FitzChivalry -- royal bastard and former king's assassin -- has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock and married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, Fitz now leads the quiet life of a country squire.
Still, he remains haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become. But such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life -- until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz's past...and his future.
Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one...
Robin Hobb introduced us to FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool nearly 20 years ago and they've been through a lot since then. If you haven't read the Farseer trilogy, where we first meet Fitz and the Fool, or the Tawny Man trilogy where their journey continues, you MAY start with this book; there is enough recap to bring you up to speed. If you have read any or all of the earlier 6 books, you are nostalgic for books read long ago and maybe a little grateful for the review since it has been so long.
I read the Farseer trilogy years ago and enjoyed the story and its characters. I have not yet read the Tawny Man trilogy, though I own it and plan to read it. Of another Hobb series, I made it through two books of her Rainwilds Chronicles. I neither enjoyed the story nor the characters. I commented after book 2 of that series that Robin Hobb is capable of so much more than this. And now she has proved me right.
Unabashedly, I loved this book. In nearly 700 pages, not much happens here, but I savored every word Ms. Hobb wrote. The details were subtle and deliberate and the book was beautifully written.
The elephant in the room is how obvious the book's big plot twist was to the readers, yet Fitz, uncharacteristically, was blind to it. It earned an emphatic, "Well, duh!" from me, but did not disrupt my overall enjoyment of the book.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review of it. I am under no obligation to provide a favorable review and any praise is deserved. I am honest in all of my reviews and will not compromise myself for a free product.
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