Fool’s Assassin, by Robin Hobb

Like
turning the page to the next chapter in a book, Fool’s Assassin gives readers the story of the next chapter in the
life of Fitzchivalry Farseer.  Dressed
in his finery and acting the lord of an estate, Fitz—or should we say Holder
Tom Badgerlock—is a fish out of water, practically gasping and flapping his way
through this new novel in Hobb’s Farseer world.  Having come back from the dead he’s finally been allowed to
settle down with his beloved Molly and try to live out his days in peace.  But the world soon catches up with him,
plunging him—and readers—into yet another epic series of intrigue and magic.

Told
primarily from Fitz’s point of view, the novel delves into the history and lore
of the Six Duchies, while the main plot of the novel is character-driven—Fitz
settling into a life, dealing with aging, fulfilling his role as master of the
estate he maintains for his daughter, Nettle, who is serving at court.  Though the novel reprises many of the
characters from Hobb’s previous novels set in this world, new readers won’t be
put off by starting with Fool’s Assassin,
as there is plenty of self-contained story and suspense even for those who
don’t know entire history already.

Hobb’s
choice of first-person narrative was a deft one, as much of the tension in the
novel is created by Fitz’s ability—or lack thereof—to run the estate and manage
his day-to-day relationships, contrasted with the obvious doubts of nearly
everyone around him about his abilities. 
The little things creep in around the edges of the story, giving the
reader clues to what will happen, and it is this juxtaposition between what the
reader can see and what Fitz can’t because he is so overwhelmed by his new life
and duties that creates the dramatic pull of the story.  Reconciliation is a major theme to this
novel, while family is what holds it together.  Hobb has set up great suspense and expectation for the next
installment in this new series.

Anyone
already in love with Hobb’s series from this world have probably already read
this by now, but if they haven’t can count on loving it.  Hobb’s ability to create tension and
great characters is alive and well and will pull in readers of epic
fantasy.  Readers looking for a
novel with teeth that exists within a thriving world will love Hobb’s writing
and world building.

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