Author: Robin Hobb
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Fitz and the Fool Book Two
Buy on Amazon!
(Spoilers for the Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders Trilogy, Tawny Man Trilogy, Rain Wild Chronicles, and Fool's Assassin are below).
After mistaking his best friend the Fool as a threat to his daughter, FitzChivalry Farseer has returned the Fool and himself back to Buckkeep Castle for an emergency healing. In his absence his home Withywoods was attacked by the Servants of Clerres who had been pursuing the Fool. As a result his daughter Bee has been abducted, and Fitz is none the wiser.
The Fool has always come into each trilogy baring a different personality, and the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy is no exception. But this new version of the Fool is very broken, very angry, and very set on revenge. When The Fool asks Fitz to help him kill everyone at Clerres, its one of those moments where you realize just how far the character has fallen, and it's just sad to bare witness to. Of course reading that scene in the last book, you feel like Fitz won't have much to do with the Fool's revenge quest due to the fact that he's focused on raising his new daughter Bee. Then the servants of Clerres take his daughter, and now we're looking at an Abercrombie Best Served Cold scenario.
As for Bee her life and Shun's life are in great danger. She is in the hands of Dwalia, someone who works for the servants of Clerres. She is working with a powerful, but dimwitted skill user named Vindeliar, and with Chalcedians under the command of Ellik. And in case you are wondering, yes that's the same Ellik that was formerly Chancellor to the Duke of Chalced who notoriously helped the Duke capture an Elderling and bleed him in order to prolong the Duke's life, and yes this is the same Chancellor that raped the said Duke's daughter, because he had made a marriage proposal to her.
Bee actually has a significantly reduced amount of narration in this story. And while that's disappointing, it's also kind of a relief considering she's in an absolute nightmare of a living environment. Not surprisingly she becomes closer to Shun, despite their near mutual hatred for each other in the previous book. Despite this, the Bee taken captive story also has a nice twist in it as well. But the majority of the narration is taken up by Fitz.
Of course Fitz doesn't realize his daughter has been abducted, and Hobb's pacing is notoriously slow, so it will be awhile before Fitz is even prompted to any sort of action. In the mean time we're treated to some more political intrigue. A very surprising and early going emotional moment caught me completely off guard, but it was long overdue and brilliantly executed. Once Fitz does realize Bee is gone ... well as you can imagine, Fitz isn't too happy about this, and the character is taken ... once again ... to a new dark place.
As for the ending, I found some major fan wish fulfillment finally get recognized, but that will only be the case if you've read every Elderling's book to date. The ending also opens up the potential for the The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy to be about more than just the characters that have been focused on in the Fitz books, and that is a pretty exciting prospect to think about.