Book Review: Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

Royal Assassin
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Farseer Trilogy
Author info:

This is the second book of Farseer Trilgy. See my review for the first book.

This book is huge, more than 700 pages but I gobbled it up in 3 days. Some reviewers complained about it being too slow at places, but I think that’s bollocks. Just because there’s no fast paced action doesn’t mean it’s slow in my book, the whole series is remarkable with its emotional intensity and great characters, so for me internal struggles doesn’t count as slow.

Things start to get brutal here, poor Fitz gets a few days of peace but Robin Hobb has a particular gift for torturing her characters and making you weep. The Fool is enigmatic as ever, more questions about him arise than are answered. He has become my favorite in this book.

Verity exhausts himself physically and mentally by using the Skill to fend off the red Ship raiders, which is a thankless job, no one ever notices what kind of sacrifice he is doing, while his asshole brother Regal pulls all kinds of horrible shenanigans and gains support and followers with his glib tongue. One thing that bothered me about the series is, Regal is brewing treachery out in the open and no one does a damn thing about it. Everyone is so afraid of committing treason against the royalty, they remain passive or do lame passive-aggressive things, letting him run free. It became really outrageous at some point.

Fitz gets a new animal companion, who turned out to be a bit annoying in the beginning but became a real badass. I must say Nighteyes is the best animal character I’ve ever read in fantasy or any book for the matter, except for Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild. His blunt animal wisdom and point of view is quite interesting and he manages to talk some sense into Fitz where everyone else fails.

I really liked Patience and Kettricken, especially Kettricken’s character development. She pulls a badass act and if you like strong female characters, it will make you cheer for her. Burrich and Chade continue to be great as usual, I wish Fitz was nicer to them.

Overall this is a great book, a lot of things happen, there are a few moments of great fun and action, but the whole atmosphere is very melancholy and sad as the first book.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

  1. I really tried to get into this series years ago, and the constant torturing of her characters really turned me off from Hobb’s writing. Have not read one of her books since. But I need to give her another go. Thanks for reminding me of that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not half as bad as the stuff I read in the news everyday. It is very intense melancholy, that’s why you read something funny after finishing this series. I’m reading The Lies of Locke Lamora right now and it has so many hilarious moments it cured the depressing effects of 1700 odd pages of Farseer saga.

      Liked by 2 people

    • My friend, I have no idea how I missed your review of the second book, but thankfully you’re thoughtful enough to include links in case like these.:)

      Nice review. I didn’t expect it to be so bleak, but like you said in the comment, there are worse things in the news every day. I haven’t read these books yet, but it seems to me that Hobb was going for the harshness of life, thematically. And I agree with about the internal struggle not being boring or slow. I actually like stories where a lot id happening below the surface. It doesn’t always have to be action, death and/or political intrigue, you know?


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