Book review: “Assassin’s Fate” by Robin Hobb
Series: The Fitz and The Fool #3 Genre: Fantasy Release Date: May 9, 2017 The Overview: BN.com
“Assassin’s Fate” was beautiful, terrible, and profound. I savored each page, painfully aware it might be the last time I experience this world. I’ve never been as emotionally invested in a story as I was with Hobb’s work. Her writing draws you in so completely that you forget yourself for a while, totally at the mercy of her story. Each of her series evoked real emotion, a sense of love and loss that is almost unparalleled by anything else I’ve ever read. “Assassin’s Fate” was the most gut-wrenching to date, but it was worth every painful, poignant moment. I’ll be reeling from this one for years to come.
I love this series for so many things: its rich histories and epic world building, its endearingly human characters (flaws and all), its immersive writing. But one of my favorite things about it is the subtle weaving of dragons into the story. It’s quite brilliantly done — dragons always seem to be the center of the overall arc of each series but are often kept on the periphery of the events within each book (with the exception of the Rain Wilds Chronicles). The further you read, the more you start to realize their significant impact on the world and characters. As someone who loves dragons almost obsessively, I ate up every word. Hobb’s representation of them is truly breathtaking. Oddly though, I wouldn’t call this series dragon-centric, because while essential to the plot, they are usually not the focal point.
At the conclusion of “Fool’s Fate,” (the final book in the Tawny Man Trilogy, a reading experience I’ll never forget), I’d been under the impression Fitz’s tale was at an end. Therefore, when The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy was announced in August 2014, it felt like Christmas had come early. And it was even better than I dared hope! With the introduction of a new POV character, Bee, whom I love just as fiercely as Fitz, this trilogy offered a convergence of every Elderling series before it (Fitz + Liveship + Rain Wilds = Amazing!). It was an unexpected surprise, and I can’t even begin to describe how elated I was. If you haven’t yet experienced the brilliant world of the Elderlings, I suggest reading in the following order (to avoid spoilers): Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Trilogy, Tawny Man Trilogy, Rain Wilds Chronicles, and Fitz and the Fool.
Each series brings with it loads of new discoveries, and I cherished every detail. Learning the histories of this world is also one of my favorite elements to the series. Each new detail felt like a revelation, and it got to a point where I was hanging on every word, hoping to find out more. Who knew it would go so far beyond the somewhat narrow framework of a little orphan boy at Buckkeep Castle in “Assassin’s Apprentice”?
All the books Hobb has written in this world are amazing. Each story is a slow burn that takes its time, building momentum as it goes. By the time you reach the end, you’re hurtling so fast you wish you could slow it down to savor every moment. “Assassin’s Fate” and every book that came before it are officially The Obsessive Bookseller’s top recommends. I loved every beautiful, gut-wrenching moment and will keep these characters close to my heart forever.
Thank you Random House Publishing Group Ballantine, NetGalley, and Robin Hobb for the chance to read and review an early copy of “Assassin’s Fate.” You made my year!
Want more book reviews? Check out my website at NikiHawkes.com.