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Customer Review

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So Very Sad, July 23, 2014
This review is from: Fool's Assassin: Book One of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Yes, "Fool's Assassin" is sad. If you have read none of the previous books by Robin Hobb, then "Fool's Assassin" will be less than satisfactory, since you know none of FitzChilvary's history and talents. These are only broadly hinted in this trilogy sequel. For fans, I assure you that everything you liked about Robin Hobbs writing skill is evident in this book. What makes it sad is the story itself. Three short lines tell the whole tale: The Fool's small sculpture of he and FitzClilvary has inscribed "I was never wise." Although, FitzChilvary reads that to mean the Fool was never wise, it's absolutely true of FitzChilvary. He never takes the right advice; he always does the wrong thing to protect those he love; he never interprets events correctly. He also takes the wrong lessons from his mistakes and spends much time in regret and self-pity.

The second meaningful line is a thought expressed by his youngest child, Bee. She discovers that her father is a broken man whose brokeness was only aleviated by her mother. While previous stories were about FitzChilvary fighting to make his way to maturity and finding his place in the world, this is a sad story about a broken man who isolates himself even when he has the life he fought to reach because his previous life had so scarred him.

The third line is spoken by Nettle, FitzChilvary's oldest daughter. With deep sadness, she told him that he never recognized how much he was loved. In all his life, he felt used, never appreciated, even by his friends and family. He carried guilt and condemnation to the point that he believed he deserved to be used and not loved.

In all of this story, FitzChilvary made promises to change his ways and be a better father/friend/man, but he never followed through. I was so sad that in the 50 years covered in Robin Hoobs books about him, he always made the same mistakes. I was also sad that, after reading 667 pages, the book only set up the story and offered no hope to FitzChilvary of any happiness along the way. I cannot recommend this book nor will I read the last two of the trilogy. I already know the ending will bring only more pain for FitzChilvary.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 14, 2014 5:49:33 AM PDT
mermaid says:
What a load of pompous rubbish. A storyteller tells a story; either invest in the story or don't, but Robin Hobb is a storyteller worthy of investment - you are a critic without.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 8:19:59 AM PDT
Vorkosigrrl says:
Dear me, mermaid, how harsh. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I love Robin Hobb's books, but felt almost the same way about this one. I imagine that I will read the rest of the trilogy, somewhat reluctantly, but the pace was slow (really could have done without Shun and FitzVigilant - two new characters who only added to Fitz's and Bee's pain), and the ending horrifying. Which, of course, was the intent. I have a feeling Hobbs will stand (almost?) everything on its head before she's through.

Lynnda Ell, I understand your feelings, and think you are very insightful in listing the three lines about Fitz.

I do think the introduction of Bee was absolutely brilliant, and loved being in her POV. But there are *some* of us who are getting tired of Fitz making the same mistakes over and over. We are likely in the minority, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2014 6:16:15 PM PDT
Lynnda Ell says:
Thank you for your support of my opinion. I agree that we will probably be in the minority opinion.

I, too, love Robin Hobbs' books. I think this is the first one that failed to gain my loyality. My only hope is that the change in style and content does not signal the author's weariness with the world she created.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 12:11:46 PM PDT
DudeMan says:
I love Robin Hobb and will read the additional books but your review is absolutely spot-on. He never followed thru.
The thing I'm hoping is that Hobb herself knows that - that something is actually wrong with Fitz. So maybe she can rectify him in the next book. Can only hope so. He did die once already, so there is always hope.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2014 2:37:57 PM PDT
Lynnda Ell says:
Thank you for your comments, DudeMan. Compared to the dragons series Hobb wrote, this just doesn't hold up. That series of books supported a complicated plot with half a dozen story lines. This book is just flat by that standard. I'll look forward to reading reviews of the rest of this series to see if she pulls the plot out of the fire...
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