Happy endings never last…
Years ago, they freed a dragon from the glaciers on Aslevjal. Then they parted ways, the Fool returning to far-off Clerres, while Fitz finally claimed a wife, a family, and a home of his own.
Now, betrayed by his own people and broken by torment, the Fool has made his way back to the Six Duchies. But as Fitz attempts to heal his old friend in Buckkeep Castle, his young daughter Bee is abducted from Withywoods by pale and mysterious raiders who leave ruin and confusion in their wake.
Fitz must find a way to rescue his beloved Bee. At the same time it is the Fool’s fiercest wish to return to Clerres with the best assassin he has ever known, to gain vengeance and justice.
Can Fitz bear to take up the tools of his old trade again, even to avenge his dearest friend and save his child?
This book picked up almost exactly where the other one left off and it was quite tense reading those first few pages for two reasons. First, the situation was Fitz was going through himself and secondly, the knowledge that I had which he had yet to find out. I found it an extremely well written book that kept me hooked from cover to cover – it took me three days to read the entire novel while trying to not skim-read it and thoroughly take in the depths to which the novel transcends. Someone else who has read this book mentioned how, afterwards, it had made them reflect upon relationships, in particular deep and meaningful friendships. That is one of the things I love about this book. While you’re reading it you realise the extent of the relationships between the characters and how realistic they are. There are many points within this book when Fitz is having to weigh up one relationship against another and what he is willing to sacrifice in order to maintain and protect something else – something that you easily find yourself doing in reality.
I feel like this book easily stands up by itself and can proudly stand alongside the rest of the books in this world. It links in a lot more to the Rain Wild Chronicles then any other book has, but not to an extent that will isolate those who are only following the FitzChivalry story line. It does a good job of only explaining to you what you need to know and keeping you up to date with the same knowledge Fitz has, while still paying homage to those who have followed the journeys of the other characters in this world. There are a few places where I found myself frustrated that Fitz hadn’t put together something that I knew – whether that was because of my outsider knowledge, or because he just really was denying it, I’m not sure. I can see why the character wouldn’t want to let his mind travel to the place required to in order to piece it together – another reason to enjoy this book. It really does get to thinking of the why and whether the story is being ‘tainted’ by the viewpoint character. On the other hand, Fitz put together something that I didn’t so maybe we were even there – after all I had the same information!
In conclusion, it didn’t disappoint. The plot didn’t move along as much as I would have expected within a trilogy, but I can see where it’s about to be going, and there wasn’t a dull moment with it. If you’re a fan of Robin Hobb’s work, you’ll enjoy this series and if you’re a fan of fantasy in general then I recommend you pick up the first book in the journey of FitzChivalry’s life.