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Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2) [Hardcover]

Robin Hobb
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Mar 1996 The Farseer Trilogy (Book 2)

The second volume in Robin Hobb’s bestselling debut series The Farseer. The Red Ship Raiders’ attacks are becoming increasingly savage, whilst at the Six Duchies court the scheming and intrigue deepens. A seemingly wild plan is then hatched by the desperate King-in-Waiting, Verity, to awaken the mystical Elderings in order to defend the kingdom. Fitz shares only the company of his wolf Nighteyes, and the cryptic King’s Fool who tells him that together they will change the future and the world…

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (21 Mar 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002246074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002246071
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.6 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Hobb is a New York Times best-selling fantasy author. She is published in English in the US, UK and Australia, and her works have been widely translated. Her short stories have been finalists for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, as well as winning the Asimov's Readers Award. Her best known series is The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest.)

Robin Hobb was born in Oakland California, but grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has spent her life mostly in the Pacific Nortwest region of the US, and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington State, with her husband Fred. They have four grown offspring, and six grandchildren.

Robin Hobb is a pen name for Margaret Ogden. She has also written under the name Megan Lindholm.

She published her first short story for children when she was 18,and for some years wrote as a journalist and children's writer. Her stories for children were published in magazines such as Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children, Jack & Jill and Highlights for Children. She also created educational reading material for children for a programmed reading series by SRA (Science Research Associates.) She received a grant award from the Alaska State Council on the arts for her short story "The Poaching", published in Finding Our Boundaries in 1980.

Fantasy and Science Fiction had always been her two favorite genres, and in the late 70's she began to write in them. Her initial works were published in small press 'fanzines' such as Space and Time (editor Gordon Linzner). Her first professionally published story was "Bones for Dulath" that appeared in the Ace anthology AMAZONS!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson in 1979. A short time later, a second Ki and Vandien story entitled The Small One was published in FANTASTIC in 1980.

During that time period, she and her family had moved from Alaska to Hawaii, and subsequently to Washington State, where they settled. She had various money making occupations (waitress, salesperson, etc.) while striving with her writing. Her husband Fred continued to fish Alaskan waters and was home only about 3 months out of every year. The family lived on a small farm in rural Roy where they raised lots of vegetables, chickens, ducks, geese and other small livestock.

In 1983, her first novel, Harpy's Flight, was published by Ace under the pen name Megan Lindholm. Her later titles under that name included Wizard of the Pigeons, Alien Earth, Luck of the Wheels, and Cloven Hooves.

In 1995, she launched her best selling series of books set in the Realm of the Elderlings. At that time, she began writing as Robin Hobb. Her first trilogy of books were about her popular characters, FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool. The Farseer Trilogy is comprised of Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest. These books were followed by The Liveship Traders trilogy, set in the same world. The Tawny Man trilogy returned to the tale of Fitz and the Fool. Most recently, the four volumes of the Rain Wilds Chronicles were published: Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons.

In 2013, it was announced that she would return to her best-loved characters with a new trilogy, The Fitz and the Fool trilogy. The first volume, Fool's Assassin, will be published in August of 2014.

Other works as Robin Hobb include The Soldier Son trilogy and short stories published in various anthologies. A collection of her shorter works as both Lindholm and Hobb is available in The Inheritance.

She continues to reside in Tacoma, Washington, with frequent visits to the pocket farm in Roy.

Product Description


'Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers … what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.'
The Times

‘In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons’
George R.R. Martin

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

We are here, Fitz, you and I, to change the future and the world…’

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complex, layered, and highly enjoyable read. 15 July 1999
By A Customer
Having read the first in trilogy, "Assassins Apprentice" I approached this with some trepidation, middle books in trilogies usually being somewhat flat, merely building to the climax in the last novel. However, I need not have worried. Throughout the novel is well written in elegant prose, the pace is extremely good. Although it is a much longer book than the first, the length is not superfluous, Robin Hobb was not merely trying to write a long book for the sake of it, but needed to. The snapshot of a corrupt, intrigue entangled court is superb, and trying to sort out this web of betrayal is a major pleasure. The twists and turns are always well done, and contain moments when you knash your teeth in despair and want to scream at the characters. The air of tension in the novel is as good as many a thriller I have read.
Most of all, the characters are compelling, with the strong King-in-Waiting Verity, a good man on the verge of despair, the implacable Burrich and so on. All the characters seem to have layers, few of the major characters - with the possible exception of Prince Regal. Fitz, the central character is in the true mold of a modern Fantasy hero, a normal person forced into high events and is throughout a character it is easy to sympathise with.
The book touches on many issues - love, honour, duty, betrayal - and deals well with them, without being superficial or trite.
The only major gripe in this otherwise excellent novel is the slight feeling of smallness, of a very limited world. This is not a major problem, however, as the world Robin Hobb has created is rich enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 26 Jun 2009
The whole of this series (the farseer trilogy) is excellent, you'd be hardput to review one book on it's own. Ok, it's been a while since I read this book, but I loved every moment of it, and I just wanted it to keep going!

Hobb's descriptions are perfect, she never over describes or underdescribes anything. The book is not littered with unneccisary dialogue, description or text, everything that is said or done is done for a reason, be it progressing the story or developing characters.

Fitz is a character who will remain with me forever, I have fallen in love with him, and from early on in the first book (assassin's apprentice) he became my favourite literary character. You grow up with fitz, knowing him from when he is a small, nervous boy to when he becomes a strong, intelligent and wonderful man. He is not perfect, as all good heroes should, he has his flaws, but to be honest, they just made me love him even more. He is so well developed, that if you aren't careful, he starts taking over your mind (maybe that's just me...)

I can't just talk about fitz though, all the characters are wonderful, each developed brilliantly and expertly, even Nighteyes, who, as a wolf, you'd expect not to have much to say, or not play a big part, but this story wouldn't be the same without him, his quirky ways, and his interaction with Fitz is brilliant! He teaches him the simple life of a wolf, allowing fitz to see things with new eyes, he scolds him when even he can see what has been done is wrong, and he encourages him and keeps him going even when it looks like all is lost.

With such memorable characters like the Fool, Kettricken, nighteyes, fitz and many, many more, you'd be silly not to read this series.

The storyline itself is great, it doesn't move too slowly or too quickly, allowing you to absorb each event in turn.

I can't say much more about this book, other than, i wish i could give it more than 5 stars! Just read it!
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faster than my legs could carry me! 3 May 2005
By Fantasy Lore TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Firstly...I am not going to give away one single shred of the story or indeed character developments that continue into this, the gripping second book in the Farseer Trilogy, because I have no doubt that would make me the most hated follower of this magnificent series.
When I came to the end of this book I ran (and I mean RAN) to my local bookstore to lay my hands on the final instalment of the story of Fitz, the Fool, Molly, Chade, Verity and each and every one of the many more characters brilliantly brought to life by Hobb. I ran not only because it was 4.40pm, the bookstore would be closing and I was in imminent danger of waiting days, or maybe even weeks to discover all that would follow in this utterly engaging character driven and magical, fantasy, adventure drama, but also because even minutes being left in the dark after the cliff-hanger that brings to a close 'Royal Assassin' seemed like a fate worse than death.
So, whatever you do, don't buy 'Royal Assassin' without also purchasing 'Assassin's Quest', or at least having a darn good contingency plan should you find yourself at the end of this book without the conclusion to the've been warned! I only wish I was being clever and exaggerating, but it's the absolute truth- the finale is breath-taking, so ignore my advice at your peril dear readers!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars - unputdownable! 21 April 2001
By A Customer
I'd read Robin's "LiveShip Traders" trilogy and enjoyed that, as well as the first in this trilogy: Assassin's Apprentice. So I was very pleased to find that this book was even better.
Sure, some of the characters can be frustrating at times - just like people are in real life! And I found myself feeling for the Fool, whose wit at times is quite brilliant.
The plot twists and turns, with plenty of intrigue and surprises around each corner. And yes, you know *the* tragedy is coming - it's unavoidable and there's nothing you can do about it. But that just makes it even more painful in some ways, and adds to the depth of the narrative.
Overall then, I found it an excellent and gripping story - well recommended by this reader.
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