Book Review: ‘Royal Assassin’ by Robin Hobb

Posted: 14 February 2015 in Book reviews
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Synopsis

In the sequel to ‘Assassin’s Apprentice’, Fitz has survived the poisoning by Regal and saved Verity from the murderous plot by Regal and his half-brother Galen, but he is now only a semblance of who he had been. Because he is broken, he is resolved to stay in Jhaampe until in a dream he as King Shrewd mentally witnesses an attack on Silt Bay by the Red-Ships where his beloved Molly is possibly killed.

When he returns, he finds everything changed. People treat him different, and not in a bad way, and even the keep seems different since the Queen arrived. He has also changed. He holds himself more like his father now despite having wasted away. Simple tasks tire him. He could easily admit defeat, except for one thing: Molly is alive and well and living in the castle as a handmaid to Lady Patience. They conduct a secret affair, but he still has to keep secrets. As much as Fitz wants to, he knows he can’t tell her what he really does for the King nor of the atrocities he must commit (killing the Forged who have begun moving towards Buckkeep).

One day, he saves a sickly wolf from a vender in the town. He ends up linking with the wolf and quickly creates an unbreakable bond with the creature. He houses the wolf in an abandoned shack, bringing it food and teaching it to hunt. Nighteyes (the wolf) even saves Fitz from the Forged when they appear for the first time. Then came the rumours.

Things seem well for Fitz until King Shrewd dies. With Verity gone on a journey to find the Elderlings (and supposedly dead), and Kettricken in no position to rule, Regal finds himself in just the position he wanted. He imprisons Fitz for killing Justin and Serene (who helped kill the king for Regal). Then he moves the royal house from Buckkeep to Tradeford Castle in Farrow (loyal to Regal’s mother). With Fitz condemned to death and Verity already believed dead, who can stop Regal?

My Thoughts

I really liked the book. There is a theme in the book that sort of resonates with me. That is trying to suppress ones nature. As much as Burrich cares for him, he keeps trying to repress Fitz’s nature of connecting with animals. It is done more so out of fear rather than misunderstanding. If he had been taught how to control it, he could use it as a strength rather than constantly see it as a weakness. Kind of interesting how you can compare that to many social issues past and present (race, religion, sexuality, feminism, etc). So yeah. Point? Not all natural impulses are bad.

So like the first one, book two is riddled with adventure and intrigue. It is quick paced and all i wanted to do was continue reading (which I couldn’t help but do at the end). The characters are so relatable, which I love. A sign of a good book is whether or not the reader can resonate with the characters. And I can. Fitz can’t seem to catch a break. Especially with love (something I can totally relate with). Fitz is just such a great character. The only new character you meet in the book really is Nighteyes. He almost sounds like the voice of reason in Fitz’s head whenever he doubts. He also pops up at the most inconvenient of times with some witty comment (which is awesome).

So naturally, I say to read this book. I am very excited to find out what happens in the third and final book of this series. Enjoy 😉

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