“Assassin’s Quest” by Robin Hobb

Assassin's QuestI don’t know what to say. This trilogy was a quite a ride. I enjoyed every moment of it and it was great buddy reading it with Emily at Embuhlee liest because I had someone to talk to about the story but now it’s over and I don’t know what to think. Except, Verity…

Goodreads overview:

From an extraordinary new voice in fantasy comes the stunning conclusion to the Farseer trilogy, as FitzChivalry confronts his destiny as the catalyst who holds the fate of the kingdom of the Six Duchies…and the world itself.

King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz — or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest — perhaps to death. Only Verity’s return — or the heir his princess carries–can save the Six Duchies.

But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him — currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was. Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)

My thoughts: (Spoilers! Skip to the Overall section below to avoid them.)

I tried writing my own overview, but I ended up just recounting the story from start to finish. Those things are so hard to write for long engrossing stories that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Hear that? Yea, I enjoyed reading this one. Emily and me started out with 5 chapters per week but eventually we got so hooked that we kept increasing the chapter amount. The story had me on end. I kept wondering if Fitz would survive this (a dumb thought since he’s the narrator of the story and it’s being told in flashback) and what would happen to Verity and if the Red Ships would hit Buckkeep and what the hell happened to the Fool and Kettricken and if Regal has the Skill and if Fitz would ever get better at Skilling and Witting and who the hell is Kettle, really, and maybe Starling shouldn’t be trusted but I’d really like it if she hooked up with Fitz because dude needs to get laid and what’s to become of Molly and why is this Elderling thing so damn hard to do and…. Many thoughts and worries.

As the final novel for the trilogy, I think Assassin’s Quest wraps up the story well. It was a tidy ending. My questions were answered, I knew what would become of the surviving characters, and that the kingdom would be set back aright. I was also told why the Red Ships attacked the Six Duchies and how they Forged people. I wasn’t happy with the ending, but I was satisfied with it. The only drawbacks for me was that Verity was gone and I didn’t get an explanation for the White Ship often seen at sea when people are taken for Forgings, but maybe that was explained I forgot about it.

I was also upset that Fitz would remain “dead” and only few would know that he lives and that he has sacrificed much for the sake of the kingdom. I wonder if he’ll ever have the calm, reliable sort of life he sometimes wishes for. I’m also torn over the fact that he and Molly are no longer an item. I became so used to them together that I wanted them to reunite later; but I am glad that Hobb explained their situation saying that their relationship was no true love. They connected then but later grew apart, especially since they both value different things in their lives. They are on separate paths. (I wish young-adult books had more romances like this.) By the way, I knew he would hook up with Starling. I just knew it!

Starling was hard to trust at first. I couldn’t tell if she had Fitz’s best interests at heart or if she was self-concerned and would sell him out when she got the chance, even sell him to Regal. And I was glad to see Kettricken and the Fool again. I’d missed the Fool. Actually my favorite parts of the dialogues in the novel were those between Fitz and the Fool and Fitz and Nighteyes. I love their banter.

Kettle was a great character too and I was sorry to see her go. She was so intriguing that I got impatient and had to google her story before it was revealed to the reader. However, I believe Fitz is in dire need of a Skilling teacher. Who’s going to instruct him now? And he really needs to brush up on his Witting as well.

I was so angry to learn that he had been ignorantly stifling his powers with elfbark tea. When I learned that, I immediately wondered if Chade was working with Regal. I wonder who told him to start using elfbark tea. As for Regal, he was a disappointing villain. I thought there was more to his desire to capture and kill Fitz and Verity other than him being a petulant, spoiled brat with psychopathic tendencies. I think his character could have been developed further to give him more depth. He just seems so silly to me. When he decided to move inland and give up the shores to the Red Ships, I thought he was somehow working with them. Probably incited the Red Ships to attack the Six Duchies to make matters difficult for his father and brother, or maybe later struck a deal with the Red Ships or something to indicate some forward thinking. Instead, he was just hiding out and ignoring that problem while obsessing over his nephew and brother. So disappointing.

And Verity… I’ll miss him. I didn’t expect him to become one of my favorite characters, but as I read, I cared for him more and more, especially toward the end. He has sacrificed so much and he would have been a great leader with Kettricken by his side. That twisty part of the story where Verity used Fitz’s body to produce a child with Kettricken was… surprising and a little disturbing. There was a time when I thought Fitz and Kett would hook up. I suspect some underlying sexual tension there (lol). But I’m glad that didn’t really happen.

I’ll miss Verity :(.

Overall: ★★★★☆ 1/2

It’s a neat wrap up for the trilogy. All issues are resolved and questions answered. I like that we get more information about the magic system, how it works, and the ways in which it affects people. I think this installment was more detailed than the previous two. To me, Hobb’s writing became more detailed with each installment.

It was easy to get hooked on this installment. Though the story didn’t progress quickly, it kept my interest because it made me more concerned about the characters and the plight of the kingdom. As we follow Fitz’s quest, we also get updates on what occurs elsewhere in the kingdom through his Skilling dreams, which gives the threat of the Red Ships a constant presence in the story, making the reader as anxious about it as the people who live in fear of it.

This was well done and I look forward to reading Ship of Magic next with Emily.

Quotes from the book:

“What the Wit may be is a man’s acceptance of the beast nature within himself, and hence an awareness of the element of humanity that every animal carries within it as well.”

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5 thoughts on ““Assassin’s Quest” by Robin Hobb

  1. Pingback: 2016 Reading Wrap-Up: Third Quarter | Zezee with Books

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