My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reading the Farseer Trilogy, knowing full well that Robin Hobb probably did her worldbuilding before I was even born, is quite a humbling experience to tell you the least. So, before I delve into any diatribe, if it gets to that, or the hurrah, I would like to, first of all, acknowledge the awesomeness that is Robin Hobb, trailblazing the fantasy genre for femen writers the world over in the yesteryears.
Being the self-proclaimed fantasy connoisseur, (wannabe-in-chief) that I am, it came as a surprise to me that I hadn’t heard of, or read this trilogy when I ought to have done so many years ago. It took many listless months of boring taxi rides, after work, stuck in the ever growing Kampala traffic jam to finally get back to reading and boy, am I glad I am back!
Well then, let’s get it on!
It’s clearly apparent that I am spectacularly rusty at this whole book review business. Matter of fact, I haven’t written a single review since the year begun. But, oh well, a man’s got to start from somewhere, no? Well, here goes…
Now, Fitz, I wonder what I will do about this man-child. Not to mince words once I am riled up, I will have to say the Fitz is a disappointing, hare-brained, annoyingly abortive half-assed hero as any I have ever had the displeasure of encountering. How I waited for the boy’s star to rise and how disappointed I got with each chapter. At some point in Assassin’s Apprentice and Royal Assassin, he had moments of sheer badassery that sent me to the edge of my seat, bloody fingernails scattered on the floor.
Unfortunately, that was never to last. Fitz learns to wield the battle ax, and he has a couple of breathtaking fight scenes! There was the hinted at berserker frame of mind that never materialises and the readers were the poorer for it. The badass battle ax is lost at some point and never recovered. Methinks Burrich wasted his time training Fitz is the brawling weapon. He never used it after that.
Then there’s the assassin arts learned from a tender age from Chade. For some reason, the best Fitz can make of his skills is poison the Forged ones. He fails miserably to make full use of this skills bungling the other assassinations, save one. That was some waste of talent.
Thirdly, I doubt Fitz ever learned how to fully use the Wit as other Witted ones could. Even an offer to be trained by the Bear-Man combo doesn’t sway him much. And what was that ‘Repelling’ thing he did? It never gets the full attention I thought it would. And don’t even get me started on his potentious but eventually depressingly stunted Skilling powers. It’s just so painful to get into! I am now clearly writing spoilers, so my apologies. What baffles me is why would Fitz be gifted thus and yet end up with nothing much. It pained me to no end!
Throughout the Assassin’s Quest, I found myself caught in a tangle of words, descriptions without end, dragging an already long tale into the mud and laboriously going through the motions of movement when in truth the plot was creeping really slow. I would have loved the plot to progress much faster than it did because I was fast running out of patience.
Okay, then, done and done! Now for the good stuff!
The Assassin’s Quest is a lovely tale, storied as only Robin Hobb could. The trials young Fitz has to go through to become the man he ends up being are nothing short of amazing. Despite the odd, he rises above his unfortunate station to become instrumental in the shaping of history. The characters surrounding him are well developed and quite as interesting as he is. I especially loved Burrich, Verity, Lady Patience, and Molly. Let’s not forget the honorable Rurisk, who I will easily admit to being my best character in the entire 3 volumes. Oh well, to be continued…