Book Review: Assassin’s Quest

Title: Assassin’s Quest (Book 3 of the Farseer Trilogy)
Author: Robin Hobb
Publisher: Bantam Spectra

To say that I’ve had a tough time reading Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy is a gross understatement, but the previous two books haven’t been bad by any means.  However, upon finishing the third book, Assassin’s Quest, I think I’ve come to terms with the trilogy.

The third book picks up directly after the disastrous ending of the second book; to explain what happened would be a monumental spoiler.  Hobb manages to dig herself out of what would appear to be a monumental hole with a clever use of Fitz’s magic.  The next few chapters move briskly through a fascinating repair process that helped explain how the Wit worked.  I complained in the first book’s review that the Wit and Skill weren’t well explained, but, thankfully, Hobb does a great job explaining both systems by the end of the trilogy.

Fitz sets off on his own personal revenge quest, bringing Nighteyes along with him.  In the end, Fitz fails spectacularly in his quest and finds himself compelled to seek out his King-in-Waiting.  The rest of the book deals with the arduous tale across the continent with a motley crew that Fitz is thrust into.  Hobb manages to introduce two new characters, Starling, a minstrel who all but forces her way into the party, and Kettle, an elderly woman rapidly nearing the end of her life but still has a fire to finish her pilgrimage.  Combined with The Fool and Kettricken, there’s enough tension between party members and Fitz, especially with his frightening uses of the Skill, to keep the second half of the book interesting.

Naturally, I won’t speak directly to the ending, but I found myself pleasantly surprised with how it all turned out.  In this trilogy’s typical fashion, nothing turns out exactly as planned and characters maybe aren’t as happy as they would like to be, but I felt that the ending was fair.  I know that Fitz’s story continues in further trilogies, but I think I’ll take a break from Hobb’s books for a little bit before delving into those.

As I finished the Farseer Trilogy a few weeks ago, I struggled with how to write this review, sitting in front of a blank document time and time again.  In the end, I see why this trilogy and Hobb’s works are so well-regarded; they’re fascinating and incredibly well-written reads.  But would I recommend the series, especially with how much trouble I had with the first book?  Absolutely.  The destination is well worth the sometimes rocky journey.

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About Michael Hannon
Podcaster, blogger, writer, geek. Host of That Video Game Podcast (TVGP) and Dynamic Soundtrack. A big fan of stuff.

3 Responses to Book Review: Assassin’s Quest

  1. Redhead says:

    I’m always saying how much I adore the Farseer trilogy, but Assassin’s Quest pissed me off. First off, the cover art. Way to spoil the ending! ggrr, not cool, whoever commissioned that cover art, not cool. I enjoyed the book enough to finish it of course, but at times was just painful to read. ever read Shardik, by Richard Adams? it kinda reminded me of that – painful to read, but i couldn’t put it down, so i just let the thing keep stabbing me in the eye.

    it was a relief when i finished it. like coming up for air after being nearly drowned. I must be some kinda masochist, because I instantly went around the house looking to see what other Hobb series we owned.

    • Michael Hannon says:

      That’s the sometimes good thing about reading on a Kindle, you miss the cover art. Most covers seem to be either spoiler-y or the main character looks a little goofy.

      Absolutely agree about the drowning analogy. But even after finishing it, I thought for a second, “Well, it can’t be worse than that, can it?” It probably can, so I figure I’d read something a little lighter 😛

      Thanks for the comments on my reviews! 😀

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Magic Lost, Trouble Found « The Carousel Podcast

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