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Assassin's Quest (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – January 5, 1998
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In this conclusion to the Farseer saga, FitzChivalry's quest for revenge on the usurping Regal requires him to journey to the Elderlings (wise old mages in the classic mold) and afterwards to realize the emergence of his own magical gifts, at which point the quest comes to an end after a mere 688 pages. Like much high fantasy these days, the book could have been pruned more than a trifle; on the other hand, along with the extra wordage come extra measures of characterization, world building, and emotionally compelling scenes of both magic and battle. And this is definitely the end of one story, although the world Hobb has created is now sufficiently developed (even why the characters have such archetypical names is explained) to be the scene of future books. In all, this is an improvement over its predecessors that will please their readers and probably whet their appetites for more from Hobb. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Final installment--each entry independently intelligible--of Hobb's stunning fantasy trilogy (Royal Assassin, 1996; Assassin's Apprentice, 1995) about the beleaguered Six Duchies and their Farseer kings. Months ago, King Verity vanished into the far mountains in search of the semi-mythical Elderlings, whose help he must have in order to defeat the rampaging Red Ship Raiders, leaving his murderous, venal, and insanely ambitious brother, Prince Regal, to dispose of Verity's last few loyalists at his leisure--including narrator, spy, and assassin FitzChivalry. Poor Fitz, unable to contact his beloved Molly (she thinks he's dead) and daughter (by Molly) for fear of exposing them to Regal's attentions, uses his magic Skill to locate Verity and receives an imperious summons: ``COME TO ME!'' So, abandoning his plan to assassinate Regal, Fitz enters the mountains with a small band of helpers. Eventually, having evaded Regal's minions, Fitz comes upon Verity Skill-carving a huge dragon out of black rock; nearby stand other lifelike dragon-sculptures that, to Fitz's animal-magic Wit, seem somehow alive. Are these eerie sculptures what remain of the Elderlings? Yet, for all his Skill, Verity cannot bring the dragons to life; and soon Regal will arrive with his armies and his Skilled coterie. An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is not like the first two, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The bad thing is that the characters who do make it this far, with a few notable exceptions, feel like entirely different characters. Everyone, to include Fitz (especially so), feels like a hollowed-out husk of their former selves, filled with bitterness, anguish, fear, and obliviousness.
It's realistic to be sure, but it's painful to read. The book is good, and has some interesting twists, a few likable new characters, and some nice additional world-building, but the ending will leave you feeling cold. I wanted and needed more. I needed to know that Fitz's sacrifices were not in vain. But they kinda were, and no one seems to appreciate the fact that he has suffered his entire life, DIED even, and still people who purportedly love him chastise him for lack of duty and strength. I was hoping for some solace after this long journey, but all I felt afterwards was a distaste for almost all characters in the entire series except for poor, poor Fitz.
The only other complaint I have is that I read 740 pages of build-up for the last sixteen pages. There was sixteen pages of payoff for all of the expectations built up across the whole trilogy. And a few of the surprises came out of nowhere, which is disappointing, especially in this genre. It felt like the ending, the most important section in the entire trilogy, was contrived.
Good, but not great. I once heard that "hope without fear is naive. But fear without hope is nihilism. It is paralysis." In this book, I often felt this way. The dim hopes Fitz harbors throughout the novel simply cannot contend with the negativity that drives him. Again, this is perhaps more realistic than your run-of-the-mill fantasy, but this needed and deserved a much more satisfying conclusion.
The second book mostly maintained the quality of writing - I noticed a few out-of-place words, more repetition that didn't really further the plot and did not color in the world. Some of the behavior and actions of the characters became un-relatable. It seems that at some point, a few shortcuts had to be taken to further the story. Mostly forgivable given that the rest of the story kept it interesting.
By the third book, the author seemed almost vindictive against the main character and the story read like propaganda encouraging readers to adhere to the authors perspective on "duty" and "manhood". The characters weren't quite intelligent, a lot of the story continued based on what the characters didn't do instead of what they did, and it seemed like a poor ending to what appeared to be a strong series. I'm not sure if this is because the author struggles to write relatable adult characters (the first book was from the perspective of a child), has strong biases, or if three books simply wasn't enough to wrap this series up. It seemed to be often caught between not having enough to write about and an over simplifying of the storyline.
Perhaps that's why the author gives Fitz time to go through the various stages of revengeful thoughts and actions, grief, healing and ultimately sets him back on the course to fulfill his quest. Initially, after his mistreatment in the dungeons, Fitz is mixed up about his identity and only Burrich, who is accustomed to working with wounded animals, can see him through this period in his life. Ultimately, it's up to Fitz to get back on his feet and go forward. To this end, he seeks to revenge himself upon Regal and those who left him for dead. He has some success, but in the middle of his acts of revenge, Verity calls to him - "Come to Me" via the Skill. The message is so strong, Fitz heads for the city of the Elderlings. He has adventures aplenty along the way and is reunited with Kettricken and the Fool as he moves toward the end game. He also picks up two other travelers - Starling, a minstrel and Kettle whose identity, when revealed, adds much to the story. Together they head far into Elderling territory to try and find Verity.
Once they locate Verity, it's a bit difficult to relate to Verity's actions. In my first reading of this book, I was extremely let down by the way the storyline handled Verity and his doings. After re-reading this series, plus reading other related series, including the Tawny Man Series and the Ships of Magic Series, the overall picture becomes more clear, thus making it easier for me to accept Verity's and Kettricken's story for what it is. However, one can't help but find parts of it very dismal. Overall, I was simply enthralled with this book on this third reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1. Yes, there is violence, because this is about an assassin.Read more