Book Review: Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb (Farseer Trilogy #3)

AssassinsQuestCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Setting: The fictional world of the Elderlings
My copy came from: I purchased the Kindle version from Amazon

***this post contains affiliate links***


Review: Slow in places, but overall an excellent end to the Farseer Trilogy! Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb is the third book in the Farseer Trilogy, and what an ending (or is it a beginning?) does it have!

They wrested that soul from the wolf and sealed it back into the battered body it had fled. They raised me, to walk once more in a man’s shape, to recall what it was to have a king and be bound by an oath. To this day, I do not know if I thank them for that. Perhaps, as the Fool insists, they had no choice. Perhaps there can be no thanks nor any blame, but only recognition of the forces that brought us and bound us to our inevitable fates.

Assassin’s Quest starts out with Fitz coming to terms with the changes in his life, and everyone thinking that he has died. First he heads towards Tradeford Castle, where Regal now rules. He has a long journey there, and then a long journey to his next destination, the mountains. There were many slow places during Fitz’s journey. There was a lot of Fitz being captured by Regal’s guards, but then miraculously Fitz is able to escape. This happened several times too many, and up until Fitz meets the minstrel, Starling, there wasn’t a whole lot to this book other than Fitz wallowing in his misery, which was a bit much to read. But once Starling comes into the picture, and then a mysterious old woman named Kettle appears, the story really starts clicking and coming together.

I really enjoyed the character of Starling. She’s had a tough life, and has a tough attitude about men and life. She just felt incredibly real, and I really liked her. I also liked the mysterious Kettle, who seems to know more than she lets on, and is seeking the White Prophet (whom could that be?).

Just because a man can do a thing does not mean he should do a thing.

There are several scenes where new information was given, and you know that the author has done a spectacular job with world building when one word gives you the shivers and sends your mind working away. There was also one “reveal” about a character that I’m still trying to puzzle out, but I like the ambiguity here, and I like a story that makes the reader think about characters.

It’s hard to talk about this book without massive spoilers, but the bulk of the story takes place in the latter half of the book, and there were many spellbinding scenes towards the end. Since there are dragons on the cover of the book, it isn’t a spoiler to say that the dragon scenes were flat out amazing. I do love a dragon and they did not disappoint here! (Although an annoyance I have with the cover pictured above is that Fitz is shown holding his trademark weapon, his axe. And yet, I don’t recall Fitz ever wielding an axe in this entire book. Perhaps I am wrong?)

“I go to serve my king. To lend whatever aid I may to Kettricken and Verity’s heir-child. And then to go on, to beyond the Mountains, to find and restore my king. So he may drive the Red Ships from the Six Duchies coast and we may know peace again.”

For a moment all was silence save for the slicing wind outside the barn. Then she snorted softly. “Do even half of that, and I shall have my hero song.”

“I have no desire to be a hero. Only to do what I must to be free to live my own life.”

“Poor Fitz. None of us is ever free to do that.”

Robin Hobb has written other books starring Fitz and also the Fool, all set in this world, and while this trilogy was neatly wrapped up, and you could stop reading here, there are still lingering plot questions that I’m excited to read more about! I think my next Robin Hobb read will be the Liveship Traders Trilogy, which was written after the Farseer Trilogy. As sad as I am to set Fitz’s story aside and venture into new characters, I’m looking forward to seeing how Hobb ties these stories all together. I hear that reading her books in order of release date is the way to go. There are many books set in this world so I’ve got a long ways to read, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Bottom Line: Fantastic end to a fantastic trilogy. A bit slow in places, but the ending is very well done.

LINKS
***the Amazon links are affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you click the link and purchase anything***

The Farseer Trilogy

  1. Assassin’s Apprentice     Amazon  |   Goodreads   |   my review
  2. Royal Assassin   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   my review
  3. Assassin’s Quest   Amazon   |   Goodreads

Have you read the Farseer Trilogy? Who is your favorite character? Have you read any of the other books set in the Realm of the Elderlings?


24 thoughts on “Book Review: Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb (Farseer Trilogy #3)

  1. Yes! Keep reading. You won’t be sorry. Also slow starts are part of the Robin Hobb experience I think. They are always worth it in the end. The Liveship books are really awesome too. There are some incredible characters in there. Pirate Kennit is one of my top villains ever. 🙂

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  2. I haven’t read this trilogy, but I know that Alicia at Kernels of Nonsense reads a lot of fantasy series. Talking to her got me back into my love of fantasy trilogies…I ended up buying 12 books last time I talked to her! *doh!*

    Currently, I’m reading the first book of Mary Brown’s When Pigs Fly quartet of books. It has all the trademarks of good old fashioned fantasy. The other books I bought were all from the Valdemar universe written by Mercedes Lackey. I think there are 5 trilogies in that world.

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    1. Oh my word! 12 books! That’s a lot! That’s the problem/benefit with fantasy series. The books are long, and there are so many books. I love it because the world building is so intense, and it’s easy to get sucked in and just fall into the world and the book, but then, the books take so long to read/get through. I’m liking these Robin Hobb trilogies as now I can give myself a bit of time before picking up the next trilogy since there was a conclusion of sorts – rather than feeling like I need to read the next book ASAP so I don’t forget what happened.

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        1. That’s why I’m usually so reluctant to start big series. I get so drained & bored reading the same author back-to-back. I like the variety of switching between genres & authors, and it’s hard for me to remember details of books sometimes. Writing reviews & taking notes while I read helps a lot, but I don’t write everything down so will forget a lot of the time. Like in the Throne of Glass YA fantasy series, I can’t remember what happened in the last book that came out. I remember a tiny bit how it ended, but the details of which character ended up where I can’t recall. Luckily, there are so many places to look online for recaps on books it really helps. Sometimes I read the recaps and realize that I need to start the series over because I don’t remember any of it… and then I think if I don’t remember it, is it worth continuing on?

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            1. Yep! It’s tough though when all the books are out and all the spoilers are out there. I used to not mind about spoilers and used to read the last page of every book before I started it, but now I’ve changed and try to stay away from spoilers if possible. 🙂

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                1. I used to want to know how it ended – if it ended with an “all is well, everyone is happy” I was less likely to want to read the book. But, then I read a few too many “twist” endings and what sounded good at the end actually ruined the book because I knew the twist the whole time. I now prefer to read books and have the plot unfold the way the author intended.

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                  1. I feel like the only time I should ruin a book is if I’m taking a class and need to write a paper at the end. Knowing how it ends helps you see the clues along the way, which is useful for writing analysis. I always tell me lit students, “Go read the whole plot, spoilers and all, on Wikipedia first!” To be successful academically, it’s often suggested that students read a book twice or more, so “cheating” comes in handy when you don’t have time to read twice.

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                    1. That makes sense! When you know what is going to happen, you notice more of those little details hinting at the plot throughout. It would definitely make it easier to take notes and know what plots & characters to focus on.

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  3. So I’ll admit to skimming this one- I’m currently reading Royal Assassin and am gonna read this next, so I didn’t want to spoil too much. I’m glad it ended well though- I’ve found parts of the first and second book a bit slow at times, so I’m not totally surprised with that. Really looking forward to it!!

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    1. This book is definitely the slowest of the trilogy! I don’t generally mind slowness as long as I know it’s building towards something, and I think that is what was happening here. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts of the books! 🙂

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    1. Thanks! Robin Hobb’s a popular fantasy author. She’s written many series written in the same world, with the same characters. This is the first series set in that world. I’m looking forward to reading more!

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