Monday, July 10, 2017

Assassin's Fate Book Review

by The Wanderer 

Author: Robin Hobb
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Fitz and the Fool Book Three
Pages: 864

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(Spoilers for the Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders Trilogy, Tawny Man Trilogy, Rain Wild Chronicles, Fool's Assassin, and Fool's Quest are below).

Believing his daughter to be dead, Fitz, the Fool, and a small group of allies have traveled to the Elderling city of Kelsingra as the first destination on their longer journey to Clerres. Once they reach their destination, they plan on killing all the Servants. Unbeknownst to Fitz, Bee is still alive and also heading to Clerres where she can be raised as the next "Servant Controlled" white prophet.

There's never been a better time to say it: it's imperative to read the Rain Wild Chronicles and The Liveship Traders Trilogy in order to get the full impact out of reading this book. At the end of Fool's Quest, Malta Vestrit, one of the main catalysts from the Liveship Traders finally meets Fitz, and there was some long awaited fan wish fulfillment. And it's only the beginning as nearly every major character from the Liveship Traders and Rainwild Chronicles makes an appearance in this book. Some are reduced to roles as cameos, others end up having a big impact on the overall plot.

The Fool is now using her Amber disguise, much to the chagrin of Fitz, and much to my personal delight as Amber is probably my favorite incarnation of the Fool. While Fitz's journey brings him into lots of contact with lots of familiar faces to the reader, Bee's story is a different sort of animal.

Revealed to have survived her journey through the skill pillar, Bee and her spirit guardian Wolf-Father, or formerly known as Nighteyes, is encouraging her to make her ever dwindling number of captors pay for removing her from Withywoods. Bee gets a lot more narration time this go around, and her journey to Clerres is a brutal and heartbreaking one to say the least. Bee does have a lot of moments in this book, and should Robin Hobb continue to write more Elderling books, Bee would be an excellent character to follow on further adventures.

But, I don't know if Robin Hobb should return to the Elderling's world. Assassin's Fate isn't just a convergence of the Fitz books, it's a convergence of all the Elderling books. It's a super convergence if you will, one that's sixteen books, and over two decades in the making. It's a convergence that makes me regret ever thinking Hobb should have stopped with Fitz's story at the end of Assassin's Quest. All I was left thinking by the end was how lucky I am to be alive to read and see such a magnificently created world and beautifully written story.

I came into reading the Fitz and Fool Trilogy with some trepidation, after believing ... too much of a good thing ... I've left it convinced that the sixteen books that make up the Realm of the Elderlings, is now the best fantasy series I've ever read. And I'm even more convinced that no matter what Patrick Rothfuss writes in the The Door of Stone, or what George R.R. Martin writes in The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, they will not be able to top what Hobb has achieved here. 

Score: 10

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