Publish Date August, 12, 2014
FitzChivalry earned his just reward and is living the quiet and simple life he always wanted. He pulled himself out of the politics of the Farseer dynasty. Being born a recognized bastard to the Farseer family forced Fitz into war, the role of assassin, and death despite his love for the family. He is now allowed to take care of his immediate family in a removed area called Withywoods. It is his rightful home. Patience willed it to him. There are several trilogy’s that Robin Hobb has created surrounding her world of the Six Duchies. This is the newest and the first book of the ‘Fitz and the Fool’ trilogy. If this is the first book you have picked up by Hobb – STOP. I recommend you put the book down and start at the true beginning of the story, “Assassin’s Apprentice.’
I was ecstatic to see ‘Fools Assassin,’ and lucky to get it early through Netgalley. Robin Hobb did a beautiful job. It is worthy of her and she has done justice to FitzChivalry’s story. As reader’s we either have patience for epics or we don’t. That doesn’t mean there aren’t authors out there that will draw a story out simply to capitalize on a successful franchise, when in reality, some books could be left out or the editor should have cut out 200 pages. There is nothing I would cut out of this book. The beauty of Hobbs’ writing is every seemingly insignificant detail comes back to have a purpose.
Fitz settled into Withywoods with his family after the Fool left. The Fool, as the White Prophet, notified Fitz they could not remain together since Fitz, the Catalyst, had succeeded. The Fool was afraid they could undo their success and accidentally cause damage if they remained together. So, the Fool left, and Fitz mourned the loss of his most trusted and best friend. Over years he becomes comfortable and loves his quiet and simple life in a place no one knows him as the witted Farseer Bastard. Chade and Dutiful will still consult him and push for him to return to Buckeep but he always refuses.
We know Hobb couldn’t leave him in peace for long. Strange messengers show up at Withywoods and in the bustle of the holidays he misses the message and death comes to Fitz’s home. It has been 11 years away from the business of intrigue and death. Slowly, Fitz gets pulled back in. Chade makes a request he can’t refuse. He must educate and keep safe new Farseer bastards. He must instruct them in what being a bastard to royalty means. They must accept they are a danger to the succession and learn their roles to the family. Add to this that he receives a cryptic message that the Fool is in danger after years of hearing nothing. He also has responsibilities to a new character and new narrator. All these challenges and expectations leave Fitz pulled in so many directions he can’t help but fail at something. We are left with a monstrous cliffhanger that has left me on pins and needles.
It is amazing. Robin Hobb wrote a fabulous book. I’m impatient for the next book and you will be too once you’ve read this. If you’ve read all her books get this as soon as you can. You won’t be sorry. If you haven’t read Robin Hobbs, go get ‘Assassin’s Apprentice’ and savor every moment of her fabulous trilogy’s. On a side note, ‘The Liveship Traders’ and ‘The Rainwild Chronicles’ are set between the trilogy’s concerning Fitz. They are related and part of Hobbs Six Duchies world but if you can’t wait to find out about Fitz you can skip them, in my opinion. Make sure you read them at some point, however.
For another opinion check out another review at tenaciousreader.
I received ‘Fools Assassin’ from Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Del Ray Spectra in return for an honest review.