Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb – First Impressions NO SPOILERS
Book Reviews / April 30, 2017

Those of you who follow my blog will know that Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series is one of my all time favourite fantasy series and that the relationship between Fitz and the Fool is one of my most invested in fictional relationships.  Further, you will know that May 9th marks the release of Assassin’s Fate, the final book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, and the apparent conclusion of the 16 book Realm of the Elderlings series.   Assassin’s Fate is one of my most anticipated and yet dreaded releases of this year, so you can imagine my pure delight when yesterday I received an email advising me that I’d been approved for an early e-galley of said book and that I could download my copy now.  Thank you so much Random House!  I immediately put everything else on hold and have sped read through it already and am here to give you my first impressions, spoiler free.  I intend to do a more spoilery review once I have reread it. The first question I had going into this book was, would Hobb provide an ending worthy of Fitz and the Fool, and I can say without…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Final Update
Book Reviews / August 13, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Fool’s Fate – Canadian Audiobook” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Fool’s Fate 100% complete. Challenge 100% complete Today I finished Fool’s Fate, the final book in the Tawny Man trilogy and the last of the five books I was reading in my Realm of the Elderlings challenge. I was right in my prediction yesterday that the section I read today was very much a wrap-up.  Other than the expected resurrection of the Fool it was all about ensuring that the good guys were recompensed for their heroism.  Fitz gets his Molly (sigh), Dutiful gets his Narcheska, Tintaglia gets her Icefyre and they all live happily ever after and raise lots of children. The scene with the Fool and the Rooster Crown wasn’t as I’d remembered it.  It was a beautiful scene, but it doesn’t quite reach Perrin and his Hammer for epicness.  The secret of the Rooster Crown was very Fool-like.  Some readers have wondered why Fitz didn’t learn the secret of the Fool’s gender during this whole process, but I  easily understand why he didn’t even consider breaching the Fool’s trust in this manner. The writing of the Fool’s character development with his resignation…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 18
Book Reviews / August 12, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info] Progress: Fool’s Fate 71% complete. Happy book birthday to Robin Hobb and Fool’s Assassin which was published today!  The Kindle and Audible version hit my download queues overnight and I had to exercise great strength of will not to dive in immediately but to complete my reread of the Realm of the Elderlings series first.  Actually, that reminds me; those of you who have read Fool’s Assassin, please would you let me know in the comments if it contains spoilers for the Rainwild Chronicles?  Thanks!  I was also exceptionally pleased that Fool’s Assassin is Whispersync for Voice enabled.  Yay!  It’s one of those services that you don’t think you’ll need or use, until you have a book/audiobook combo without it. Speaking of audiobooks, after my whining yesterday about the North American version of Fool’s Fate not being available until the end of the month I was astounded to find it available on today.  Mutter, mumble grumble.  I wish I’d known that before I bought the UK version.  I gave in and completed my collection.  I am used to the Audible app and prefer using it to the music app for audiobooks….

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlngs Update 17
Book Reviews / August 11, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info] Progress: Fool’s Fate 50% complete. OK, confession time.  I was disappointed that Brilliance Audio isn’t releasing Fool’s Fate in audiobook format in Canada until later this month so I used an iTunes UK gift voucher from my parents to pick up the book from iTunes UK.  The narrator is different – Nick Taylor rather than James Langton – and I would have preferred to have had them all the same.  Still it does mean if I don’t quite finish in time I’ll be able to finish the book during my coach trip on Friday. I may still pick up the North American one just so I have the set. This was another hard slog of a section, mirroring the hard journey our intrepid hero undergoes to reach the dragon Icefyre’s icy lair.  Lots of being cold, miserable, and hiking through treacherous snow and ice.  We’ve finally arrived at our destination, so hopefully things will start to happen soon. Only a couple of things to note: we still don’t know who our antagonist is yet.  We’re half way through the final book of the series!  It’s becoming more strongly implied that it’s the…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 16
Book Reviews / August 9, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info] Progress: Fool’s Fate 23% complete. So, onto the final book of my reading challenge, Fool’s Fate.  The audiobook hasn’t been released yet, so the cover art shown is that from the Kindle book.  This cover is clearly reminiscent of the date the novel was first released. This first section is pretty depressing.  It’s all about the Farseer contingent’s ship journey to the Outislands and Thick’s sheer misery during the voyage.  It does highlight Nettle’s Skill with dreams and shows the likely way in which she will aid the quest for Icefyre’s head.  I did feel this section could have been compressed considerably. The politics of the quest are starting to be discussed now.  Why did the Narcheska place such a demand on Dutiful?  What did she hope to gain?  Or is she being manipulated?  Of course, I remember the answer to that from my reading years ago! As I’m still shipping Fitz and the Fool, I did love the section where the Fool joins the Skill lesson and connects with Fitz.  Definitely more than plumbing!

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 15
Book Reviews / August 9, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Golden Fool” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Golden Fool 100% complete. Woohoo, four books down, one to go!  Next up: Fool’s Fate.  I would just like to say thanks to everyone who has been following along with me on this reread. So, a lot happened in that last section of the book I just finished.  Here are some of the highlights. Dutiful’s Coterie is formed.  I loved this particular section.  It was beautifully written how Chade, Dutiful, The Fool and Thick all came together in the Skill to save Fitz’s life, with each of them bringing something to the table.  Chade’s arcane knowledge, the Fool’s love for Fitz, Thick’s sheer strength in the Skill and Dutiful’s skill at bringing it all together.  I believe they are making a big mistake in shutting The Fool out of the subsequent Skill lessons, which they may find to their cost. The rapprochement between The Fool and Fitz after their argument about love vs plumbing.  I can’t believe Fitz didn’t see that the reason The Fool was shutting him out was because of the deep, deep hurt he felt at Fitz’s reaction.  I hope the rapprochement continues. The revelation…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 14
Book Reviews / August 8, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Golden Fool” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Golden Fool 68% complete. So, as I guessed, Amber’s friend Jek’s arrival in Buckkeep caused the Fool’s Amber and Lord Golden personae to converge.  She also revealed to Fitz the depth of the Fool’s feelings for him.  Yep, still sailing that ship. I was very interested by Fitz’s reaction to all of this.  His thoughts were more along the lines of “oh no, everyone thinks I’m sleeping with my boss!” and “oh no, how could the Fool have had a totally different life about which I knew nothing?”  Not once did he think “oh no, the Fool’s feelings for me are deeper than I realised; how can I let him down gently?”  Nope, never goes there.  Clearly, Fitz doesn’t want to deal with his own feelings towards the Fool.   I suppose now is as good a time as any to address the whole issue of the Fool’s gender and sexuality in general in Hobb’s world.  At no point is it confirmed to which gender the person known as the Fool/Amber/Lord Golden belongs.  Right from the very beginning when we are first are introduced to the character in…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 13
Book Reviews / August 7, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Golden Fool” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Golden Fool 43% complete. I don’t actually have a great deal to say about today’s reading.  It’s more setup.  I was interested in the beginnings of Dutiful’s Coterie with Fitz, Dutiful, Chade, Thick and Nettle clearly being setup for that.  I was less involved shall we say in the whole Hap/Jinna subplot.  Hap’s pure raison d’être was to act as a comparison to Dutiful – both of Fitz’s “sons” need him and he’s struggling to balance the two and also to highlight Fitz’s own youthful indiscretions. I was glad that Hobb made it clear that Fitz really didn’t return Jinna’s affection in any meaningful way.  I’m still completely shipping Fitz and the Fool, but in any case Molly is still hanging around in the background <sigh>  In terms of the pairings, I’m a little frustrated that Hobb isn’t sticking to her “Molly is Fitz’s youthful fling, there’s someone (i.e. the Fool) in his future for a deeper relationship.”  I remember that Fitz ends up with Molly at the end of Fool’s Fate, so I hope that’s reversed in Fool’s Assassin. Speaking of the Fool, from the name of…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 12
Book Reviews / August 6, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info] Progress: Golden Fool 19% complete. So, onto a new book, Golden Fool.  Once again I must comment on the cover art – isn’t it gorgeous? Once again, at the beginning of the book there are lots of lovely character moments rather than fast plot progression.  I particularly appreciated Kettricken’s meeting with Fitz to share his grief at the loss of Nighteyes.  I’m so happy that Fitz – and the reader! – were given space to mourn this wonderful character.   Other notable character moments were Dutiful’s being torn between reaching out to Fitz as a father figure and maintaining his princely decorum.  I also look forward to seeing more of Chade’s servant, Thick.  If memory serves, he has a large role to play in the story. The seeds were also being set for the political intrigue around the Narcheska and who is really behind the marriage offer.  I look forward to seeing how that is developed. At this point I really should mention how incredible it is that I have been able to marathon Hobb’s writing to this extent.  Normally I like to change up my reading – I often have several…