Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Another book review, or at least I’ll try, because as I said before and will say it again. The books by Robin Hobb are my favourite and it’s difficult to do them justice by writing a proper review about them. Beware of spoilers! No seriously! Lots and lots of spoilers ahead!
Synopsis according to Goodreads:
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.
How does one write a proper review for a book that is singlehandedly one of your favourites and still do it justice? Don’t look at me, I don’t know, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking this of you. If you haven’t read the books by Robin Hobb, there is no point at starting with this one, as it is a new trilogy in a group of trilogies and for the proper background story, you need to read the other books first. I’ll help you with that:
Start with the Farseer trilogy:
- Assassin’s apprentice
- Royal Assassin
- Assassin’s Quest
Continue with the Liveship Traders trilogy:
- Ship of Magic
- The Mad Ship
- Ship of Destiny
Next is the Tawny Man Trilogy:
- Fool’s Errand
- The Golden Fool
- Fool’s FateThe Rain Wilds Chronicles:
And if you like (but not really necessary):
- Dragons Keeper
- Dragon Haven
- City of Dragons
- Blood of Dragons
Before you even contemplate beginning reading Fool’s Assassin. If you have done so, good job and continue reading this review. If not, back up now, read the other books and when you are done, come back to this review.
Last time before you can back out and stop. There are spoilers ahead!
Years after we have left the Fool and Fitz we finally come back to them. Fitz finally has Molly as his wife, only to be known as Tom Badgerlock and he and Molly manage Wittywoods. They have raised all the kids Molly and Burrich had together as well as Fitz’s and Moll’s real child Nettle. Burrich, unfortunately is no more and a lot has changed in the years. Chade is no longer hidden in the walls of Buckkeep Castle and an important influence on Kettrichen and her son Buckkeep finally has a proper skill mistress and coterie in Nettle. People with the Witt are no longer chased for their magic and it seems like peace has restored in the realms.
We see Fitz and Molly working in Wittywoods, the daily upkeep and life is good. When on a stormy and cold winterfest festival a mysterious messenger appears and disappears, again Fitz thinks nothing of it.
His old friends and his old life seem far away, but still in his mind and he thinks often about Nighteyes and the Fool. The two most important beings in his life besides Molly and Chade.
Things calm down after the winterfest and life continues. Molly gets older rapidly while Fitz keeps strong thanks to that skill healing he had years ago. And then Molly starts to behave strangely. She seems forgetful, losing her way and losing her mind. Suddenly convinced she is pregnant at her age. At first this is joyous news for Fitz, but as time passes by, there are no signs of a pregnancy and Molly’s behaviour gets stranger still. Fitz does everything he can to support her and protect her of the gossiping of their staff.
Much to everyone’s surprise, 2 years after Molly announced she was expecting, she gives birth to a tiny little daughter that they name Bee. But still no joy was given to the household as everyone expects the child to die soon and if by some miracle she would grow up, she would be handicapped for as long as she may live.
Of course Bee pulls through and we see how she grows up, not stupid as everyone expects her to be, but highly intelligent and in possession of both the Skill and Witt.
But she has a lot of trouble connecting to other people besides her mother and the unthinkable thing happens. Molly dies, Fitz loses yet another important person in his life and now he faces the world alone yet again. He needs to pull himself together to raise Bee and manage Wittywoods and also take charge of two new protégés Chade puts in his care.
Another messenger arrives, a white one leaving behind a dangerous message and an assignment for Fitz. Will he be able to carry out that oh so important assignment? Is the Fool still alive? Can he manage all the new tasks given him?
My thoughts again:
Although I am costumed to read the books by Robin Hobb in Dutch, I now have an English version in my possession and nothing really changed. The translation in Dutch was really well done and within a couple of pages, I was sucked back into the story about Fitz, the kingdoms, the Fool, politics and magic.
Robin Hobb has done it again. Whereas I struggled to read the Rain Wild Chronicles (and I still haven’t read all of them yet) this was a book I couldn’t put down. But since I’m not in school anymore and need my sleep in order to function at work I stretched my reading period.
On the one hand, I really wanted to read the whole book in just one session, on the other hand, I didn’t want it to finish. I was really strict about reading just one chapter or a couple of pages.
This book felt like seeing an old friend again, who you haven’t seen in years, but it feels like home again as soon as you pull him into your arms. I laughed and I cried, I felt sorry and I was angry. I was going through all the emotions during the reading of this epic book. Fitz and his fellow characters almost feel like family to me, more so than some of my real family.
I hunger for more, I want the whole trilogy now, please Robin, continue writing. Bring us more Fitz, Bee, Chade, the Fool and all the other familiar characters you created. Never ever stop writing these books.
Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.