97 points, 5 STARS!
Fitz has survived his first mission and the attempt on his life, but it has left him almost crippled. He has given up on being an assassin, and is poised to abandon his oath to the King when an enemy they cannot seem to fight, the Red-Ship Raiders, renew their raiding. He has to return to help Prince Verity as the Raiders leave more and more villages in their wake dead or changed.
“The fight isn’t over until you win it, Fitz. That’s all you have to remember. No matter what the other man says.”
If I thought the end of Assassin’s Apprentice was hard on me and Fitz, boy was I in for a surprise when I started Royal Assassin. Tears. Running all down my face. For an hour or more. And then periodically throughout as well. And then that ending! Holy hell the end! WHHHYYYY?! WHY DOES SHE HURT ME SO?! I cannot think of higher praise for a book than the fact that I cried throughout it. But also being curled around a tissue box is..pointy.
Royal Assassin is much more exciting than the previous book in this trilogy. Fitz is older, and he isn’t really an apprentice any longer. He is able to work on his own. Which means not much time spent in lesson after lesson. And it also means that things actually happen. This is still slow, but that is because it is working up to that ending. Fitz has to take a lot of time to heal after the events in Assassin’s Apprentice. But after that there is just so much going on, and I loved it all.
Robin Hobb is the best at writing people. Oh my god the characters are just the best.
Fitz is hurting throughout the entire book. He feels betrayed. He hates what he has been turned into, what has been done to him, and is taking it out on others. He is very bad at staying hidden as an assassin should – he draws way too much attention to himself. He just doesn’t know how to stick to his station, he is too much his father’s son. His devotion to Verity is the best thing about Fitz during this dark period in his life. He hates everyone and everything at once time or another except Verity and Molly. Can’t really blame him, really.
Verity isn’t the best King in Waiting. He was never supposed to get the job. He is young. He has only held the position a short time. But he has the potential to be the best king. He fits his name. He has this ring of veracity and honor to him. Which is especially important because King Shrewd is declining throughout the book. The King’s mental and physical decline in his old age is so realistic it hurts. I’ve seen it with my own grandmother, and it sucks. It really sucks. When it is your King, the person who is supposed to protect you and everyone you know and the entire kingdom? God it is so disastrous. I love it.
The Fool being there for his King like that…I’m crying again. The Fool is always a mystery and enigma. Just plain weird. He is always talking about weird things and trying to make sure things play out the way he wants them to in the background of things. But his King is failing and he can’t accept it. It is so sad. I love the Fool and only want good things for him. [[Aside: Tawny Man is going to fucking slay me, isn’t it?]]
Also I have rarely wanted to kill anyone more than I want to kill Prince Regal. I’ve read a lot of people I would like to murder in books. Regal is near the fucking top of them all right now.
Plus there is a new doggie! Well, a wolf. Nighteyes is awesome and I’m so happy. I was tired of Fitz losing people he cares about. The fact that he has to hide Nighteyes makes me sad, but he makes up for it by being the best wolfie ever.
…Nighteyes might try to kill me if he hears I said that. Don’t no one tell him.
Royal Assassin is just my kind of story. The people are amazing, and there is an entire array of different types and personalities and things that happen to them. The story has things happening that are interesting and dangerous. There is a ton of mystery to be solved. It is like this was made exactly for me.
…Exactly for me to die to the ending to. I have to go read the next book now.