Assassin's Quest: The Farseer
Spectra, 1998 (1997)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
his is the third - following
- in Robin Hobb's extraordinary
trilogy. It all began with a young mother's handover of Prince Chivalry's bastard son to the King's servants. FitzChivalry Farseer was raised by his father 's embittered man, Burrich. His grandfather, King Shrewd, later had him trained as an assassin by Chade. Fitz grew up talented in two forms of magic, the
fter Chivalry died, the new heir, Prince Verity was kept busy using his own
against the Red Ship Raiders whose unrelenting attacks left folk
- mindless and worse than beasts. Verity married Kettricken of the Mountain Kingdom, but disappeared on a quest to seek the mythical
' help against the Red Ship Raiders. His younger brother, Prince Regal, plotted to gain the throne, managed to dispose of his father, and tried to seize Kettricken, then pregnant with Verity's child. She fled to her own people. Fitz was tortured and believed to be dead by all who knew him, including his lover Molly.
s this third episode opens, Fitz is revived by Burrich and taught to be human again. He's anxious about Molly's safety, and consumed by his hatred of Regal, who's supported by a powerful coterie of the
. Accompanied by the wolf Nighteyes, with whom the
allows him to communicate, Fitz journeys, meeting others of the Old Blood (possessing the
) along the way. He falls in with a minstrel named Starling, who's seeking a
, and a mysterious old woman named Kettle. Fitz fails in his vengeance, but reunites with the Fool and Kettricken in the Mountains.
s Regal's troops attack the Mountain Kingdom, a small expedition - Fitz and Nighteyes, the Fool, Starling, Kettle, and Kettricken - follow Verity's trail, Regal's coterie not far behind them. They discover the true nature of the
and, in an action-packed finale, Fitz fulfills his destiny as the catalyst, while a great magic and a great sacrifice saves the kingdom. This
series is a
for anyone who enjoys fantasy.
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