Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and returns to the court where he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life. With the King near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened. Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns. In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands--and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.
Well done: how to make an assassin a sympathetic character
By An adult reader - May 20, 1999
I read this book first, then read Assassin's Apprentice to see where it started, then finally Assassins Quest with bated breath. Glad I picked it up."Royal Assassin" is a lovely play on words, best understood once the story is over, as is the premise that "Chivalry ain't dead" which, while never uttered, provides the foundation for the protagonist's existence. That sense of irony is ever present throughout the series, and is beautifully complemented by Hobbs' use of adjective given names: Shrewd, Desire, Verity, Constance, Regal, etc. The measured development and revelation of each character's flaws and motivations is a beautiful example of how to write a book that startles you with plot twists, all of which ultimately make sense. The hardest character to reach is Regal, which is a shame, since he is a believable self-justified villain. Hobb's system of magic is easy to grasp, and does not require too great a suspension of disbelief to... read more
The Emotional Roller Coaster Continues
By ONENEO - October 10, 2008
Truly after having become instantly enamored with Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin had me hooked before I even finished the first page. I will begin this review with my sincere puzzlement in the fact that there is so much overhyped fantasy in the world by highly decorated (see award winning) authors that it amazes me to no end how the Farseer trilogy tends to slip through the proverbial cracks. This series is easily on par with the efforts of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire and perhaps some of the finer moments of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time.
That said, this tale picks up literally where the first book ends (with no recapping) and continues in the first person narrative of Fitz Chivalry as he recounts his life in effort to document the history of the Six Dutchies.
Like before, the imagery is just stunning and Hobb once again demonstrates that her greatest strength as an author is through development of incredibly rich characters that the reader... read more
Remarkable Second Installment
By Antonio Figl "RockSLUG" - August 8, 2000
With the second volume of the Farseer trilogy, Robin Hobb has certainly written a compelling saga strong on characterization. The first volume saw young Fitz growing as a boy and learning the ways around the court of Buckkeep, the capital of the Six Duchies. It seems to me that once Fitz was able to grow into his teens, the author finally has more freedom in making him the center of the happenings. Whereas Fitz was mostly a spectator in Assassin's Apprentice, he now tries to direct the action in the court; whether he is cleverly manipulated by others or truly acts on his own is an interesting question. This novel is less a novel of action or of epic proportions. It is obvious that Robin Hobb has no interest in becoming another Tolkien or Jordan. This is a novel of court intrigue, machinations, moves and countermoves. And Fitz finds himself with far more to deal with than he can chew. The characters are even livelier and interesting than in the first novel. I found... read more