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The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Complete series with 3 novels.
Genres: fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy
Sequel series: Liveship Traders, Tawny Man, Rainy Wild Chronicles, The Fitz and the Fool

Blurb:

FitzChivalry Farseer is a royal bastard. Abandoned by his mother’s family into the care of his father’s, Prince Chivalry Farseer, who abdicated as soon as Fitz came on the scene. At the request of his grandfather, King Shrewd, Fitz became an assassin. An assassin who not only has the use of the family Skill, but also the Wit, meaning he can talk and bond to animals. And then the war with the Red Ship Raiders start, and all of the Six Duchies is in danger of becoming Forged.

Reading Order:

1. Assassin’s Apprentice
2. Royal Assassin
3. Assassin’s Quest

Review:

The Farseer Trilogy is the start to the Realm of the Elderlings saga, and it is something I will love for the rest of my life. This trilogy was a masterpiece, and just the start of several masterpieces in one world. I fell in love from the very first chapter, and I’ll never, ever release that love.

The story starts slowly, and the end existed to hurt me, but the story getting there was just enthralling. Even when “nothing” was happening, I was completely engaged in the story and didn’t want to stop reading. Each book is only part of the story.  It builds upon itself masterfully, and I loved it all. Hobb is the best at writing characters. Every one of them in this series adds to the story in profound ways.

This trilogy takes the main character, FitzChivalry Farseer from small child, to teenager, to young man. He is so young, and he comes into the story with nothing – not even a name. They call him boy, and then Fitz (which isn’t much of a name at all – it means bastard in English). Through the series he struggles. He struggles to be accepted. He struggles with loneliness as even the people who care about him don’t stick with him when things get hard, He struggles to be approved by the people in his life he wants to appease; he never seems to be good enough. The people who don’t care about him just use him.

Yet throughout the series Fitz grows, he learns, he becomes the Catalyst. Fitz grows to hate his situation and world. He hates most of the people he is around. He hates what is being done to him. He grows tired and weary. Which is especially sad because he is so young. His plight makes me cry. Yet, still, there is something about him that just cannot stay hidden. He just draws attention. And his devotion to Prince Verity is the best thing about Fitz during this dark period in his life.

Fitz has two different sets of skills that set him apart from the others. He has the Skill, which is a family trait. It is hard to describe the Skill without you reading the book. You’re just able to do things with it. Talk to others over distances, spy. Physically push others away. Other things, too. Fitz isn’t so good at that. Then there is the Wit, which is animal magic. Talking and bonding to animals. And when Fitz bonded to Nighteyes, a wolf, it was a happy moment for me, a terrifying moment for Fitz who had been warned against using the Wit. In fact, the Wit is vilified. Nighteyes is the bestest wolfie ever and I love him.

King Shrew is an asshole, but he is the king and that is his job. He isn’t kindhearted or necessarily good, but he is a good king. He is what his country needs him to be. Prince Verity isn’t the best King in Waiting. Verity 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. 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. The Fool is always a mystery and enigma. Just plain weird. The Fool 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. He may be my favourite side character.

The Farseer trilogy destroyed me. The story laid out in these pages was systematically set up to absolutely and totally destroy me. The land is in war, there are people dying left and right. Through magical and physical ways. Yet at its core, the trilogy is about the people within the pages. Their journey to save their kingdom. Their sacrifices to save their kingdom. The tears absolutely streaming down my face for hours on end.

This isn’t a perfect series by any means. It has its flaws. It is slow. It could be shorter. Fitz is a classic idiotball. There are prophecies, which I pretty much never like. Yet, this trilogy resonates within me, and I loved it.

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