Review: Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb - 8.5/10*
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 Assassin’s Quest I knew it would end this way eventually.
“This is our last hunt, old wolf. And as we have always done, we go to it together.”
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 Paragon 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.
Why didn’t I give it five stars?
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.