91 points, 4 ¾ stars.
King Shrewd is dead because of Prince Regal. Prince Verity is off on a quest to bring the Elderlings back to the Six Duchies to protect them in their dire need. FitzChivalry is unable to help either, as he once again is recovering, this time from death itself. Bitter and broken, he undertakes a quest, this time to kill Regal for his own self. A quest that takes him not where he wants to go, but where he needs to go. All while the Six Duchies is on the verge of collapse.
“I healed. Not completely. A scar is never the same as good flesh, but it stops the bleeding.”
Assassin’s Quest absolutely destroyed me. I cannot begin to count the amount of tears I shed. I think my face was wet throughout the entire duration of the book. Every time I thought I was done for a while, nope here is more! I’m in awe of Robin Hobb’s powers to create a story that resonates so much within me.
Assassin’s Quest is one really, really long series of journeys. Every step of the way was some kind of journey for Fitz. In the beginning, after being killed by Prince, now King, Regal, it was about Fitz’ journey to becoming human again. Then it is a journey to kill Regal (don’t blame Fitz for this, just kinda sigh in his general direction). And then it becomes a journey for Fitz to find Verity, after Verity went off on a quest to bring the Elderlings back. And wow, was that part of the story amazing.
I just wish this book would be shorter. I loved it. I loved it dearly. But you probably could have cut a third of the book out and still had the exact same story. There was so much repetition of events. So much of lots of not a lot happening. That is the entire reason this book isn’t five stars – the pacing. Just so, so slow. Despite tears streaming down my face due to the events on the page, I nearly fell asleep a few times because nothing was happening.
Fitz spends most of the first half of the book alone. And what a painful alone it is. He obsesses constantly about all the things that he lost, all of the things that were taken away from him. Fitz is constantly using his ability with the Skill to peek in on Molly. It’s kind of creepy, but mostly it is just depressing as hell. Fitz has become so used to losing others, it breaks my heart.
Everything changes in the second half of the book. First thing: the Fool is back! Oh my god I didn’t realise how much I missed him until he came back to me. I love the fool. I can’t get over the fact that I missed him so much, despite being such a small part of the story in the previous two books. I ship Fitz and the Fool so hard (and so does the Fool, you know he does).
Plus, with the second half of the book do we really get to the heart of the story: collecting Verity. It is a good, proper, amazing journey. It was just really, really slow. But if not for it, we wouldn’t have the end to the Farseer trilogy. And my god the ending.
I knew it was going to be good.
I didn’t know it was going to be that…that amazing.
Sacrifice. Love. A complete inability to make me happy inside.
It was perfect.