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Publisher's Summary

Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and when he returns to the court, he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life.
With the king near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened.
Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns. In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands - and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.
©1999 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

“Hobb manages to create a kingdom that looks like a fairy tale but feels like the real world---which makes it almost impossible not to become immersed in Hobb's fantasy epic.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jim "The Impatient" on 12-06-12

Got Wit!!

As the title says this is #2 in the series. If you have not read book #1 you will not enjoy this book. Book one, develops the main characters and if you start here you will think he is some whinny sick boy. You must read book one to understand the characters.

If you have read book one, then you are in for a treat. When I first read this series I actually liked the second book better then the first. In this book there is less of Chade and more of the Fool. There is more about the wit, a talent I believe would be great to have. Fitz starts the story out sick and pretty much stays sick and hurt throughout the book. Regal has a bigger meaner part in this and Verity leaves Buck Keep.

Like most of Hobb's books you really get caught up in the lives of these people. Hobb does better character development then anyone I know. For the second reading this did get a little long, yet I still enjoyed it, though not as much as the first time. All of Hobb's characters are flawed, even though the leading character tries hard to do well. I did get a little frustrated with the way Fitz treated Molly. If I had been in the same situation I am sure I would have chosen the girl over the King, but I am not Fitz.

The Liveship series is my favorite series by anyone and then Hobb's Forrest Mage series and then this series. I hope to soon complete the Dragon series, which may bump this series down to 4th place.

I have also started to enjoy reading Hobb's first books, written under the name of Megan Lindholm, I hope they come out on audible.

Narrator is excellent.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

By Jake on 05-29-10

Solid Middle Book

The problem with writing an entire book from a single perspective is that if the character fails to notice/understand something the reader does there is usually very little excuse for it besides stupidity/thickness. The reader possesses little or no outside knowledge but the character fails to make connections - this can become frustrating. Part of the problem is, I think, the reader (or perhaps the tone of the narrator, who is the main character but older) - it makes it hard to remember the character's age and lack of experience. That said, if you can keep your perspective this probably wont bother you too much.

This book has a great deal of plot development, but manages to leave us completely up in the air as to what direction the next book will take. As many questions are answered as generated. The romantic angle is hit especially hard - I was expecting the typical cycle of "fall in love, discover its doomed, succeed despite the odds and live happily ever after" but its more like "fall in love, doomed, more doomed, miracle, seriously doomed, screw it we're doing it anyway, DOOM, all is lost, oh look there are other girls, oh wait maybe not..." - poor guy gets the rug pulled out from under him over and over and over. The romantic angle is never my favorite, but at least this one has some variation (and I'm pretty sure its 90% done with for this series).

All in all this is a fairly massive setup for the third book, all the stages are set for something to happen - I just have no idea what.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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