Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Fate

More than twenty years ago, the first epic fantasy novel featuring FitzChivalry Farseer and his mysterious, often maddening friend the Fool struck like a bolt of brilliant lightning. Now New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb brings to a momentous close the third trilogy featuring these beloved characters in a novel of unsurpassed artistry that is sure to endure as o...

Title:Assassin's Fate
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0553392956
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:847 pages

Assassin's Fate Reviews

  • Niki Hawkes  - The Obsessive Bookseller

    What can I say about the conclusion to the series that has dazzled me for years (becoming my all-time favorite) other than: wow.

    Assassin’s Fate was beautiful, terrible, and profound. I savored each page, painfully aware it might be the last time I experience this world. I’ve never been as emotionally invested in a story as I was with Hobb’s work, her writing draws you in so completely that you forget yourself for a while, totally at the mercy of her story. Each of her series evoked real emotion

    What can I say about the conclusion to the series that has dazzled me for years (becoming my all-time favorite) other than: wow.

    Assassin’s Fate was beautiful, terrible, and profound. I savored each page, painfully aware it might be the last time I experience this world. I’ve never been as emotionally invested in a story as I was with Hobb’s work, her writing draws you in so completely that you forget yourself for a while, totally at the mercy of her story. Each of her series evoked real emotion – a sense of love and loss that is almost unparalleled by anything else I’ve ever read. Assassin’s Fate was the most gut-wrenching to date, but it was worth every painful, poignant moment. I’ll be reeling from this one for years to come.

    I love this series for so many things: its rich histories and epic world building, its endearingly human characters (flaws and all), its immersive writing, but one of my favorite things about it is the subtle weaving of dragons into the story. It’s quite brilliantly done – dragons always seem to be the center of the overall arc of each series, but are often kept on the periphery of the events within each book (with the exception of the Rain Wilds Chronicles). The further you read, the more you start to realize their significant impact on the world and characters. As someone who loves dragons almost obsessively, I ate up every word. Hobb’s representation of them is truly breathtaking. Oddly though, I wouldn’t call these series dragon-centric because, while essential to the plot, they are usually not the focal point.

    At the conclusion of Fool’s Fate, (the final book in the Tawny Man Trilogy, a reading experience I’ll never forget), I’d been under the impression Fitz’s tale was at an end. Therefore, when The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy was announced in August 2014, it felt like Christmas had come early. And it was even better than I dared hope! With the introduction of a new POV character, Bee, whom I love just as fiercely as Fitz, this trilogy offered a convergence of every Elderling series before it (Fitz + Liveship + Rain Wilds = Amazing!). It was an unexpected surprise, and I can’t even begin to describe how elated I was. If you haven’t yet experienced the brilliant world of the Elderlings, I suggest reading in the following order (to avoid spoilers):

    Farseer Trilogy

    Liveship Trilogy

    Tawny Man Trilogy

    Rain Wilds Chronicles

    Fitz and the Fool

    Each series brings with it loads of new discoveries, and I cherished every detail. Learning the histories of this world is also one of my favorite elements to the series. Each new detail felt like a revelation, and it got to a point where I was hanging on every word, hoping to find out more. Who knew it would go so far beyond the somewhat narrow framework of a little orphan boy at Buckkeep castle in Assassin’s Apprentice?

    All the books Hobb has written in this world are amazing. Each story is a slow burn that takes its time, building momentum as it goes. By the time you reach the end, you’re hurtling so fast you wish you could slow it down to savor every moment. Assassin’s Fate and every book that came before it are officially The Obsessive Bookseller’s top recommends. I loved every beautiful, gut-wrenching moment and will keep these characters close to my heart forever.

    *Thank you Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, NetGalley, and Robin Hobb for the chance to read and review an early copy of Assassin’s Fate– you made my year! :D

    Via The Obsessive Bookseller at

    Other books you might like:

    - Lawrence Watt-Evans

    - Juliet E. McKenna

    - Anthony Ryan

    - David Eddings

    - Brandon Sanderson

  • Franco  Santos

    (Sin

    ).

    Tengo 22 años recién cumplidos. Esta saga tiene 20. No puedo decir que transité toda mi vida junto a Fitz, Nighteyes y the Fool. No puedo decir que crecí con ellos y me formé desde mis primeros años junto a sus aventuras y desgracias. No tengo esa satisfacción literaria, interna y casi personal. Comencé a leer la saga cuando tenía 19 años. Cuando el primer libro salía

    yo contaba con 2 años de vida. Ni siquiera sabía leer. Los sonidos que salían de mi boca er

    (Sin

    ).

    Tengo 22 años recién cumplidos. Esta saga tiene 20. No puedo decir que transité toda mi vida junto a Fitz, Nighteyes y the Fool. No puedo decir que crecí con ellos y me formé desde mis primeros años junto a sus aventuras y desgracias. No tengo esa satisfacción literaria, interna y casi personal. Comencé a leer la saga cuando tenía 19 años. Cuando el primer libro salía

    yo contaba con 2 años de vida. Ni siquiera sabía leer. Los sonidos que salían de mi boca eran balbuceos de palabras incoherentes. Fitz en ese momento ya había comenzado su camino. Yo estaba comenzando el mío.

    Empecé a leer a Fitz como por un impulso. Fue al azar, algo que no estaba destinado a ser, tal como Fitz no estaba destinado a vivir. Un día entré a una librería cualquiera con un par de billetes en el bolsillo. Solo había entrado para mirar. Ni tenía pensado comprar nada. Sin embargo, contra todo pronóstico ese día salí con una bolsita blanca con el primer libro de la saga dentro. Y ese mismo día lo comencé. Y ese mismo día empezó esta aventura compartida que me acompañó estos últimos años hasta en momentos que no la estaba leyendo, pensando en sus personajes a altas horas de la madrugada como si fuesen personas del mundo físico, tangible.

    Porque con esta saga aprendí lo que un autor puede ser capaz de lograr con sus personajes. Cada uno de los personajes que integraron esta serie no fueron representaciones de cartón, sin vida y resquebrajadas con el tiempo. Se sintieron, como dije más arriba, personas reales. Y con esto me refiero a que yo ya era capaz de saber cómo reaccionaria x personaje ante x hecho, algo logrado enteramente por la complejidad interior de cada uno de ellos, este entrelazamiento transliterario que supera la simple lectura y se deposita como una certeza en la mente del lector. Fitz, the Fool, Nighteyes y demás personajes no eran solo focos de atención, herramientas para que la historia pudiese fluir como la autora lo quisiera. No. Con el paso de las páginas, los protagonistas fueron abandonando su cualidad de personajes para presentarse ante mí no como un medio de entretenimiento, sino como mis amigos.

    Fitz y the Fool quizá no hayan estado conmigo 20 años, como muchos lectores pueden decir; pero estuvieron 3 que se sintieron como 20. Fue una relación entre lector y personaje intensa, divertida de a ratos, pero mayormente triste. Porque esta saga no cuenta una historia del tipo «... y vivieron felices por siempre». Este es el camino de un héroe trágico, inmerso en desgracia, infelicidad e injusticia. Un héroe que gana su condición de héroe de rodillas. Aquí no existe la recompensa disneysiana, aquí las segundas oportunidades no existen. Aquí se viene a sufrir, a buscarle compañía al sufrimiento propio. Es un abrazo de alguien que entiende. Un asentimiento de cabeza de un compañero silencioso.

    También cabe resaltar que la historia de Fitz no es una historia para cualquiera. No puedo recomendarla así como así. Como ya dije, aquí no hay recompensa, o, para decirlo de otra manera, Hobb no nos va a dar la felicidad que tanto queremos, el festejo alegre de un final satisfactorio. La historia es agridulce desde el inicio hasta su conclusión. Asimismo, si alguien quiere leer esta saga, tiene que tener antes en mente que esta se despliega de forma lenta, con una gran introducción y una casi carencia de acción. Lo realmente esencial de esta aventura de 16 libros son las relaciones interpersonales de los personajes y el caos interior de Fitz, de este bastardo solitario que tanto he llegado a querer.

    es todo lo que la saga necesitaba: un cierre magistral de todos los hilos narrativos de cada una de las subsagas que la conforman (la de Fitz,

    y

    ). Todo converge. Todo encuentra su final. Viejos personajes reaparecen y se encuentran con personajes de historias pasadas. Es una maravilla cómo Hobb ha sabido construir ladrillo a ladrillo una historia tan compleja sobre una base simple y sencilla. La primera mitad, como es habitual en sus libros, es lenta y elaborada, sin mucha acción. Las relaciones de los personajes se presentan tan complejas como siempre y el hilo argumental se va formando con firmeza, preparando el terreno para lo que estaba aún por llegar. Una vez pasada la primera mitad, todo comienza a caer. La acción dice presente y las sorpresas abundan. Asimismo, la prosa de la autora acompaña a la perfección el carácter del libro, lento, minuciosamente detallado y de un gran uso de la autoreflexión. En mi primera lectura, una vez pasé la página 400, me resultó imposible no seguir hasta terminarlo

    En cuanto al final en sí, fue lo más duro con lo que me encontré en mi vida. Yo creía, so ingenuo, que nada me podría impactar, que todo lo que pudiese pasar me iba a resbalar. Estaba acostumbrado a los finales duros, injustos, de esos que te agarran y no te dejan ir hasta mucho después de haberlos leído. No obstante, eso no importó en lo más mínimo: el golpe fue efectivo. Las últimas cien paginas fueron una puñalada, una burla, un ahorcamiento. Fueron traumatizantes e inolvidables, insuperables. Un asco desgarrador. Lágrimas hechas palabras. La conclusión de esta saga la esperaba y temía por igual. Sé con certeza que esto no la voy a olvidar jamás. Ya pasaron casi dos meses de mi primera lectura y aún no me la puedo sacar de la cabeza, como una cáscara podrida pegada al zapato. Día tras día tengo esta suerte de necesidad patológica de volver a agarrar el libro y releerla una y otra vez para hacerla menos dolorosa por repetición.

    Aún no lo logro. Preparen los pañuelos.

    Y listo. Basta. Me gustaría decir más. Me gustaría llenar todo el espacio blanco que tengo disponible de alabanzas y palabras sentimentales. Pero no puedo. Ya está. Aquí yo también termino. No tengo más palabras para decir. Y así como les digo gracias a mis amigos, a los personajes de las mil caras, Fitz, Tom, Keppet, Changer, y the Fool, Lord Golden, Amber, Beloved, a vos también te digo gracias, Margaret Ogden, Megan Lindholm, Robin Hobb.

  • Bookdragon Sean

    I always rave about Robin Hobb books. For me, she has the strongest voice in the epic fantasy genre at the moment. Her plots are expertly crafted and well-drawn out, as I’ve said before, except this one has been a very long time in the making. The ending I’ve been waiting many years for has finally arrived. To call it emotional would be to evoke a drastic understatement. Ever since

    I knew it would end this way eventually.

    I always rave about Robin Hobb books. For me, she has the strongest voice in the epic fantasy genre at the moment. Her plots are expertly crafted and well-drawn out, as I’ve said before, except this one has been a very long time in the making. The ending I’ve been waiting many years for has finally arrived. To call it emotional would be to evoke a drastic understatement. Ever since

    I knew it would end this way eventually.

    All good things come to an end eventually, and this series has been working towards such an end over the course of sixteen books. Robin Hobb has weaved so many strands of story together here. The set-up is ridiculously immense. She has literally drawn on everything. The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders, The Tawny Man Trilogy and The Rain Wild Chronicles are all brought together into one epic conclusion. Fitz and The Fool seek aid from the dragons of Kelsingra and speed across the sea on the liveship

    with the ultimate goal of revenge.

    Bee has been taken on the orders of The Four, a group of whites in charge of Clerres. Fitz believes that she is dead. He approaches his destination with nothing but malice in his heart. He wants blood, and he wants lots of it. He doesn’t think he will succeed; he is going into his mission blind and weary, but he intends to kill as many of his enemies as possible before he draws his last breath. The Fool, on the other hand, believes Bee is still alive. He has dreamt of another future, a future he didn’t think was possible. These are uncharted waters for both men.

    The final few chapters of this book were everything I expected them to be; they were everything they needed to be, but it took a long time to get there. A few chapters were very similar in content. Bee’s journey was repetitive at times, and a good proportion of the text was given over to some of the less interesting characters from The Liveship Traders. They were not given point of views, thankfully, but I don’t think the narrative needed to concern itself too much with their lives. Sure, give them a mention but don’t get bogged down with their stories again.

    I don’t wish to give away major spoilers (or any spoilers for that matter) but this is a very strong ending, though the world remains very open for more stories. There are plenty of threads that could be picked up in the future, and I don’t for a moment think that this will be the last time Hobb's readers get to venture into the Six Duchies and the walls of Buckeep castle. This was a strong ending, but I think the book needed to be edited down just a little.

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

    Rating and thoughts coming closer to release date (yes, this is me buying time. Truthfully, I have no idea how/

    I'll review it. Just know that if I were to review it now, I'd probably write,

    ... that wouldn't be fair to my dear Fitz who changed (saved?) my life 15 years ago. No, I'm not being dramatic. I mean every word.)

    And engraved on my tombstone, you'll read :

    Now that I've freaked you out, I'll stop here. Sorry about that.

  • Bob Milne

    Wow. I finished this over the weekend, and I am still struggling to find the right words to convey what a massive emotional impact it had on me. Assassin's Fate is everything I could have asked of Robin Hobb - an entirely satisfying conclusion to not just the story of FitzChivalry Farseer, but that of the entire Realms of the Elderlings and all its interconnected works.

    This is a book of Farseers, Fools, White Prophets, Liveships, Dragons, are more. It's as if everything that Hobb has ever teased

    Wow. I finished this over the weekend, and I am still struggling to find the right words to convey what a massive emotional impact it had on me. Assassin's Fate is everything I could have asked of Robin Hobb - an entirely satisfying conclusion to not just the story of FitzChivalry Farseer, but that of the entire Realms of the Elderlings and all its interconnected works.

    This is a book of Farseers, Fools, White Prophets, Liveships, Dragons, are more. It's as if everything that Hobb has ever teased or hinted at before is finally realized here. Not content to merely rip out our hearts, she tears the entire world asunder, ensuring that no corner of the Six Duchies will rise from the ashes of Fitz's final story unchanged. Let there be no mistake, this is a book of endings. Yes, there are new beginnings to be found as well, but Assassin's Fate marks the end of so many characters and storylines that it's easy to miss some of them.

    I will be honest, it hurt to see Fitz and the Fool at such odds in this series, and that pain only gets deeper here. The closer they get to realizing their thirst for revenge, the more fractured their relationship becomes. He's always known that the Fool lies, holds back, and plays things close to the chest, but it's only here that Fitz feels the true sting of well-meaning deception. What's more, as much as the loss of Bee has already driven a definite wedge between them, the discovery that she may still be alive only serves to splinter that wedge and drive it in deeper. There is a lot of guilt and sorrow here, on both sides, and the way Hobb finally resolves that conflict . . . well, I refuse to spoil it, but I will say it does a beautiful job of bringing the entire story full circle, with a climax that's quietly significant, rather than explosively tragic.

    In reading this final volume, I find myself gaining a new appreciation for its first installment, a book I was rather hard on at the time. While I still feel Fool's Assassin had some pacing issues, I now understand what Hobb was doing with the characters. It was clear from the start that they had aged, changing drastically in the process, but it's taken three books to understand the how, the why, and the how much. The more we learn about Fitz, the Fool, and Bee . . . the more we understand how their fates intersect . . . the more recognize who they really are . . . the bigger their shared story becomes. I still feel as if Chade was set aside a little too easily, but I loved the way Hobb allowed Queen Kettricken and Thick to slip back into the story, all part of bringing so many things full circle. As for Bee, I resented her in the first book and barely tolerated her in the second, but here she becomes a heroine of note, still hard to like, but easy to admire.

    Much of this story is a journey, but it's deeper than the waters of the Rain Wilds themselves. There's a dual significance to just about every scene, a story that we read upon the surface, and a story that we feel beneath the waves. I wish I could say more about the Liveships, the Dragons, and their connections to far-off Clerres, but that's something to be discovered in the course of the story. Like I said earlier, hints are exposed and secrets revealed, and done so in such a way that we almost feel as if we should have already guessed at them, yet cannot deny the skill with which Hobb uncovers each one. You don't necessarily need to have read The Liveship Traders Trilogy or The Rain Wilds Chronicles to enjoy this final volume, but you'll certainly miss out on some of the significance.

    Robin Hobb books take a lot of patience, focus, and thought to appreciate. Her stories are not easy ones, and the emotions they provoke are not always the ones we'd like to take away from an escapist fantasy. Despite the dragons, the prophecies, and the magic of both Skill and Wit, these are human stories, well-grounded in the human experience. As such, Assassin's Fate is the final chapter in a long life, well-lived, a story that many of us have aged with, and while we never want to let go of friends, sometimes it's clear that it's time.

  • Samantha

    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review..sooooooo

    Wow! Just wow!

    Given this is the last book in Fitz and the Fool's story I won't be going into details as it would just end in spoilers for all. But suffice it to say I enjoyed it immensely!

    Parts of it were repetitive at times, mainly in regards to Bee's storyline, and I was left with many unanswered questions in the end (who knows maybe the story will continue on! *crosses all fingers*), but overall I thought it was

    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review..sooooooo

    Wow! Just wow!

    Given this is the last book in Fitz and the Fool's story I won't be going into details as it would just end in spoilers for all. But suffice it to say I enjoyed it immensely!

    Parts of it were repetitive at times, mainly in regards to Bee's storyline, and I was left with many unanswered questions in the end (who knows maybe the story will continue on! *crosses all fingers*), but overall I thought it was a fitting end.

    I'm still processing my thoughts and feelings in regards to this book, and will have a more complete and articulate review closer to its release day.

    And I would be lying if I said I wasn't in constant tears for the last 30 pages.....because I was! Any author that can invoke such a strong emotion from me is great one!

  • Emma

    Thank you Robin Hobb.

    I can't lie. There have been tears. What a wonderful gift this series has been and what a wonderful final episode.

    All strands were connected and interwoven in such an amazing way. Did Robin know how she wanted the story to end up all those years ago when she wrote the Assassin's Apprentice? It boggles my mind.

    I also found it slightly strange as well as delightful to see the worlds of the Elderlings and Kelsingra combine with Fitz's. Have you ever seen Bedknobs and Broomstic

    Thank you Robin Hobb.

    I can't lie. There have been tears. What a wonderful gift this series has been and what a wonderful final episode.

    All strands were connected and interwoven in such an amazing way. Did Robin know how she wanted the story to end up all those years ago when she wrote the Assassin's Apprentice? It boggles my mind.

    I also found it slightly strange as well as delightful to see the worlds of the Elderlings and Kelsingra combine with Fitz's. Have you ever seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks? Well it was a bit like that when the real cinematic world combined with the animation!

    I noted so many memorable scenes while reading that I thought to cite in this review, but I'm not going to spoil your fun.

    I have (almost) never minded the long and winding way in which Robin tells her stories. Every word, you realise afterwards, had its place and its reason. But in this book I found the story zoomed right along from page 1. No more hints and subtle foreshadowing: all that's been done already in the previous books. THIS is the big reveal, where everything comes together.

    The ending was fitting and perfect.

    Please don't read this unless you've read the preceding volumes of this work. I'm sure Robin wouldn't thank me for saying this with so much of her writing career still to come, but to me this is her Magnum Opus.

    Thanks to Netgalley, Robin Hobb and Random House Publishing group for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

  • Mark Lawrence

    The folks at Voyager know I am a fan of Robin Hobb and were kind enough to send me #4 of 50 in this limited edition of Assassin's Fate.

    Why the fuss? Well, this book is the conclusion of a twenty-two year journey (over fifty years in book time) through the world Robin Hobb has created. The protagonist who has led us in that journey is Fitz, the assassin mentioned in the title (and the apprentice mentioned in the title of the first book, Assassin's Apprentice, released in 1995).

    Officially the jour

    The folks at Voyager know I am a fan of Robin Hobb and were kind enough to send me #4 of 50 in this limited edition of Assassin's Fate.

    Why the fuss? Well, this book is the conclusion of a twenty-two year journey (over fifty years in book time) through the world Robin Hobb has created. The protagonist who has led us in that journey is Fitz, the assassin mentioned in the title (and the apprentice mentioned in the title of the first book, Assassin's Apprentice, released in 1995).

    Officially the journey runs thusly:

    Though Fitz (as far as I know) only appears in the Fitz & Fool series which are the 1st, 3rd and 5th series in the image above.

    Now, to the book! First I should note that I haven't read the Liveship or Rain Wild series. This is significant as although those books and their characters don't seem to have any significant impact on the Tawny Man trilogy, they do have a minor impact on Fool's Quest and a major impact on Assassin's Fate.

    Because of my not having read those two series I am certain that sizable chunks of Assassin's Fate had far less impact on me that they otherwise would have had. Much of this book is spent travelling on liveships crewed by people who I believe are central to the Liveship trilogy, and passing through ports where yet more characters from that series reside. There are many points in Assassin's Fate where I had the distinct feeling that an event was somehow momentous ... but it passed me by. As a writer I could tell that the story was spending far too long with some "minor" characters and understood that this must because they had in previous books earned their right to page time.

    So, although I've given the book 5* there is the chance that had I read those other 7 books I might have been raging that I couldn't give it 6*! Also, the 5* are based on the power, impact and entertainment from those sections where I wasn't missing anything.

    To the text in hand! Well, you all know how Robin Hobb writes. Slow, beautiful prose, building character relationships, turning the screw on the protagonists, piling on the hurt, and then to a conclusion. The same thing happens in this book. The writing is rich and satisfying and I consumed the first two thirds of the novel in many small bites. Toward the end when we largely won clear of the characters and plot lines from the books I haven't read I began to move more quickly through the pages. The pace and tension pick up and you really begin to wonder what the end game will consist of. How will Fitz, the Fool and little Bee end up? Will Hobb show any mercy to these characters we've grown to love (over decades for Fitz and the Fool)?

    I enjoyed the Bee thread the most, possibly because it was free of the Liveship/Rainwilds entanglements. Also Bee is a fierce and determined little creature that it's impossible not to root for. After having so much abuse heaped upon her it's very satisfying on the occasions that Bee strikes back.

    I won't go into the plot. Hobb continues to paint a rich, interesting, and integrated world, she works her usual magic with the story, and it's a great read. Then you get to the last fifty or a hundred pages. The finale that 21 years, 17 books, and the several fictional lives have been building up to.

    I thought I was handling it pretty well. Several things happened that I thought might happen and I bit my lip and carried on reading. Then...

    HIGHLIGHT FOR MEDIUM SPOILER:

    I don't know why that scene was so powerful for me where others flowed over me. But it was. And from that point on had I not been such a manly author of GRIMDARK I would probably have been working my way through a box of tissues and pretending to any nearby family that I had hay-fever.

    So, the ultimate ending... Bitter sweet as you might expect. Lots of bitter, and a fair bit of sweet too. Capping off such an epic work of fiction / literature was always going to be a monumental ask. To my mind Robin Hobb pulled it off. She managed to close the back cover on story in a way that stayed true to the characters and all that had gone before, and in a way that will likely have a lasting impact on the fantasy landscape. The ending will certainly stay with me, joining my small collection of iconic fantasy moments.

    So, get reading. I won't lie, it's going to hurt, but you'll also be glad that you did it.

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