I am a summer girl, consequently I morn the passing of Summer. Still, Fall has gorgeous weather in the northwest, and the tempo is picking up as I get ready to publish my next book, Someone’s Clone. It is now in the hands of several Beta readers worldwide. In the next couple of weeks, it will be back in my hands, full of excellent suggestions and corrections. I’m on the final lap toward publication of my most favorite book yet. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, I am trying to put together a marketing plan for the Fall season and sort through what may be interesting reading to suggest for my blogs.
This week I read Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb. This book forms a good contrast to last week’s Cibola Burn. Cibola Burn is action packed and straight forward science fiction. In it you have aliens, planets, ships and all the trappings of a classic science fiction novel. The reader becomes involved in the characters, but Fool’s Assassin is heavily character driven with intervals of action and a barely developing plot.
It has been twenty years since Robin Hobb’s Farseer series first came out. Not expecting much when I first read it, I loved it; especially the first few. Unfortunately, in this book, Hobb spends a lot of the early chapters trying to give you backstory with a lot of telling. Each chapter starts with a letter and the action is really slow at the beginning. But because I liked the character of FitzChivarlry so much, I stuck with it, and it paid off.
FitzChivalry, the bastard son of the king’s brother, has given up his role as king’s assassin and now lives quietly with his true love Molly and her brood as Tom Badgerlock, country squire. That is until one night pale skinned strangers show up and after they are gone, a messenger has disappeared, most likely murdered.
Tom/FitzChivalry reminisces about his closest friend, the Fool, and wonders why he hasn’t contacted him throughout the years. He worries that the messenger may have carried important news from his old friend. He has reason to worry.
Meanwhile, even though Molly is now advanced in years, she claims she is unexpectedly pregnant. After two years of claiming she is with child, many around her feel she has lost her mind until she finally gives birth to an incredibly small infant that matures very slowly and is mute and considered brain damaged by most.
Hobb portrays the pain of a loving father who faces criticisms from the rest of the world against his precious, supposedly backward, daughter. He tries to do his best for her while his dreams for her golden life wither with her silence and her fragile size. Despite what others say, he still loves her deeply.
And after Molly’s death, he stumbles around mired in grief, abandoning the child in his despair until his oldest daughter tries to wrench her away and wakes him from his stupor. His old mentor asks him to take in and protect a young, annoying, high born girl and another royal bastard, much like Tom was. Both of their lives have been threatened by family, and they are in danger. New servants, tutors and renovations stir life into the household and bring conflict and change.
Tom’s assassin’s training comes in handy again as the Fool and his people threaten his household, and those he holds dear.
You must read the first books in the Farseer Series to fully appreciate this one. The ending does make it clear that this is just the beginning of a new trilogy…but it will leave up you gasping and eager to read the next adventure.