Review of Fool’s Assassin: Fitz and the Fool Book One – Robin Hobb

Posted: November 15, 2014 in fantasy, Review
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Fools Assassin

Okay, it is without a doubt, a fantasy brick. It’s a good 4cm thick, over six hundred pages, and the first of a new sequence in an on-going series. But it didn’t take nearly as long to read as I expected. There’s something about Robin Hobb’s prose that just draws me in and makes me want to keep reading. Her characters really come alive for me, and there aren’t so many of them that the reader becomes confused. Nor does she insist on killing them off just as soon as they get interesting! People die, certainly, but only when their part in the story is done. Her narrative is linear, it doesn’t duck and dive all over time and space, even though she chooses to use two narrators in this novel. Oh, and she does nice maps, too!

The tale returns to the Six Duchies and focuses on FitzChivalry, now well into his middle years, and known as Tom Badgerlock, lord of the country manor called Withywoods. To say who else the story belongs to would give away about a quarter of the plot, so I’ll leave it at that. Suffice it to say that the title does finally make sense around about p560 – which is not coincidentally about where the excrement hits the air conditioning… the pace picks up rapidly and things head towards a shocking climax, and ends on something of a cliff-hanger. Suffice it to say that I really am going to have to find the next part when it comes out, because I do need to find out what happens next. If there is any criticism one could back it is simply that it does take perhaps a few too many pages to get there, although I would be hard-pushed to suggest what might have been edited out. All in all, a great read, and I doubt seriously that fans of the Fitz will be disappointed.

Harper Voyager

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

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