Book Banter: The Farseer Trilogy

robin-hobb-farseer-trilogyTitle: Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest

Author: Robin Hobb

Genre: Fantasy

Length: long, longer, longest

Where Bethany’s copies came from: personal collection

Plot Basics: FitzChivalry Farseer is the illegimate son of Prince Chivalry, who abdicates his place in line for the throne because of his indiscretion. Fitz is raised to be the kingdom’s assassin. But, his destiny is woven into the fate of the whole Six Duchies. As the Duchies are under attack from the fearsome Red Ship Raiders and then torn apart from political maneuvering, Fitz finds himself repeatedly pulled back to the center of the action and called upon to fulfill his destiny to be sworn to uphold his king and catalyze changes in the kingdom.

Banter Points: Choosing to reread the Farseer Trilogy served a two-fold purpose for me. First, it was part of my Throwback Project for this year and second, it’s getting me refreshed on this world since Robin Hobb is writing a new trilogy with these characters.

I’m not a fantasy reader anymore, not the way I was when I first came across the Farseer books, but I think they still stand up as a good example of what fantasy should be. There isn’t a new language to learn. The magic system is so accessible to understand. You don’t have to have a fantasy background to get it. One of the things that I like the most about these books is that they are literary. The development of Fitz as a character is as good as anything in a literary fiction novel. These are books are proof, to me, that genre fiction should be considered on the same scale for characters as literary fiction. The relationship between Fitz and the Fool is one of the best friendships in fiction.

Bummer Points: The third book, Assassin’s Quest, is just so long. As much as I like Fitz, he’s awfully angsty in the third one and those pages are draggy to get through.

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like books about people and loyalty to ideas, this series is for you. If you like sword-and-sorcery fantasy and haven’t read these, you’re missing out still on one of the best trilogies out there.

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