The king is dead, Prince Verity is missing in action, and Prince Regal has left the coastal duchies to their own devices against the Red Ship Raiders. Meanwhile, Fitz has trouble forgetting his treatment in Regal’s dungeons.
The Farseer family needs him now more than ever, but Fitz finds himself in an unique situation. In a world that believes him to be dead, he finally has the chance to start anew. On the other hand, this might be the perfect opportunity to enact his revenge on those who hurt him…
If you’ve read Royal Assassin, it won’t have escaped your attention that we left the Six Duchies and our characters in quite a precarious state. This book picks up almost precisely where the last one ended, and (as the title adeptly announces) will bring us a quest that will decide everyone’s fate.
For the first time since we’ve known him, Fitz will be dependent on his own capabilities and insights before he is reunited with some of the other characters we’ve come to love. Some people might find the pacing of these chapters erring on the slow side, I think, but they contain some important (character) developments. Furthermore, this book treats us to some intriguing worldbuilding lore.
If you ask me, one of Robin Hobb’s greatest strengths as a writer is the way she constructs life-like endings. The ending of an epic-scale plot point does not necessarily result in a neatly rounded conclusion for its characters, and I feel many authors often forget about this. Sure, Robin Hobb will provide you with closure, but as long as the characters still live, they will have stories to tell. These low-key ambiguous endings are part of why my thoughts, sooner or later, always return to Robin Hobb’s books. The conclusion of Assassin’s Quest is a wonderful example of such a pleasantly haunting ending.
If you liked The Farseer Trilogy (as you should), don’t hesitate to continue with the other books in The Realm of the Elderling series. Eventually, you’ll arrive at Fool’s Errand, which might just be my favourite!