My review from Goodreads. Don’t worry, I don’t do spoilers in reviews, just don’t read the blurb if you haven’t read the first one yet – I made that mistake.
Available: Amazon UK
The sequel to Assassin’s Apprentice, and second in the Farseer trilogy. Yet again, Robin Hobb weaves her magic across the Six Duchies, further developing the subtle story of the Farseer trilogy, and creating these characters with such depths that they annoy us, yet we fall in love with them, and hate them. Well, that’s how it goes for me anyway. And my God I hate Regal. Hate. He’s a phenomenal bad guy.
I also wasn’t sure whether to take a quick break after this one before picking up Assassin’s Quest, but Hobb has perfected that ending. It’s not a cliffhanger in an annoying way, but she definitely hasn’t closed the story and it has left me with this hunger to read the next and see what happens. What happens to everybody in the end? The way she writes, will we even know what happens to everybody? I’m a little dubious that the story will be left open. Not in the way that a film is left open to make way for a sequel, but in the way that a true artist will let your mind fill in the gaps for yourself.
Hobb is definitely what I think fantasy should be, and I can only hope that other fantasy authors I have yet to read are as diverse and subtle as she is.
The one thing that bothers me is the snippets of Fitz’s writing at the beginning of each chapter. They do add a little extra depth and background to the story, but at the same time, there are points when I’d like to skip that and get back to the story. I suppose that’s the trouble with writing such a gripping novel – impatience.