Book review · novel

Book review: Assassin’s Fate

Assassin’s Fate (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy #3) (The Realms of the Elderlings series #16), by Robin Hobb

Please note that this is a sequel and you might get spoiled if you keep reading further and haven’t read the previous books and series yet.

9780007444250Description: (from Harper Collins)

Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river.

(click the publisher’s name for the complete description which is much longer, and maybe a little bit spoilery)

How do you review such a book? A book which wrap an entire saga up, the 16th book released twenty years after the very first one (Assassin’s Apprentice)? I’m going to try, but this might not be my most coherent review, and I’ll try to stay vague to not spoil anything, which would be a big shame.

I got Assassin’s Fate for my birthday from my parents, which wasn’t a surprise since my mom and my sister also are big fans of Robin Hobb ❤
It took me a week to read this beast of a book (850 pages!) and I really didn’t see them fly by. It was a week were I worked most days so I barely read 100 pages a day, but I’m glad because I didn’t want to read it too fast. I wanted to be able to get to it slowly, really enjoying (this might not be the right word…) what was happening, and live-texting it with my mom who wanted to know everything that was happening (she doesn’t care about “spoilers”, plus she has to wait some more months before it is released in French!).

It wasn’t an easy read, everybody who has ever read Robin Hobb’s work knows she has a way to turn the simplest scene and random conversations into the most heart-wrenching reading experience. While I love to read and re-read her books, I wouldn’t call them “comfort reads”. Never has there been a book series were I cried this much.

We continue to follow both Bee and Fitz, and same as the previous book, I was always longing a bit for one of them when I was with the other, but I was still deeply invested with what they were experiencing.

It was hard, witnessing everything Bee has to go through. But her resolve and her character development were amazing to follow.
Then we have Fitz, set in taking his revenge, because he thinks his daughter dead. That was so awful, switching from the very alive and hurting little girl to the grieving 60 years old father we have known since he was a 6 years old boy.

But among all the tears, the drama and the hardship, Robin Hobb managed to incorporate some needed rays of sunshine and long awaited reunion with past characters of the other series such as The Liveship Traders and The Rain Wild Chronicles. These crossovers were amazing to me. They are what every fan has always been waiting for and it finally happened!
Of course Fitz is our same old tortured lonely assassin who doesn’t work well with others, I don’t know what I was expecting but it sure was all very true to character.

On a somber note, it was difficult to see Fitz struggling with Beloved’s gender and identity, to accept Amber and the Fool as one person. I would love to hear what non-binary people have to say about Beloved. Sometimes I thought that the way Fitz reacted might hurt those readers so I really don’t know if I should recommend the series to them? I’m thinking yes because Beloved is an amazing and complex character, but at times I’m still wondering.

To conclude, and to not give anything away, I’ll say what I told my sister (very wary of spoilers) about the end, which is that to me the ending was perfect.

I won’t say more about the ending, but really Robin Hobb wrapped up her wonderful saga in a way that left me totally satisfied and leaving me with only one thought: reading all of those books again from the very beginning. And wishing for a sequel or something more set in this world, one day, hopefully. (We all know that when Robin Hobb says it’s the end, it’s not 100% sure.)

I don’t think I’ll ever love a series as much as this one.
I have a thousand more things to say, or that I wish to discuss, but that would spoil a lot. While I want to talk about more and more things, I feel like I should stop here.

Trigger warnings: sexual assault, mentions of rape

The reading guide I made for french readers, since the way it was published was crappy and difficult to understand: Guide: “Le Royaume des Anciens” de Robin Hobb
I also added some of the book covers this series has had over the years so give it a look if you’re interested by cover art like I am!

If you comment, please be mindful of spoilers to not give anything away to readers who might stumble by this post and haven’t read this book yet! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Book review: Assassin’s Fate

  1. Great review, Lucille!

    I had the same thought about Fitz’s relationship with the Fool vs. Amber. On one hand, it was frustrating and even disappointing to see Fitz acting that way. On the other hand, I think it’s good to have non-binary representation in fantasy, and I do like the talk Fitz had with Per about Spark. I think it was probably a fairly accurate portrayal of someone whose friend is transgender and the internal struggles they might face trying to come to terms with it? In the end, he did accept the Fool and, more importantly, his LOVE for the Fool. But of course it was hard for us to read as people who love the Fool and aren’t close-minded. Anyway, I’d also be interested in hearing other people’s opinions on that aspect.

    I REALLY hope it’s not the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!

      Yes exactly, I totally agree with everything you just said! 🙂
      I’ll be on the look-out for review from non-binary people!

      Me too! There is such great potential for more stories in this world! But if there aren’t more, I’m happy anyway. We got 16 books, that’s a huge number ahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

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