This review is based on the reading of the advanced reader’s edition of this novel provided by the publisher via NetGalley. The review, in its entirety, is of my own opinion of the novel.
Nearly twenty years ago, Robin Hobb burst upon the fantasy scene with the first of her acclaimed Farseer novels, Assassin’s Apprentice, which introduced the characters of FitzChivalry Farseer and his uncanny friend the Fool. A watershed moment in modern fantasy, this novel—and those that followed—broke exciting new ground in a beloved genre. Together with George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb helped pave the way for such talented new voices as Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Naomi Novik.
Over the years, Hobb’s imagination has soared throughout the mythic lands of the Six Duchies in such bestselling series as the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. But no matter how far she roamed, her heart always remained with Fitz. And now, at last, she has come home, with an astonishing new novel that opens a dark and gripping chapter in the Farseer saga.
FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.
Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past . . . and his future.
Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one. . . .
I would like to begin this review by saying that this is my first Robin Hobb novel, and even though I didn’t read any of the previous novels about these characters, I enjoyed reading this novel and didn’t feel that I needed to read the earlier novels in order to enjoy this one.
FitzChivalry Farseer, aka Holder Tom Badgerlock, has the job of keeping up Withywoods for his daughter, Nettle. He lives there with is wife and together they make sure that everything is kept up and in good shape for the day that Nettle claims Withywoods. There is backstory that is told throughout the novel of Fitz’s life as a lonely bastard to an apprentice to a skilled assassin and finally to his current duty as holder.
This novel is beautifully written in a way that makes you feel deeply for the characters and feel their emotions on each and every page. I liked the overall pace of the novel that took me into the everyday lives of the characters of Withywoods. The story is written from the point of view of two characters that both offer a very unique perspective to the events in the book: one character is Fitz and the other is a character that I do not wish to disclose because I don’t want to spoil the story.
Another thing that intrigued me was the Skill. The people whom have the ability to Skill are able to communicate to others who possess the Skill, have the power to heal others (sometimes with the help from others who are Skilled), and to cover great distances using special stones.
I give this novel a 5 out of 5. I will definitely be buying the sequels to this book as well as the previous novels that first introduced these characters.
To whom would you recommend to read this novel:
I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy novels and wants to read something that is slow paced and well developed.