Series: The Fitz and the Fool #1
Published by Del Rey on August 12, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Epic
My content rating: 16+ (Sex is implied, but not shown)
Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.
But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…
On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.
Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?
Suddenly Fitz's violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was to see that Hobb was writing a new book about Fitz! As much as I have loved all of her books, the Farseer Trilogy and the Tawny Man Trilogy have always held a special place in my heart. I couldn’t wait to see what Hobb had in store for Fitz (and the Fool!) next!
Let me start by saying that you really need to read both the Farseer Trilogy and the Tawny Man Trilogy before you tackle this book. Even though it’s technically the start to a new series, it’s definitely a continuation of those other two. In fact, I needed to go back and found recaps of the first six books to refresh my memory because it’s been so many years since I read them. I actually think that I should go back and re-read both series, but I obviously haven’t done it yet.
Fool’s Assassin starts up about 10 years after Fitz and the Fool parted ways. Fitz is now living a peaceful life with Molly, having escaped all of the danger of his old existence as an assassin. The one thing missing from his life is the Fool – he hasn’t heard from him at all since the Fool left him. Most of the book actually takes place in during this peaceful period in Fitz’s life (part of what is described in the synopsis happens right away, but it really isn’t picked up again till toward the end of the book). Still, fans of Hobb’s previous series will love this new chapter in Fitz and the Fool’s story!!
What I LOVED:
- Fitz! Fitz has always been one of my favorite characters ever. Even though he is often infuriatingly imperfect, there will always be a spot in my heart for this character. In the first six books, I ached with him over his loss of Molly, so I loved seeing him with her at last. But I also loved that his “perfect” life is still bittersweet because of the loss of the Fool – he has in no way forgotten him, and we see that his love for the Fool truly runs as deep as his love for Molly. Fitz’s relationship with a new character (see my next point!) only makes my love for him stronger!
- A new POV. A new character is introduced in this book, and we get to see Hobb’s world through her eyes. I don’t even want to say who the new character is because I feel like it would be spoiling things, but she is a pivotal character with ties to both Fitz and the Fool. The Fool himself doesn’t make an appearance until late in this book, but I felt like this new character bridged that gap in a lot of ways (even if Fitz didn’t seem to acknowledge that for some reason!). Again, I want to say more, but I feel like it would be spoiling things – so I’ll just say that I was incredibly emotionally invested in this new character and where her story was headed.
- The ending. The last ten or fifteen percent of this book really picked up (see my one negative below) and I couldn’t believe some of the things that were happening!! I was riveted and in tears, wondering if at least one of my beloved characters wasn’t going to make it through alive. Plus, I still can’t stop thinking about the very ending and what it all means. I have so many questions spinning through my head and I NEED to know what will happen next!
- Not a lot of action. This book felt very much like a bridge book between the old trilogies and this new series. A good portion of the book dwells on Fitz’ feelings about the Fool, Molly, Chade and a new character that I don’t want to spoil. It explores his new settled life now that he’s no longer FitzChivalry the assassin. Despite what the synopsis says, not much actually happens until the end of the book. Because I was already so invested in these characters, I didn’t get bored at all (but some people might) – it was actually perfect for me because I needed the reminders about what had happened in those first six books and I was happy to settle in with Fitz (who I’ve always loved) and the new character (who I loved based on her associations with Fitz and the Fool). But don’t expect this book to be as action-packed as some of Hobbs’ other books.
About the Author
Robin Hobb is a fantasy novelist currently living and working in Tacoma, Washington. Best known for The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Quest), she has been actively writing and published since she was eighteen years old. Born in California, she moved to Fairbanks, Alaska at the age of ten with her family in the early 1960’s. She found she loved the wilderness and the deep dark and cold of the winters there. Many of her experiences there flavor her writing. In 1970 at the age of 18, she married Fred Ogden and moved to Kodiak Island where he quickly infected her with his love of all things maritime. Over the course of the next forty years, as they followed the needs of his career, she lived in places ranging from Idaho to Hawaii and Alaska again. They now reside in Washington State. Their four children are now grown with children of their own. Her writing career began under the name Megan Lindholm. She wrote for local newspapers as well as children’s magazines such as Highlights for Children and Jack and Jill, as well as creating short fiction for children to be used in the SRA programmed reading material. In the 1980’s, she began to write short fantasy. In 1981 she won an award from the Alaska State Council for the Arts for her short story “The Poaching. In 1983, she published her first novel, Harpy’s Flight. Other works under the Lindholm name include The Reindeer People, Wizard of the Pigeons and Cloven Hooves. Her short fiction works have been finalists for both the Nebula and the Hugo awards and the winner of the Asimov’s Readers Award.
In 1995, Assassin’s Apprentice, her first work under the name Robin Hobb, was published by Bantam Books. In the years since, she has written The Liveship Traders Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, The Soldier Son Trilogy and the four volume tale, The Rain Wilds Chronicles. Her current work in progress, tentatively titled The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy, returns to the world of the Farseers and the realm of the Elderlings. Her works have been translated into over twenty languages, and have won awards such as The Elf Fantasy Award in the Netherlands and the Imaginales Award for a Translated Work in France. Closer to home, she has won the Endeavor Award for works published in the Pacific Northwest. Her hobbies include gardening, mushroom hunting and bothering her cat. She also continues to write short fiction as Megan Lindholm.