Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Length: 768 pages
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: August 11th, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in The Fitz and the Fool trilogy
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is the second book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy (the fifteenth book in the Elderlings Realms). It was an incredibly well done continuation of this series. This book does a great job of tying in all the previous books set in the Elderlings World. I would definitely recommend reading both the Farseer Trilogy and the Tawny Man Trilogy before reading this series.
The story alternates between Fitz and Bee. When we left Bee in the first book she was in the midst of an attack on Withywoods; in this book she finds out about her attackers and what they want. When we left Fitz in the last book he had found the Fool in horrible condition and was trying to save him. In this book we find out what befell the Fool and watch as he struggles to recover. The Fool wants revenge against those who harmed him and will stop at nothing to get that revenge.
Hobb does an excellent job of jogging your memory about everything that happened in previous series (The Farseer Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, The Liveship Traders, etc). There are excerpts at the beginning of each chapter that cite history or events from previous series and these really help the reader to remember how this series ties in with previous ones.
Like all of the books featuring Fitz the story moves a bit slow and has a lot of detail. We spend a lot of time in Fitz’s head as he makes decisions and second guesses them over and over. Sometimes this makes the story drag a bit, but this is definitely Hobb’s style so fans will be familiar with it.
Even though Fitz has grown he still makes some of the same types of mistakes he did when he was young; he can be impulsive and secretive and has trouble asking for help when he really needs it. He still makes rash decisions with the best intentions that have dire consequences. That’s not to say he hasn’t grown and matured, he has…but he is still good ole Fitz.
It was wonderful to have the Fool in the story so much. He is by far my favorite character in the series. We learn a ton about his background and his travels. Many things that were rather mysterious in previous books are explained and brought to light. He is still a manipulator and a troublemaker; but he too has matured.
Bee holds her own as a wonderful character too; although she wasn’t in the story quite as much as Fitz. Her storyline doesn’t make a ton of progress, but I am very curious as to where it’s going. Given how little progress is made with Bee’s story I wonder if there is another trilogy planned in the future that focuses solely on her. Shun is also in the story quite a bit, as is Fitz-Vigilant; both are very well done characters that represent the next generation of characters.
Although the main story is focused on Bee and Fitz there are a lot of interesting events mentioned in passing. The dragons are restless and the Farseer Kingdom is struggling a bit with maintaining peace with them. This doesn’t matter to Fitz in the story but it is something the King is very concerned about.
Also I should mention that parts of this book were incredibly violent, I think this is one of the most violent Hobb books I have read. There is a lot of torture, rape, and even molestation of children; none of it is described in great detail but it is all discussed and happens throughout.
Overall this was an absolutely stunning book that really ties together all the stories from previous series set in the Elderlings Realm. I would definitely recommend to Hobb fans and to fans of the original Farseer series. This book builds a lot on both the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies; so it is recommended you read those series first. I can’t wait to see what the final book holds for this story; it really has been excellent.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge