Book 3 of the "Farseer Trilogy"
ISBN - 9780553565690
FIRST PUBLISHED - Jan '98
PAGES - 757
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHERS - Spectra
SOURCE - eBook
AUTHOR - Robin Hobb
SYNOPSIS - King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz—or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest—perhaps to death. Only Verity’s return—or the heir his princess carries—can save the Six Duchies.
But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him—currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was.
- Not being able to think of a reply is not the same thing as accepting another's words.
- But a living is not a life.
- Sometimes a man doesn't know how badly he's hurt until someone else probes the wound.
- ...sometimes it only makes one more lonely to know that somewhere else, one's friends and family are well.
FL Speak - I'm just going to assume that Hobb ran out of time and had to submit this first draft to the editors.
Having done that, here's why I feel such a thing happened. All I found from this book is constant negativity, self doubts, sacrifices for no good reason and a mashed up climax that leaves more questions.
You'd assume the protagonist to be wiser after two books. Apparently he isn't. He's still as selfish as ever and the only way to make him fall in line is by issuing commands that he cannot break free off and threatening to take away stuff/people he gives an iota of care about. Classic petulant child syndrome.
This is a huge book. Pages and pages of mewling, crying, thinking about stuff that cannot be changed, the constant fear of failure and the inability to fucking stand up to anyone, anything or self. I'm sorry but I don't know who this Fitz is anymore. Yes, he's a servant of the King, a tool to be made use of, a sacrifice for the greater good. It would've made sense if he actually did something worthwhile in this book.
I don't even want to start about the other characters. Ketricken used to be one of my favourites. Please make note of the words "used to be". The Fool, however, was a good surprise. I liked the parts where he was involved. Starling, the wandering minstrel is by far the best character of the lot. Full of life and full of flaws and with the "don't give a fucking damn" attitude.
Don't get me wrong. The Farseer trilogy is one of the best trilogies ever. This is a beautiful tale. If only I had picked it up earlier, I'm sure I'd have enjoyed it much better. However, as things stand, I'm spoiled by other grand tales by newer authors. Despite all these, I still plowed on. I still kept reading and turning pages because the end was near and it promised something spectacular.
Oh it was spectacular alright. It was also terribly disheartening. The Elderlings? The ones who would come to save the city. Well, guess what you've to spend years to coax them to come to your aid. That just made me sad.
"the city is in danger. Summon the Elderlings. Where's the panic button?"
"oh wait. You need to spend a couple of years to try and ask them for help while your city burned, your people slaughtered, your houses looted."
And what do we get after so much? A 5 page wrap up. How did they save everyone? No one knows. The Raiders defeated in half a page.
And not to mention the stupid sacrifices I've had to read about. Not to mention the little tears I had to shed for the loss and heart breaks. All for the sake of this haphazard, sloppy climax.
If only, Hobb, if only you foreshadowed a little more.
RATING - 3/5. A good trilogy.
Picture Credit : Robin Hobb