Series: The Fitz and the Fool #1
Published by: Harper Voyager
ISBN 13: 9780007444175
Published: August 2014
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Favourites and Recommended
Related Reviews: Fool’s Quest (The Fitz and the Fool #2)
‘Fool’s Assassin’ by Robin Hobb is the first in her latest trilogy, ‘The Fitz and The Fool’, slated to be released in August, 2014. It’s been almost twenty years since Robin Hobb first released Fitz and the Fool into the world, and since then we’ve had thirteen books set in the same world. Now another three will join them, taking us further in the timeline of the Six Duchies. Fitz is getting older now as quiet Tom Badgerlock, married to his childhood love Molly, and rarely bothered by the royal family he’s literally given his life for in the past.
From the first page we’re pulled effortlessly back into Fitz’s world. For someone with a poor memory who often has to re-read books before picking up the next after it’s been a while, I found myself instantly remembering Fitz’s hard life, the people he has loved and hated, and the literal wonders of the world of the Six Duchies. Light mentions of the dragons and their part in past books remind you instantly of what has happened, but also leave an intriguing note for those who may be starting the world with this book. Hobb’s writing is something to marvel at.
Fitz is now running a country house and estate, his daughter and the rest of Molly’s children have grown and are making their own way in the world, and all Fitz has on his mind is living comfortably and keeping Molly happy. We see that for all his years, Fitz is still not making the best of decisions, but as always we understand why he chooses to act this way. Molly has developed into a strong, well-rounded character, and mentions of other characters past and present are well handled, giving you enough information without dropping an overload of unnecessary information all at once, always leaving us wishing we could see more.
Problems return to Fitz as they are want to do, and we again are left with jaws hanging slackly open as we desperately wonder just how cruel and merciless Hobb can be to her characters. We again meet characters who are so awful yet so true-to-life (such as Malta from the Liveship Traders series) that we can only hope that we come to love them.
This book is setting up Fitz for the next stage in his life. This book does not stand alone, nor is there any reaction at the end other than to flop over wearily and accept we’ve once again lost part of our reading self to Fitz, and shall until we see this trilogy over, hoping that he will once again, get some peace!
Robin Hobb has ruined us again for so many authors. This is a hard review to write without giving a single thing away, because it’s just all so good, and the majority of the book is a spoiler in itself. Though I will say that a new narrator interjects Fitz’s chapters with growing frequency, and their voice is fresh, inspiring, and full of life. This new point of view character is sure to win hearts and be the worry of many, as we hope that they, too, find peace and happiness as they and Fitz deserve. Hobb, you’re a cruel and fantastic writer. Thank you for sharing your words with us.