to remember, Chade. I don't think he really wants to go back to being FitzChivalry. Maybe he liked being a wolf. Maybe he liked it so much he's never coming back."

"He has to come back," Chade said quietly. "We need him."

Burrich sat up. He'd had his feet up on the woodpile, but now he set them on the floor. He leaned toward Chade. "You've had word?"

"Not I. But Patience has, I think. It's very frustrating, sometimes, to be the rat behind the wall."

"So what did you hear?"

"Only Patience and Lacey, talking about wool."

"Why is that important?"

"They wanted wool to weave a very soft cloth. For a baby, or a small child. "It will be born at the end of our harvest, but that's the beginning of winter in the Mountains. So let us make it thick,' Patience said. Perhaps for Kettricken's child."

Burrich looked startled. "Patience knows about Kettricken?"

Chade laughed. "I don't know. Who knows what that woman knows? She has changed much of late. She gathers the Buckkeep Guard into the palm of her hand, and Lord Bright does not even see it happening. I think now that we should have let her know our plan, included her from the beginning. But perhaps not."

"It might have been easier for me if we had." Burrich stared deep into the fire.

Chade shook his head. "I am sorry. She had to believe you had abandoned Fitz, rejected him for his use of the Wit. If you had gone after his body, Regal might have been suspicious. We had to make Regal believe she was the only one who cared enough to bury him."

"She hates me now. She told me I had no loyalty, nor courage." Burrich looked at his hands and his voice tightened. "I knew she had stopped loving me years ago. When she gave her heart to Chivalry. I could accept that. He was a man worthy of her. And I had walked away from her first. So I could live with her not loving me, because I felt she still respected me as a man. But now, she despises me. I . . ." He shook his head, then closed his eyes tightly. For a moment all was still. Then Burrich straightened himself slowly and turned to Chade. His voice was calm as he asked, "So, you think Patience knows that Kettricken fled to the Mountains?"

"It wouldn't surprise me. There has been no official word, of course. Regal has sent messages to King Eyod, demanding to know if Kettricken fled there, but Eyod replied only that she was the Six Duchies Queen and what she did was not a Mountain concern. Regal was angered enough by that to cut off trade to the Mountains. But Patience seems to know much of what goes on outside the keep. Perhaps she knows what is happening in the Mountain Kingdom. For my part, I should dearly love to know how she intends to send the blanket to the Mountains. It's a long and weary way."

For a long time, Burrich was silent. Then he said, "I should have found a way to go with Kettricken and the Fool. But there were only the two horses, and only supplies enough for two. I hadn't been able to get more than that. And so they went alone." He glared into the fire, then asked, "I don't suppose anyone has heard anything of King-in-Waiting Verity?"

Chade shook his head slowly. "King Verity," he reminded Burrich softly. "If he were here." He looked far away. "If he were coming back, I think he'd be here by now," he said quietly. "A few more soft days like this, and there will be Red Ship Raiders in every bay. I no longer believe Verity is coming back."

"Then Regal truly is King," Burrich said sourly. "At least until Kettricken's child is born and comes of age. And then we can look forward to a civil war if the child tries to claim the crown. If there is still a Six Duchies left to be ruled. Verity. I wish now that he had not gone questing for the Elderlings. At least while he was alive, we had some protection from the Raiders. Now, with Verity gone and spring getting stronger, nothing stands between us and the Red Ships. . . ."

Verity. I shivered with the cold. I pushed the cold away. It came back and I pushed it all away. I held it away. After a moment, I took a deep breath.

"Just the water, then?" Chade asked Burrich, and I knew they had been talking but I had not been hearing.

Burrich shrugged. "Go ahead. What can it hurt? Did he use to scry things in water?"

"I never tried him. I always suspected he could if he tried. He has the Wit and the Skill. Why shouldn't he be able to scry as well?"

"Just because a man can do a thing does not mean he should do a thing."

For a time, they looked at one another. Then Chade shrugged. "Perhaps my trade does not allow me so many niceties of conscience as yours," he suggested in a stiff voice.

After a moment, Burrich said gruffly, "Your pardon, sir. We all served our king as our abilities dictated."

Chade nodded to that. Then he smiled.

Chade cleared the table of everything but the dish of water and some candles. "Come here," he said to me softly, so I went back to the table. He sat me in his chair and put the dish in front of me. "Look in the water," he told me. "Tell me what you see."

I saw the water in the bowl. I saw the blue in the bottom of the bowl. Neither answer made him happy. He kept telling me to look again but I kept seeing the same things. He moved the candle several times, each time telling me to look again. Finally he said to Burrich, "Well, at least he answers when you speak to him now."

Burrich nodded, but he looked discouraged. "Yes. Perhaps with time," he said.

I knew they were finished with me then, and I relaxed.

Chade asked if he could stay the night with us. Burrich said of course. Then he went and fetched the brandy. He poured two cups. Chade drew my stool to the table and sat again. I sat and waited, but they began talking to one another again.

"What about me?" I asked at last.

They stopped talking and looked at me. "What about you?" Burrich asked.

"Don't I get any brandy?"

They looked at me. Burrich asked carefully, "Do you want some? I didn't think you liked it."

"No, I don't like it. I never liked it." I thought for a moment. "But it was cheap."

Burrich stared at me. Chade smiled a small smile, looking down at his hands. Then Burrich got another cup and poured some for me. For a time they sat watching me, but I didn't do anything. Eventually they began talking again. I took a sip of the brandy. It still stung my mouth and nose, but it made a warmth inside me. I knew I didn't want any more. Then I thought I did. I drank some more. It was just as unpleasant. Like something Patience would force on me for a cough. No. I pushed that memory aside as well. I set the cup down.

Burrich did not look at me. He went on talking to Chade. "When you hunt a deer, you can often get much closer to it simply by pretending not to see it. They will hold position and watch you approach and not stir a hoof as long as you do not look directly at them." He picked up the bottle and poured more brandy in my cup. I snorted at the rising scent of it. I thought I felt something stirring. A thought in my mind. I reached for my wolf.

Nighteyes?

My brother? I sleep, Changer. It is not yet a good time to hunt.


Burrich glared at me. I stopped.

I knew I did not want more brandy. But someone else thought that I did. Someone else urged me to pick up the cup, just to hold it. I swirled it in the cup. Verity used to swirl his wine in the cup and look into it. I looked into the dark cup.

Fitz.

I set the cup down. I got up and walked around the room. I wanted to go out, but Burrich never let me go out alone, and not at all at night. So I walked around the room until I came back to my chair. I sat down in it again. The cup of brandy was still there. After a time I picked it up, just to make the feeling of wanting to pick it up go away. But once I held it in my hand, he changed it. He made me think about drinking it. How warm it felt in my belly. Just drink it quick, and the taste wouldn't last long, just the warm, good feeling in my belly.

I knew what he was doing. I was beginning to get angry.

Just another small sip then. Soothingly. Whispery. Just to help you relax, Fitz. The fire is so warm, you've had food. Burrich will protect you. Chade is right there. You needn't be on guard so much. Just another sip. One more sip.

No.

A tiny sip, then, just getting your mouth wet.


I took another sip to make him stop making me want to. But he didn't stop, so I took another. I took a mouthful and swallowed it. It was getting harder and harder to resist. He was wearing me down. And Burrich kept putting more in my cup.

Fitz. Say, "Verity's alive." That's all. Say just that.

No.

Doesn't the brandy feel nice in your belly? So warm. Take a little more.


"I know what you're trying to do. You're trying to get me drunk. So I can't keep you out. I won't let you." My face was wet.

Burrich and Chade were both looking at me. "He was never a crying drunk before," Burrich observed. "At least, not around me." They seemed to find that interesting.

Say it. Say, "Verity's alive." Then I'll let you go. I promise. Just say it. Just once. Even as a whisper. Say it. Say it.

I looked down at the table. Very softly, I said, "Verity's alive."

"Oh?" said Burrich. He was too casual. He leaned too quickly to tip more brandy into my cup. The bottle was empty. He gave to me from his own cup.

Suddenly I wanted it. I wanted it for myself. I picked it up and drank it all off. Then I stood up. "Verity's alive," I said. "He's cold, but he's alive. And that's all I have to say." I went to the door and worked the latch and went out into the night. They didn't try to stop me.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama." —-Kirkus Starred Review

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Assassin's Quest (Farseer Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 263 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will agree with some of the other reviewers that the 3rd book in the series came across....lacking compared to the first 2 books. I found Fitz actions over the top sometimes, ridiculous others and downright ignorant most of the time. The new characters were a bit of dissapointment also. As for the ending, I would definitely agree that it dragged on to the point of forcing myself to finish the book. I feel odd giving this review because the past 2 books were sensational but I felt this book was tired and weak compared to the first 2. Still great to some levels but overall not as sharp as the others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say that I am surprised by the reviews for this one. I think Robin Hobb is a sensational writer. The characters were likable and complimented each other in the first two books of this series. And then came this book. Ugh...very, very, very disappointed. Kettle and Starling fit into this story like the Pope at a porn star convention. Fitz' stay with the other Witted was lacking and, I felt, was incomplete. The search for the Elderlings dragged on terribly. The ending, while uncoventional, left me disappointed because of the dragged out search and creation of the Elderlings that preceded it. Great first 2 books + bad last book = good series.
deesy58 More than 1 year ago
This is the third, and last, book of the "Farseer" trilogy. It is written in the style of Stephen R. Donaldson, with the main character possessing the attributes of an anti-hero. FitzChivalry is blissfully unaware of the events swirling around him. He ignores the advice of his mentors, stumbling perpetually into one ambush or unfortunate incident after another. He seems totally unable to plan, to assess his environment, to perceive danger, or to make reasoned decisions. He fails to exercise due caution, even though he is aware that enemies are seeking to kill him. This calamitous book is almost painful to read. The only anticipation available to a reader is the wonder as to what kind of mess our hero will find himself in next. The ending is a bit anticlimactic. The book is, however, well-written with very few editing errors. The story is well-told and entertaining. The main character's denseness and lack of awareness make him unsympathetic in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As with all of Robin Hobb's books I've read, the writing is uniformly excellent, with vivid characters and immersive worlds. I absolutely hated the way she ended this series, however. The protagonist didn't really seem to garner any of the respect he earned, most of the supporting characters still treated him like an imbecile, despite his supposed importance. Ms. Hobb treated her "hero" pretty poorly. Frankly, the only ending of a series I've read that I disliked as much as this one was Stephen King's "Tower" series, but at least Roland got to be a real "hero" in it. This protagonist never seems to, always depending on others to save him. A lot of sacrifice for not a lot of reward. Disappointing. I guess I like more uplifting endings to fantasy novels. If that's what you're after, this book isn't for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hobb concludes the story of Fitz and the Six Duchies in an unconventional style. Each main character is developed more fully, and the world is revealed in rich detail, however, the page count becomes tiresome before the fundamental conflict is resolved. Fitz' journey West takes us into new territory, and raises a new question: Who is the hero? Is it Fitz, the Catalyst who strives clumsily to work behind the scenes as Chade taught him, or is it Verity, the Prince on Crusade to save the Kingdom, as King Wisdom did hundreds of years ago? The only charcters who really grow are Burrich, Fool, Chade, and Nighteyes. Ketricken is too Wagnerian, Kettle too opaque, and Starling too shallow to fill out their roles. At least Will is developed more thoroughly as the antagonist's henchman than is usually the case, and Regal is given some credit for subtlety. The digression into Old Blood is a bit of a tease. The foray into the time of the Elderlings is pointless, when one considers that Verity unveils enough of their secrets to understand the solution to his problem. His confrontation with 'Can I pull this off?' is more compelling than Fitz's overworked habit, begun in book 1, of getting himself and his allies into hot water while trying to help his King. The conclusion to the story fits well within the general theme of sacrifices made in the pursuit of noble ends. Hobb still makes a lying, clumsy, underhanded, poisoning b*st*rd [guess using English now excites a 'wordchecker' / censor-- shame on BN.com] sympathetic character, which is an accomplishment in itself. Just could have used some liposuction. Sorry to see the end of this saga, as the characters came alive during the series. Hobb is a talented story teller. I will miss Fitz and Nighteyes more than most characters. Her next offering will be on my bookshelf.
Anonymous 5 months ago
very+good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the whole series
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book of two parts. Unfortunetly by far the largest part is not only the worst of the entire trilogy it is the first of the book and a truly epic slog to get through. It is slightlyl redeemed by the 2nd part which comprises of the last 150 pages of the book and thr conclusion to the trilogy, which again shows what Hobb could be capable of achieving. The story takes off just a few days after the conclusion to Royal Assassiin (which needs to be read first). Zombie Fita is recovering from his time as a wolf, and re-learning to be human again. Unlike many of the other injuries sustained to various characters throughout the series Hobb does devote a little space to emphasizing how difficult this is. Eventually however Fitz is 'better' and able to embark on a quest. Oh my. I'd never guessed this was coming. Unfortunetly Quest fantasy is very difficult to write, and Hobb falls into all the pitfalls, without managing to hit any of the highlights. There's no particular reason for the quest, it's slow and pointless, it drags throughout it's duration. The terrain and landscapes aren't well explained, and don't naturally fit together. Fitz meets various people, who don't then re-appear or have any significance, but we have to spend pages in their company. Various incidents occur at random, without either furthering our goal or lending any insight into any of the characters. It's tedious for the entire 600 odd pages it takes to go anywhere. It's also unbelivable. In the course of his travels Fitz takes and arrow in the back. It penetrates deeply enough to grate on bone, but doesn't hamper his ability to run or walk, has managed not to damage the spinal cord, or lungs or any other vital organ, and remains suitably uninfected that he recovers after a week or so's bed rest. Pointless and annoying. The entire thing is also, as was the previous volume, badly foreshadowed - either by the diary excerts at the chapter headings, the prophecies, or else various characters musings. At several times I just put the book down in disgust at the clunky writing or poor storyline. If I wasn't such a completist reader I'd never have got to the end, which would have been a shame.The story ends when Fitz finally manages to reach the end of his road. And this entire section is excellant. There is action, drama, pathos, love in all it's forms and deep meaning. Hence it's such a shame that the preceeding 600 pages wore me down to such an extent that I couldn't care whether or not Fitz or the kingdom survives. The entire story arc is properly tied up with no loose ends left hanging. Various characters meet appropriate ends, much is revealed that was slightly obscure although even here much is revealed that was also blindingly obvious. Hobb obviously does have a lot of writing talent. I don't know if she just needs a better editor, or more critical writing support, but I'm unlikely to tackle more of her work until the dross is pared away from the gold.If you've started the series you should finish it, especially for the last 150 pages or so, but do feel free to skip a lot of the rest of the book.............................................................................
Kassilem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is as depressing as the last one. Again the writing is wonderful, the characterization full of life, the world clear; and a good story. One that concludes the series. It concludes it well, although there is a tinge of being rushed. It leaves you wanting more. The story can't end there, right? Well actually it doesn't, but that is another trilogy written later. But Fitz never gets back all he lost in the previous book. Indeed, some cut even deeper in this book. I do not envy Fitz his life, not at all. Regardless I am drawn to him. I love how his character is written; he is very real. Do not expect a happy ending here either, but perhaps in the second trilogy Fitz will get all he deserves. I cannot remember exactly and so I have already picked up the first book in that series, The Tawny Man series. My fingers are crossed. More than anything, he deserves to be happy. These books are page-turners; they will make you laugh; they will make you cry; they will rend emotions from you. They are not easy reads, but powerful in their own right.
idanush on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's always hard to finish a saga. it usually ends up being a little too long and wordy.In addition, trying to explain everything that was a mystery up to this book (over more than a 1000 pages) will always be a little bit of a let down since the biggest part of the fun is the mystery.However, this book explains everything in a very satisfactory manner, save for the red ships that just become a slight non-issue.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful trilogy comes to an end. I will admit to being a little disappointed by the ending....the dragons are great, but I just felt that everything was wrapped up a little too neatly. I would have liked to be privy to a little more information on the final battle than the reader was. A great series, but I was just a little disappointed in the ending.
littlegeek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but this one dragged. Other than the first few chapters wherein our hero was recovering his human mind, the first half was extremely slow and had little to do with the overall plot or any character development. Total filler. Once Fitz manages to reunite with some of his old Buckkeep friends it picks up, but this book suffers from the bane of fantasy novels everywhere: endless travelling. The end was ok, but having already read the Liveship Traders series, I don't really get how these dragons jive with the ones in that series. Hobb is good at character development, but there's a downside. Her characters seem to talk everything to death. She's not nearly as good at describing action scenes (although, Liveship Traders is an improvement on that score). I'd rather have more effective showing and a lot less telling.
eddy79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whilst it was good to get back in Fitz's world and spend time with the wonderfully written characters Hobb created over the course of the previous two books, this volume felt bloated with far too much meandering. The ending wasn't particularly engaging either.
willowcove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This entire trilogy is a very good read.
KissyFish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very well developed characters, great plot, but story is rushed in parts and drags in parts. Hobb's writing style is inconsistent throughout the whole series, and I'm not crazy about it at all. It is easy to fall in love with the characters, though. I was very disappointed in the ending of the trilogy, which wraps up in a very rushed, packaged manner.
bjanecarp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Assassin's Quest is the third book in Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy, and is difficult to speak of, since at every turn, I seem to be combatting spoilers.The protagonist FitzChivalry's anger recuperates from serious wounds in a sheepherder's cabin, and in a desire for revenge, plans to destroy his uncle, who tortured him and believed him dead.In constant tension are Fitz's two magics. The Skill is like mind magic, allowing practitioners to influence others, and suggest thoughts. his own use of the Skill is week, due to his partial training by a hateful Skillmaster. King-in-Waiting Verity has compelled Fitz, through the Skill, to come to him and aid him in his quest to defeat the Red Ship Wars. His beast magic, also known as The Wit, is generally hated (and much maligned) by the population, but his bond with the wolf Nighteyes is quite strong.In the 150 preceding words I recognize how very complex the Hobb's plot has become. This is definitely a third book of three, and I couldn't imagine beginning the series out-of-order. Her writing, as usual, is extremely strong. The story is told from the perspective of FitzChivalry, and is made powerful by the development of all the characters. With the possible exception of Regal, none of the characters seems completely good, or completely evil. And even so, Regal has been given motivation for his hatred of his nephew. Even minor characters, like the young stable boy Hands, and the old woman Kettle, seem to have considerable plausibility.A propos of nothing: I have noticed her fascination with names that start with the letters "Ke". I've noticed Kettriken, Kettle, Keffria, Kennit; even FitzChivalry's given name, Keppet. She likes strong characters with strong K names.The book was complex, but immensely readable. The character of FitzChivalry is occasionally a bit dour, in the vein of a Hamelt, and his ruminations about suicide and revenge occasionally detract from the story itself. Nonetheless, it was a fitting end to the trilogy, and I was happy to read the series to its conclusion. It was worth every word, and I am once again,pleased to say I'm happy I discovered Robin Hobb's writing, and her Elderling world, several months ago.Five of Five Stars
Hieremias on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an agonizingly slow end to a series that dragged on too long.It's a common problem in the fantasy genre that authors add useless padding to increase the word count or to stretch a simple story into a trilogy or series. I think Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy could have made a decent single book, but each of its three volumes was instead padded far too much, with this third volume being the worst offender.There are good segments in all three volumes. This third volume starts off fairly promising with an effective first act. Fitz's recovery from his torture at Regal's hands is very effective, with some chilling moments and questions of just how much of his humanity Fitz was able to recover. Unfortunately this theme of wrestling against animal instincts does not effectively carry through the rest of the book, and after the first act the narrative just drags.The middle act involves a lot of mostly pointless wandering, and you being to ask just how many times Fitz can be captured by his enemies before escaping.But the worst is the final third, which grinds to a halt and forces you to read through over a hundred pages of moody introspection. Every character in this section is aggravatingly obtuse. In fact Hobb almost makes fun of that, with Fitz exclaiming that nobody could give a straight answer to anything. Ultimately there just aren't any likeable characters in this story. Fitz especially is moody, passive, and weak-willed, and overall not a protaganist that can give us anything to cheer for.Like the rest of the series, the prose throughout is often clunky and melodramatic. Its deus ex machina climax is lacklustre and feels contrived and utterly unsatisfying. I spent the final third of the book counting the pages remaining and looking forward to starting something new.
ansate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
great worldbuilding. Interesting epic problems to solve. Unfortunately the main character is dumb as a stump.
Cecrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Again Fitz starts off a novel feeling desolate (and many more episodes of that will follow), and it takes nearly a hundred pages for the story to get moving. He spends most of the rest of the book wandering about the countryside trying to keep a low profile. The story is at its weakest when Fitz shirks the company of others and travels alone, setting aside new and interesting characters, and that's regrettably often. At least some of the characters we care about return to the story in the final third, which saves it a bit.The troubles with Fitz as a character become abundantly clear on this outing. He's far too passive, even with his new independence. Bad things happen to him, then other people rescue him, over and over. As much as he strives to determine his own fate, he never gets to do it - even in the small things. I suppose this is the stuff antiheroes are made of, but fantasy antiheroes just give me a "what's the point" feeling (particularly when the story is not tragedy). He is also unforgivably, inexcusably dense at times, very blind to certain plot points concerning Molly and ridiculously blind to Regal's machinations to find her. He also spends countless sentences mooning over the same thoughts (Molly this, Molly that), while right around him astonishing things are happening that he barely pauses to reflect on (and sometimes, frustratingly, not at all).This novel doesn't justify its length. I thought the ending at least might save it, but unlike the exciting conclusions of the first two books this one's is first confusing, then chaotic (involving numerous unlikelihoods that border on deus ex machina). After a long slog to get to the end, the resolution is inexcusably rushed and left me unsatisfied, particularly the grocery list format in the final pages. This trilogy ends on a weak note and Royal Assassin remains its high point.
clong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the first two books of the Farseer trilogy immensely, but found this conclusion to be overly longwinded and ultimately unsatisfying. Some judicious editing could easily have cut 100 pages and made it a better read. I didn't feel prepared for the the nature of the Elderlings; in a way the very nature of the fantasy world Hobb was creating seemed to shift about two thirds the way through this book. To the extent that the nature of forging and the motivation of the red ship raiders was ever explained I found the explanation confusing and unconvincing. As this book progressed I found FitzChivalry and Kettricken and Verity all becoming less sympathetic as characters. Which is all not to say that this third book of the series was completely without merit. In particular, I enjoyed the development of the Fool's character. But ithe book doesn't live up to the very high expectations created by the first two books of the series. Overall, I would recommend the trilogy, but with regrets that it didn't really achieve the great potential of the first two books.
Merneith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tremendous ending to the Farseer trilogy. I had some doubts about the first two books but this third book is outstanding.
Aensign on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Final installment--each entry independently intelligible--of Hobb's stunning fantasy trilogy (Royal Assassin, 1996; Assassin's Apprentice, 1995) about the beleaguered Six Duchies and their Farseer kings. Months ago, King Verity vanished into the far mountains in search of the semi-mythical Elderlings, whose help he must have in order to defeat the rampaging Red Ship Raiders, leaving his murderous, venal, and insanely ambitious brother, Prince Regal, to dispose of Verity's last few loyalists at his leisure--including narrator, spy, and assassin FitzChivalry. Poor Fitz, unable to contact his beloved Molly (she thinks he's dead) and daughter (by Molly) for fear of exposing them to Regal's attentions, uses his magic Skill to locate Verity and receives an imperious summons: ``COME TO ME!'' So, abandoning his plan to assassinate Regal, Fitz enters the mountains with a small band of helpers. Eventually, having evaded Regal's minions, Fitz comes upon Verity Skill-carving a huge dragon out of black rock; nearby stand other lifelike dragon-sculptures that, to Fitz's animal-magic Wit, seem somehow alive. Are these eerie sculptures what remain of the Elderlings? Yet, for all his Skill, Verity cannot bring the dragons to life; and soon Regal will arrive with his armies and his Skilled coterie. An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama.
Amaunette on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The final book in the Farseer trilogy tells the story of Fitz's journey to rescue Verity and help save the kingdom by using the Skill. I was angry by the ending, at first, because it is by no means a happy or clean one. But the important part is that Fitz's story continues in the series that begins with Fool's Errand, about 15 years later.
xicanti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fitting end to the trilogy. After a few detours, Fitz journeys into the mountains to find Verity and help save the Six Duchies.While I still enjoyed this book very, very much, I did find that it lagged at times. The characters and their struggles were still engaging, but there were a number of sequences that felt a bit too dreamlike for my liking. Things were happening, but I felt divorced from the action. One of the things I liked best about the first two books was how connected I felt to the story; when that connection faded, my attention waned. The book always bounced back, (often in a way that brought tears to my eyes), but those segments made portions of it something of a chore to read. I think perhaps the editors relaxed a little with this installment; there were also a few places where I thought the writing wasn¿t as tight as it could¿ve been.That said, though, this really was a great ending. Everything fit. The series¿ main concerns were resolved very nicely, and the characters all found their niche. (I particularly liked how Regal ended up). I find that I actually miss everyone now that it's over. I was very pleased with it, overall, and can¿t wait to read more from Robin Hobb.
tronella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third of nine, so it finished off a sub-trilogy at least. Pretty good, although it dragged a bit in some places (the quarry part, the wolf part at the beginning). But then, this seems to be one of those fantasy books that is largely about places, so. I liked it.