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Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb

Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden writes fantasy fiction under the pen name Robin Hobb. She also writes contemporary fiction as Megan Lindholm. Hobb is most famous for her novels set in The Realm of the Elderlings, including The Farseer TrilogyThe Liveship Traders TrilogyThe Tawny Man Trilogy, and, most recently, The Rain Wilds ChroniclesAssassin’s Quest is the third book in The Farseer Trilogy.

    Keystone. Gate. Crossroads. Catalyst.

    Fitz is about to discover the truth about the Fool’s prophesy. Having been resurrected from his fatal tortures in Regal’s dungeons, Fitz has once more foiled the Prince’s attempts to be rid of him. 

    Now, restored to his own body, Fitz begins the painful, slow process of learning to be a man again. He must learn to cast off the wild ways of the wold and return to the human world, a world beset even more viciously by the relentless Red Ship Raiders who are now free to plunder any coastal town they please. But more immediately, a world in which Fitz finds he is utterly alone. 

    Regal has stripped the kingdom of its riches and retired to the inland city of Tradeford. Of Verity, on his quest to find the legendary Elderlings, there has been no word; Molly, Kettricken and the Fool have all vanished. Unless Fitz can find Verity and help him on his quest, the Six Duchies will perish and there will be no safe place to live. 

As the final book in The Farseer Trilogy, I was expecting great things from Assassin’s Quest, and it did not disappoint. It is a strong book, full of surprises and plot twists, and it kept me guessing until the last page. Fitz’s journey has been wonderful, and I feel like I have grown with him. Robin Hobb’s world is so vivid and rich in detail that I love to spend time in it. 

One of my favourite aspects of this book was the autonomy Fitz gains when everyone thinks he believes him dead. Eventually he finds his way to Queen Kettricken and his mentor Chade, and is swiftly forced back into his role – the royal assassin who isn’t consulted but is given orders to carry out. I found the sacrifices he had to make for his kingdom and family immensely distressing, and at times had to book down for a while to get a grip on my emotions. 

The climax of Assassin’s Quest built up a little too slowly for me, but I enjoyed it all the same. The growth of all the characters was fun to read while they plodded along to their destination. The Fool intrigues me especially; it as if the more I know about him, the more I need to know. His answers only raise more questions. I think Hobb came up with a wonderful way for us to keep track of other beloved characters throughout the book, and I never felt I was missing out on anything.

This is a great book and I enjoyed the whole trilogy a great deal. It took me a long time to read The Farseer Trilogy, but I’m glad that I did, and I’m excited that there are more books set in this world for me to discover. 

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