Review: Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb
Series: The Fitz and the Fool #3
Also by this author: Fool's Assassin
Published by Del Rey on May 9th 2017
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
More than twenty years ago, the first epic fantasy novel featuring FitzChivalry Farseer and his mysterious, often maddening friend the Fool struck like a bolt of brilliant lightning. Now New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb brings to a momentous close the third trilogy featuring these beloved characters in a novel of unsurpassed artistry that is sure to endure as one of the great masterworks of the genre.
Fitz’s young daughter, Bee, has been kidnapped by the Servants, a secret society whose members not only dream of possible futures but use their prophecies to add to their wealth and influence. Bee plays a crucial part in these dreams—but just what part remains uncertain.
As Bee is dragged by her sadistic captors across half the world, Fitz and the Fool, believing her dead, embark on a mission of revenge that will take them to the distant island where the Servants reside—a place the Fool once called home and later called prison. It was a hell the Fool escaped, maimed and blinded, swearing never to return.
For all his injuries, however, the Fool is not as helpless as he seems. He is a dreamer too, able to shape the future. And though Fitz is no longer the peerless assassin of his youth, he remains a man to be reckoned with—deadly with blades and poison, and adept in Farseer magic. And their goal is simple: to make sure not a single Servant survives their scourge.
Assassin’s Fate is an emotional roller-coaster of a book that is heartbreaking, bittersweet and absolutely perfect. This book is not just a perfect ending to The Fitz and Fool trilogy, but also to The Realm of the Elderlings series so far. So much so, that my only negative reaction is fear that there may not be another series in this world that Hobb has made me love so much. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely huge potential for more stories to be told there, but for this conclusion, Hobb expertly weaves together threads from all the prior series in to one epic conclusion.
For any readers that have previously wondered how disconnected the non-Fitz series are from the Fitz ones, I can say they do all come together in this final book. If you have not read Liveship Traders or Rain Wild Chronicles, I strongly advise you to go read those first as there are characters and references from every series that really just add an extra layer of enjoyment. All of The Realm of the Elderling books are worth reading and I believe you will get more out of this conclusion if you have experienced all of the prior stories first.
As in true Hobb form, this book is emotional. We have seen Fitz grow from the lost and lonely orphan into the man with more life experiences and heartbreak than any one human should have. He does at least have those moments of joy and fulfillment in between that makes it all so worth while.
His relationship with the Fool has been a constant for him, and while we have seen multiple faces of the Fool, seeing how Fitz reacts to his friends mysterious ways is interesting. Fitz has to deal with realizing that as close as the connection is between the two of them, there is still a tremendous amount of the Fool that is a mystery to him.
This book is split into two interwoven stories and perspectivbes. First there is Bee. Poor Bee, Fitz’s young kidnapped daughter, is at the center of everything. Her kidnappers do not treat her well at all, we know how the Servants treated the Fool, and she has to struggle just to survive at times, much less escape. But she is her father’s daughter, so you know she has a tremendous amount of fight in her despite her young age and small size. Her story is one of perseverance and survival, using any and all resources she can.
Then on the other side of things is Fitz. Fitz’s main goal is vengeance and retribution. He wants to destroy the Servants for stealing Bee and what he knows of them from the Fool only serves to feed that desire. They came and destroyed his home at Withywoods, where he and his family were supposed to be safe. They also tortured and crippled his dearest friend. Now they have his daughter. Yeah, you can be sure Fitz will want use all the training he had under Chade, training on all the different ways to kill, for revenge. Fitz has had a habit of blaming himself for all the problems of his world, particularly when bad things happen to those he loved. Even as he has matured, this trait still haunts his life. He blames himself for Bee’s capture and will not rest until he finds a way to pretty much annihilate the Servants.
The stories are exciting and addictive and this book ends the series with a fantastically epic conclusion. It really is perfect. I once again loved every page, and my hope after reading this is that Hobb will give us a new series centered on Bee. She is an amazing and fascinating character that would work extremely well as the center of a new series. Not that anyone asked me, but I can hope, right?