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on 12 November 2016
This first book in the new series picks up on Fitz’s life many years after the events from the original series. Fitz is for now Tom Badgerlock – a Holder of the house and land rather than FitzChivalry Farseer, the illegitimate member of royalty that he actually is. He is living quietly on the estate with his wife Molly and Lady Patience the owner of the estate.

So far so good and the opening of the book at Withywoods, the estate he is on, is largely calm and fairly idyllic. The characters there and around him, as well as the landscape, are well drawn out. Odd things do happen and the pace and tension gradually increase with the “odd things” becoming stranger maybe and more pressing. This is quite a slow burn story for the first half or a little more.

I really do prefer not to spoil stories for those who have not read them so I will simply say that a new character, Bee, arrives on the scene. I very quickly came to love Bee as a character however her arrival in the book took me from disbelief to disbelief via incredulity. The pace of the book steadily increases and the tension mounts. You just know something is going to happen and the last 25% of the book I found almost impossible to put down. It has that characteristic of a really good book when you don’t want it to end but you can’t stop reading.

For me this was an excellent follow up to the previous series which have involved Fitz Farseer. I bought book two as soon as I finished this book. I’m just not sure how long I can possibly put of reading it for. Then again book three is not out until May 2017 so maybe I should pace myself! If you like Robin Hobb’s work you really should read this. If you like high quality fantasy books and haven’t tried Hobb’s work then do try the original Farseer Trilogy.
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on 16 February 2018
This begun with a wonderful reunion, I've missed Fitz and I only finished the last trilogy in November... I can't begin to understand what this must have been like to readers who'd returned to the series after 9 years - (2003 - 2012).

The joy I felt only lasted for the first 30% of the book though, for me this had some serious pacing issues, if it wasn't Robin Hobb and it wasn't about Fitz then I would have given up on it entirely.

Obviously the perseverance is worth it (It's Fitz after all!), the last 20% is a different pace entirely... After all this is clearly the book that sets up the trilogy, I just think it could have been done cleaner, without a lot of the drudgery.

The next book which I have already begun, I can tell already, is going to be magnificent!

Having said all that, I'm still giving it a 4 star review, but that could be because this series has a special place in my heart.

I'm also now slightly concerned that I'm running out of Robin Hobbs, although this could be the first series of books where I will go back to the start and read again.

Also, I still have the Liveship Traders trilogy to read.
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on 28 July 2015
Oh, I have been dying to read Fool's Assassin, the first book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy,  ever since I first heard Robin Hobb was returning to these characters! It's been out for over a year already in hardback, but it's such a big book, and I do a lot of my reading to and from work, and I didn't want to lug such a heavy book around. I patiently waited for the paperback, and oh my god, it was amazing! And now I don't know if I can wait for the second book to come out in paperback!

I can't even begin to summarise this book like I do all others because there's so much that would be such massive spoilers. As it is, the description above only covers the first two chapters. Seriously. But I will try and give a vague and bare-bones summary.

An aged Fitz. A Fool gone for decades. A strange, mysterious child. Two apprentice assassins; one failed, one entitled, both in danger. Two messengers, visiting years apart; one disappearing and presumed dead, the other mortally injured. Fitz's quiet and contented life as the Holder Tom Badgerlock of Withywoods, with his wife Molly, is to be disrupted, and he will have to fall back on lessons learnt long ago. The assassin FitzChivalry Farseer is needed once again.

Vague enough? Reviewing this book is going to be difficult because a large part of this book revolves around a character who to discuss would just be the biggest spoiler. But I shall do my best.

The very last line of the description from Goodreads - which is also on the blurb - is a little misleading. The book spans a number of years, starting when Fitz is 49, ending he's around 61. So although Fitz is suddenly thrown into a upheaval, it happens several years after the missing and presumed dead messenger comes to Withywoods. There is this huge event that happens that changes Fitz life, though not how you would think, about a quarter to a third of the way in. As soon as it was mentioned, I knew what it meant. As soon as I read the words spoken to Fitz, it was clear to me just how important this news was, on a wider scale than the immediate smaller scale, before the events that followed. And it had me so excited!

However, from about half way onwards for a fair while, I was questioning whether something else of consequence was going to happen in this book. There were smaller things happening, the arrival of various characters into Fitz life, and the mystery surrounded them that I cared about less and less as they became increasingly more unlikable, but nothing major enough to warrant a book this long. Or so I thought. Having finished the book, I understand why the book was written as it was. Although it might not seem so at the time, it's all very important.

There were moments when I wanted to prod Fitz and get him to wake up, and say, "Come on, Fitzy Fitz!" (as the Fool once called him in the very first book, Assassin's Apprentice, during a tongue-teaser of a prediction). There were things happening that he didn't seem to question, or at least not very long, when he most definitely should have, and a conversation should have been had. Events were similar enough to things he had experienced before for them to ring a bell for him, and at the very least, he should have been concerned for a character's sanity, but it didn't really happen. I understand that it probably didn't occur to him, and he had so many distractions in his life, but I do think there should have been at least some worry on his part. If only Fitz had thought about it, he might have worked a few things out sooner. But I guess, then, we would have a completely different story. It just seemed odd; I know he's a lot older now, and it's proven he's been away from an assassin's life so long he's not quite as sharp as he used to be, but it's still Fitz! It just didn't seem like him.

The last quarter of the book is incredible! The pace picks up, and I was turning the pages as fast as I could read them, dying to get through it quickly, because time was definitely of the essence, and I needed to know what would happen! And then, unrelated, something also huge and terrifying happened, because of course it would, Fitz, how can you be so stupid! Such joy and fear and terrible anguish and sadness, and then the book ended! And I am so desperate to know what's going to happen next! The ending so made up for the parts I thought were flagging - even though, as I said, I now know how important they were - and, oh, I have fallen in love with Hobb's mastery all over again! And these characters, I love them so much, and it's so amazing to have a new story to immerse myself in, new adventures to share with them! It's fantastic, and I know, I just know, I will bear the weight of a heavy tome in my work bag to discover what happens next. Incredible story! Robin Hobb fans will not be disappointed!
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VINE VOICEon 24 December 2015
Brilliant new series with our favourite characters. Best to read the Assassin series and the Fool series before getting this one as they inform this book.
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on 1 February 2017
Robin Hobb picks up the characters from the second Fitzchivalry trilogy and weaves another tale. It begins slowly, recounting the quiet life of a retired hero and his beloved wife. In a way, beginning at the end, with happily ever after. But slowly it becomes something else. An aching recounting of grief and loss, a coming of age tale as the hero's daughter develops in unexpected ways, and the slow build of menace untill the storm breaks at the end. Not a quick read or a high-action story, yet. But worth every effort, and promising much, much more to come.
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on 13 January 2018
Oh my god. only recently found out that this final series of books had been written. What an unbelievable treat. Hobbs ability to make fact those things that we half believe....being able to influence people with our thoughts without speech, the capacity of animals to understand humans and vice versa....brilliant. Also the capacity for inanimate objects to hold memory. What an amazing imagination. An extraordinarily gifted writer.
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on 11 September 2017
The fact I can pick up and put down this book is telling. It feels like a lot of loose threads are being hastily woven into this story from all across the 'dragon', 'liveship' and 'assassin' books by Robin Hobb. Nevertheless I shall read on and hope the conclusion doesn't disappoint.
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on 16 August 2015
A character driven absorbing masterpiece, of all the farseer books this one has to be my favourite, I had read the other novels a couple of years ago so many characters had slipped from my mind, this did not detract from enjoying this though, just finished reading when the second book came out, and I can't wait to read that one, the surprise lies in the secondary character entering the book, who gives another first person dialogue, lots of surprises, but if you expect a lot of smash bang action you will not get it with this book. An emotionally gripping read, slow and yet totally engaging as fitz muddles through you really feel for him, a must read and almost feels comparable to Dickens best work, one of my favourite books
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on 6 May 2015
I think I saw a review before I read this that said ' its like meeting up with old friends'. And its true.
Absolutely brilliant read if you've read previous books in the series. Robin Hobb writes so well, and introduces us to old characters and their traits that we know and love. There is not as much action as in previous books (there is still lots of action), but that was fine as it is so rich in something else that I find hard to describe. Maybe Robin Hobbs best novel.

You must read this if you've read the rest of the series, but beware the price tag. If you are on a budget, wait for a year after the third book to be released (this is the 1st in the latest trilogy) and you should be able to pick up all three for a reasonable price!
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on 6 April 2016
I loved being able to immerse myself in Fitz's world again. Robin Hobb's books are real favourites of mine, along with those of Carol Berg, George R R Martin etc. This is a fascinating trilogy so far (two books in...). I enjoyed "Fool's Assassin" with one detracting point: avoiding spoilers - there's a significant new character, and it's VERY obvious who that character is linked to, but Fitz doesn't see it and it felt like Robin Hobb wanted it to be a secret. Maybe I'm wrong, and she just wanted readers to realise Fitz was being dozey! A really good book, and the next one's even better.
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