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  • Royal Assassin

  • The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2
  • Written by: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 29 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (420 ratings)

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Royal Assassin

Written by: Robin Hobb
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
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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

What the critics say

“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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What listeners say about Royal Assassin

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the first book

While the plot was compelling enough to keep me interested in discovering what would happen next, this book, though entertaining, is longer than it needs to be and it is fairly frustrating in some places. I enjoyed continuing to know the world of Buck Keep as it was gradually revealed, but found the end of this book overly dramatic, and unclear. Maybe if I was reading a hard copy it would make more sense. In any case, I will listen to the third book of the trilogy and hope that the author has tightened up her writing style although from the length of it that doesn't seem too likely.

1 person found this helpful

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Royal assasin by Robin Hobb read byPaul Boehmer.

This is one of the best written book series I have read. this is book 2 and I can't wait for book 3.
This book is so full of intrigue and mystery and adventure. The descriptions of places and people colouful and clear. enjoy. worth every penny.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic

one of the best fences he stories I've ever read. Robin Hobb has made an amazing world.

1 person found this helpful

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Hard to focus, so bland

I got recommended this trilogy, and I gotta say. It was hard to finish, you couldn't tell who you were following at some points, the characters had no substance, all of the names felt lazy, and the main character is so far away from being an assassin. Only few moments actually caught my attention.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible! amazing story, gripping throughout

magic, love, war, politics. hobb brings all. a must listen for fantasy lovers. epic

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Excellent! My most favourite book!

Intrigue, action, magic, so well written and CREATIVE. What an amazing mind that writes like this!

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I am conflicted

This is a very good story. But the MC is so naive that he seems willfully stupid. He is always surprised by an outcome that he brought about when it is blatantly obvious to the reader what was going to happen. It really should be the other way around yes? It is difficult to sympathize with such a character. On the other hand I couldn’t stop listening because I enjoyed the interesting world and it’s mysteries. I enjoyed the solid writing and the descriptive action scenes. The narration was very good. I am getting the third book, but despite the MC and not because of him.

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I love Burrich

Daddy Burrich and Mommy Patience. That all I need. Don’t you die Fitz! Don’t do it!

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Better than when I first read it!

What a delight to be re-united with this masterpiece! Wonderful detail exciting pace and a bunch of vivid characters! Oh how I hate Regal!

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Great sequel!

Absolute masterpiece! Very gripping book ! Once you get a taste you can’t put it down.

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  • John
  • 2012-04-30

Utterly Frustrating

Soooo... you're an assassin. You've been trained to be both invisible and deadly. Not only are you an animal with a hand-axe, you've also got the ability to talk with wolves, dogs, horses, and whatever animal you wish. You swear loyalty to a prince, and watch as his ambitious younger brother connives to murder their father, usurp your prince's crown, bring ruination to his wife's reputation and sit idly by while evil magic pirates turn your citizenry into zombies (I know, right?)

BUT HERE'S THE THING! Nobody, and I mean, NOBODY, tells you to kill him. In fact, everyone says, for some reason, that killing him is the one thing you absolutely cannot do. Ever. Full stop. Even if, say, you're an incredibly skilled assassin and can make it seem like he died of dysentery, tuberculosis, a venereal disease, or (right, I can talk to animals) being mauled by a bear, YOU CAN'T KILL HIM JUST BECAUSE.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. Even though you, your friends, your king, your assassination teacher, the court jester and the horse trainer all KNOW that he deserves to die in a cosmic justice kind of sense, and they all KNOW that he NEEDS to die in a sort of "let's save the townfolk from becoming magic-pirate zombies" way, they SWEAR they'll betray every single one of your secrets or abandon you completely if you so much as raise a hand to the task. What's more is they keep asking you to save them from whatever dumb mistakes THEY'VE made in the past.

So instead of saying, "Chill out, guys, I'll take the fall for this one. When the new prince takes power, he can pardon me of my crimes or whatever. Or he can exile me. No biggs," you go along with it. All of it. With only a minimal amount of frustration and anger. Simply a morose acceptance of "that's how things are."

Tell me that this is the way things would actually go down. Do it. Tell me. I am OKAY with gritty realism in fantasy. I am OKAY with morally gray characters. I'm hip with Banks, KJ Parker, and Joe Abercrombie. I get it. I do. But when EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER on the side of good (which totally and unquestionably EXISTS in this tale) acts like a complete LOON. Well, then, you have given me ample reason to never finish this series.

RRRRGGHHH!!!!

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jake
  • 2010-05-29

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.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2012-12-06

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.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Devontay
  • 2017-05-23

Absolutely frustrating

This has got to be the most frustrating piece of fiction I've read in a long time!! There is a clear line of of good and evil. Nothing new there but the foolish, naivety of the characters to properly deal with their foes is astounding. Instead, they continuously turn a blind eye to all their plots and schemes. In fact, they take it one step further and grant their foes every opportunity to take advantage of them and yet seem to manage shock and surprise at the outcome. This book left me baffled. I didn't even want to finish it.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Stacie R
  • 2018-03-29

A story not worth telling

Any additional comments?

Robin Hobb is a great writer and the narrator is amazing but this story is horrible. The protagonist is not a character worth writing about. I wanted to like him but he repeatedly makes the worst decisions and frankly deserves all that happens to him. Nothing about him is heroic or even interesting. Everyone that he cares about is harassed and killed and he does nothing about it. I just don't think that anyone but a coward or an idiot would act the way he does. Even his pet wolf is smarter than he is.

The villain is stupid too but not one person tries to stop anything he does. The whole story is just frustrating. It sucks I wasted so much time in these books before returning them.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • corban
  • 2018-08-24

whine whine whine

The main characters whine and whine and whine and whine and OH. My. God! More whining!

This series has such great potential which is why I even gave the second book a chance but there's hardly any intrigue, or action or anything other than a bunch of whining. The good stuff is in there but you have to slog through so much bitching and moaning and whining that it's hardly worth it.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2010-06-23

Enjoyed it before, loved it now

I have read the whole trilogy before (a few times) and enjoyed the books. I definitely loved listening to the first two books of this series and hope that the third one also gets picked up by Audible. Fitz is so endearing to the listener that you cannot help but get lost in the story.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gwen
  • 2010-06-13

Poeticly Written

This series has been one of my favorites for years. I have read them over and over again. It is a joy to listen to one of my old favorites while doing chores around the house or cooking in the kitchen. The writing, to me, it beautiful, the characters poetically described. I love these books.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Roper
  • 2018-06-25

Mediocre story

Simply put: this story follows the tropes of other sequels. After building up and growing out the main characters in the first story, most authors must then create a new, unique challenge or else figure out how to take away the MC’s power. In this case, the author choose to take away everyone’s ability to make a logical/rational decision. The author’s choices intended to prolong and grow the climatic action left me agitated. I have rarely been as frustrated with main characters, who continued to make the same poor decisions in this book as the first. I wanted to root for a single character but in the end, they were too flawed and too incapable to find interesting (except the Wit, who I enjoyed reading about each time he showed up). Everyone got what they deserved.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Rick
  • 2017-06-05

Well crafted characters but everything else is awful.

Hobb does an excellent job of creating interesting fleshed out characters. However, the plot and story do those characters no service.

This is a very very long book and yet, in a way, almost nothing happens in it. There are some important events but Hobb is more concerned with the daily lives and slow changes in the relationships of her characters than with the attempted usurpation of the throne the story is ostensibly about. This is a huge problem because while those relationships can be interesting for a time it eventually becomes clear that everything that goes wrong is because of the good characters' inaction. The main character knows what the villain's plan is and throughout the story either chooses to do nothing to stop it or is told to do nothing by his superiors. So when bad things happen it was impossible for me to feel bad for him because he'd done nothing to prevent them.

This book is awful from all points but one. The characters. But if the villain wins because of the main characters staggering incompetence and an utter lack of attempts to stop him, good characters are not a saving grace. I turned on them long before the story ended because of their stupidity and refusal to do event the slightest thing to hinder the villain. I only completed the book out of obligation.

8 people found this helpful