26 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This work certainly justifies Ms. Hobbs return to the world of the Six Duchies.* This novel is a delight from opening page to concluding chapter. Ms. Hobb very cleverly fills in the back story of the years the characters have spent without us while still moving the story gently forward. The first half of the book is quietly character driven and the last half picks up speed to leave the reader breathless in anticipation for the next novel. Very, very clever pacing. Fitz returns to us fully fleshed and is the primary POV character for the first half of the book, then, amazingly enough, we are introduced to a second POV character who carries about half of the rest of the book. And, they carry it onward quite well indeed. Bits of this novel will simply break your heart, about half way in I sat down and just sobbed and I am not a crier. This story is so touching on so many levels but also manages to be thoroughly enjoyable. I am not going to give any hints about the story within, just assure any fan of Ms. Hobbs work that this book stands up to the best of her previous efforts. I highly recommend reading her prior novels based in this sector of the world** before taking on this book, they add so much to the experience.
Bravo Ms. Hobb, it is so nice to see you back in such fine form!
*For the record I was not a fan of her resuming the story of Fitz and the Fool. I wanted our beloved Fitz to be safe and sound and live the remainder of his life with Molly, Nettle and Burrich's boys. I was clearly wrong.
**Assassin's Apprentice begins the work and Fool's Fate ends it for all reasonable purposes - the Mad Ship series fits in the middle but is not required reading - and the Rains Wild Chronicles fit between this book and Fools Fate but are not up to the level of the prior works IMHO.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I think this is the best thing Robin Hobb has written since Fool's Fate. It's so wonderful to return to the world of the Six Duchies, and any concerns that this new trilogy won't live up to the earlier ones can be tossed out the nearest window. Fitz is still such a gripping protagonist that it's almost impossible to put the book down. His occasional lack of sense paired with his overwhelming capacity for love and loyalty make him as interesting a father as he is an assassin. Other familiar characters, namely the Fool and Chade are just as well-written and intriguing as always, and there is at least one notable new character that is nothing if not compelling (I won't spoil it for anyone).
The ending is a terrifying, heartbreaking cliffhanger that I saw coming, but that in no way lessened the emotional impact or made me any less invested in what comes next for the characters.
If you haven't read the any of Hobb's other books, I recommend reading at least the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies before starting this. She provides enough backstory to understand most of the plot, but the more subtle details and the depth of the emotions shared between characters can only be fully grasped if you've read the previous stories.
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
My relationship with Robin Hobb's books in recent years has been spotty at best. I first read her Farseer Trilogy in high school at the suggestion of a friend, and fell in love with the series, especially the character of Fitz. I subsequently read The Liveship Traders series (not as good, but still enjoyable) and, later, The Tawny Man series (better than Liveship Traders, but still not as good as Farseer). Then, I read the first book in the Soldier Son series, and wondered how such an incredibly talented and just incredible author could have just gone so horribly wrong. I barely pulled my way through this book and quickly determined that I didn't want to read anymore. When I saw the Rainwilds series, I recalled being so unhappy with the Solider Son series, that I decided not to bother. Besides, I was at a time in my life where it was becoming difficult to read massive novels, and my free time was really starting to run thin.
Of course, my free time is running even thinning now than it was then, but when I saw the return of Fitz and Fool, I just couldn't say no. I had to read this book, no matter what, and I found myself getting over my previous concerns with Hobb's works. That is, at least until I started reading it. Though I did read the entire book, cover to cover, I was so conflicted about the book for much of time I was reading it.
And here's why:
Pacing, for starters. This book is very, very slow. Though it does include some excellent character development, and it's sort of nice to see Fitz in everyday life, there just wasn't much going on for most of the book. Things started to pick up about halfway through, but even then, it lacked excitement. It wasn't until close to the very end that things started to finally move and, more importantly, the Fool finally showed up.
Lack of editing. At least, it certainly felt like that to me. Many, many things seemed overly drawn out (might I mention that several YEARS pass during the course of this book?) or were slow-moving. I think this harmed the impact of the novel.
Introduction of a new, but not really likeable narrator. I won't spoil this here, but I could have done without the second narrator. Not only was she not a very likeable character, but I found the random changes in narration jarring and annoying. Would have rather we just stuck with Fitz.
While I love the overall idea of returning to Fitz and seeing his new adventures with the Fool, this book was, at times, painful to read. Not much going on, and no Fool until near the very end. Yes, I will be reading the next book, but I truly think that if this was a completely new book (with the names changed, of course) from a completely new author, it would have been difficult to get it published.
17 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Having enjoyed Hobb's other series as a teenager I was really looking forward to returning to this world and these characters, but having now finished “Fool's Assassin” I'm absolutely baffled by the 5 star reviews. Without question, this has been one of the most tedious, least interesting novels I've ever had the displeasure of reading.
Rather than “Fool's Assassin,” the first half of the book could have more accurately been titled “The Life and Worries of an Elderly Couple.” Throughout this latest entry in the Assassin series you'll get to read exciting description of how the kids don't stop by as much as they used to! Be astounded by an old man's distrust of technology that eases life's burdens! Watch an elderly person learn to take care of himself after his spouse passes away from natural causes! See a small child complain about not wanting to go to school with the bullies! Read about a little girl learning to dress like a proper lady! Riveting stuff, to be sure.
Hobb is not a bad writer by any stretch of the imagination (she does 1st person better than other fantasy novelists), but the problem is not with the writing, it's with the content and the pacing. There are segments where you can clearly see the classic themes she's going for – a kid learning the secret passageways in the castle while hunting mice, children learning in a medieval school, and so on – and there have been books that have made these concepts interesting in the past. Bran skulking about Winterfell, any number of books involving kids learning magic in a castle, and so on, but the problem here is that this sort of thing is what constitutes literally the entire book. Imagine if the first “Game of Thrones” book was just Bran skulking around and Arya playing for 600 pages. That's essentially what you're getting with “Fool's Assassin.” There's no intrigue, no bad guy, no problems to be overcome. It's essentially just a description of the day-to-day life of a retired guy and his family, albeit with some fantasy tropes hung on for good measure.
Repetition absolutely kills this book (and then for good measure it kills it again, and again). You'll read the same arguments, over, and over, and over. People try to get the main character to bring on dogs and house guards. Someone else argues the same thing. Later another person argues the same thing again. When they run out of people to make that argument, someone tries to get the main character's daughter to get dogs and house guards. Chade tries to convince Fitz to return to political life. 50 pages later the same thing happens. 50 pages after that it happens again. In another 50 pages the main character writes a letter to himself reiterating the arguments and why he's not accepting them. The main character worries his kid is too small and may be disabled. His wife worries their kid is too small and may be disabled. Their adult child talks to them about how their kid is too small and may be disabled. The house staff whispers about how their child is too small and may be disabled. Someone uses skill magic to telepathically talk about how their child is too small and may be disabled.
If the unnecessary repetition in my description of this story is annoying, try multiplying that by 40+ pages at every plot point and you understand why it was such a chore to actually read to the end of the novel. Then again, using the term “plot point” may be giving “Fool's Assassin” too much credit. 250 pages into the book, the most exciting thing that's occurred is that someone died of natural causes due to old age. It's not unreasonable to expect there to be an antagonist – or any semblance of an actual plot – before the book's halfway mark. At one point a “mystery” shows up about a prophecy of an unexpected son that has an appallingly obvious answer. Every time Fitz recapped how he couldn't figure it out I had to force myself not to throw the book across the room and never pick it up again.
The plot of “Fool's Assassin” doesn't actually start until about page 300, and it doesn't kick into high gear until the very, very end. This book could have been hundreds of pages shorter and much more engaging by trimming out the recaps, reiterations, and unnecessary repeated arguments. While clearly based on the other reviews some die hard fans are going to love this no matter what, I can't possibly recommend it to anyone, and frankly Hobb deserves some kind of award for writing the most boring book to ever include the word “Assassin” in the title.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Overall, I liked this book.
First, my quibbles. The pacing was slow, and it definitely exists to set up the rest of the trilogy. It's really not an action-packed book until the very end, when it becomes a whirlwind. Would I have stuck with the slow pacing if I hadn't already known the characters? Unlikely. I was a third of the way through the book before I got to the point that I couldn't put it down.
However, even though it's a lot of set up and feels like nothing major is happening, Robin Hobb has not forgotten how to tug at heartstrings and emotionally invest her readers in her characters. I enjoyed seeing things from two points of view, especially when two characters had different emotional responses to the same circumstances. The character building is excellent, as usual. She keeps the emotional roller-coaster ride just barely on the tracks - I got very close to wanting to yell and throw the book across the room a couple of times - there's a fine line between having your characters deal with difficult situations and just outright torturing them relentlessly.
I'll be in line for the second book in the trilogy, and will be hoping that the pacing issues are resolved in that one.