Title: Fool’s Assassin
Author: Robin Hobb
Series: The Fitz and The Fool #1
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire. Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past . . . and his future. Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one. . . .
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Before I get into talking specifics about Fool’s Assassin, you should know that Fool’s Fate (the last Hobb book that included these characters) was the story that single-handedly made me want to start a book blog. It was profound and wonderful – a perfect completion to the story arc that had been developing since the Assassin’s Apprentice. I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed the pieces out of that book. Most importantly, it was so mesmerizing that even though I read it a couple of years ago I still remember every detail – it’s likely to stick with me for the rest of my life. I don’t usually have such a profound connection to a story and its characters, but those rare occasions when I do is proof that books are magical. So, having finished Fool’s Fate feeling completely satisfied with the ending, I was thrilled when I found out Hobb decided to continue the story.
There’s more?!!!! :D
Although several years had passed for the characters, picking up Fool’s Assassin brought me back home. It’s as if nothing had changed – the people were rounded and interesting (because they are too real to be considered mere “characters”), the world was rich and familiar (especially because I’ve since explored more of it in the Liveship Trilogy and the Rain Wild Chronicles), and the plot was totally immersive. Hobb conveys such a great depth of character that I was immediately absorbed back into Fitz’s world. All of the things he’s gone through on his journey came tumbling back over me in waves of joy and sorrow, but I also found myself hopeful for his future as he faced several new challenges.
Without giving much away, I feel it’s prudent to point out that Hobb spent a good portion of the book introducing some amazing new characters (don’t worry, there were plenty of meaningful passages with beloved characters too). Because of this, however, the overall arc of the story really didn’t come into play until near the end of the book. A couple of my fellow reviewers didn’t love how long the story took to get going, but seemed to agree that it was still oddly absorbing. While I can definitely see where they are coming from, I love being in Fitz’s world so much that every moment felt golden and purposeful. It gave me new insight into Fitz himself (which I loved seeing) and also made me fall in love with some of the new characters. I think the bond they formed with both Fitz and the reader will be very important going forward. I loved every bit of this book and was incredibly sad when ended. It was heart-wrenching and beautiful, and the next one can’t come too soon.
I consider The Fool’s Assassin a must-read for any fan of the series, but would strongly recommend that anyone new to Hobb’s work start with Assassin’s Apprentice, where all the magic began! It takes a while to fully appreciate the beauty of the story, but it is well worth the wait!
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