Saturday, June 20, 2020

40. Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb

Epic!  Whew, that was definitely a deep fantasy trilogy dive.  I've been reading this for most of the month of June and my 50 books pace is going to take a hit because of it.  It's okay because this is what I was looking for reading-wise this summer (and it is so far a scorcher, in the 30s in June).  I have even already ordered Hobb's second trilogy (and not used copies!) which is in the same universe as the Farseer trilogy, but a tangential story about living ships. 

The final book in the epic saga of FitzChivalry and the fight against traitorous Regal and the Red Ship Raiders is made up of two major sections: Fitzs' journey to the Mountain Kingdom to try and find Verity and then he and a small party discovering the mysteries of the Elderlings.  The first part is really enjoyable because it is just Fitz and his wolf, Nighteyes. They are both on the run and exploring new parts of the world, which makes for a lot of fun.  The second part is much more mystical and magical and reveals many layers of backstory both about the history of the world and all the various characters.  I wouldn't say this section bogged down, but it definitely took a while.  The pages left to read were getting thinner and thinner and we still didn't seem to be nearing any kind of climax or conclusion.  However, it gets there and it is very satisfying.

Fitz still does a lot of pouting and there is a lot of people not telling stuff for vague reasons that don't really feel justified.  There is also one really obvious moment where Fitz is so stupid [see the spoiler below if you are interested].  Again, this threw me a bit though wasn't as prevalent as in the first two books (and the other characters finally stopped being stupid). Overall, super absorbing and satisfying.

SPOILER:  When the Fool asks him to name the town his wife and child live and asks twice in a totally uncharacteristic way after they have been warned multiple times that the Fool was susceptible to the bad guys' skill attacks and Fitz tells him completely unsuspectingly and then also has a total spaz-out because the fool doesn't answer him when he asks if the prophecy tells him he will survive.  It is just so obvious that it was not the Fool asking the questions.  I think the idea was that Fitz being so upset on assuming he wasn't going to survive distracted him that he had been deceived, but it all felt super obvious and out of character.  I excused Fitz' spaziness in the earlier books because he was quite young but by the time we get to the third book the dude has seen and done a lot, lived a full, learning life and should not be acting this babyish way. 

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