ROYAL ASSASSIN by Robin Hobb
(Farseer trilogy #2)
Harper Voyager 2014
originally published in 1996
[Assassin’s Apprentice ★★★★☆]
A 5-star rating feels a little disingenuous seeing as it took me over 6 months to finish this book, but the best books aren’t always the ones you race through. I liked taking my time with Royal Assassin, the second book in Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy, which I enjoyed so much more than the first now that I was properly invested in the characters and the conflicts.
Is this book perfect, no; is it about 200 pages longer than it needs to be, YES; but there’s just so much to love here. I think Fitz is an incredibly complex and sympathetic protagonist, his bond with Nighteyes was fascinating, and I absolutely adored that all of the female characters (namely Patience, Kettricken, and Molly) were so much more fleshed out here than they were in Assassin’s Apprentice. (I’m gathering from scanning some other reviews that people really don’t like Molly? I don’t understand that; I think she’s a great character and I don’t think her relationship with Fitz is framed as something we’re meant to root for, at least at this stage – I think it’s painfully clear to the reader how blind he is to the suffering their situation causes her, and that is very much the point.)
Anyway, I can’t wait to continue this series and then hopefully move onto the Liveship Traders soon after. I think 2020 will be a big Robin Hobb year for me. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a fantasy writer.