Royal Assassin (Farseer Series #2)

( 246 )

Overview

Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.
 
Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$8.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (102) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $4.99   
  • Used (89) from $1.99   
Royal Assassin (Farseer Series #2)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.
 
Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.
 
Praise for Robin Hobb and Royal Assassin
 
“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin
 
“[Robin] Hobb continues to revitalize a genre that often seems all too generic, making it new in ways that range from the subtle to the shocking.”Locus
 
“[Royal Assassin] reaches astonishing new heights. . . . The Farseer saga is destined for greatness—a must-read for every devotee of epic fantasy.”Sense of Wonder

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Pixel Planet
Fans of court intrigue will love this book, as will anyone that hungers for a fantasy novel that breaks the traditional mold, and tries to depict the world and its inhabitants in a realistic manner. Action, intrigue, love, and pain, this book has it all. The Farseer Trilogy is well worth reading.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Continuing in the tradition of her first book (Assassin's Apprentice) Hobb propels the Farseer saga into its second installment with irresistible plotting and memorable characters. Fitz is a trained assassin in the service of King Shrewd and also the king's illegitimate grandson. He is sworn to protect heir to the throne Prince Verity and Verity's new bride, but his task is complicated by an invasion of vicious barbarians who turn helpless captives into zombie-like Forged Ones. The home front is no safer, with an ailing King and usurpers to the throne waiting in the wings. Romance, sibling rivalry, battlefield exploits, betrayal, political intrigue and telepathic magic insure that there's never a dull moment in the Kingdom of the Six Duchies. Through deft description and characterizations, 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. The ending clamors for a sequel-and hopefully sooner, than later. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Second entry in Hobb's fantasy series about the Six Duchies and their Farseer kings (Assassin's Apprentice, 1995). At Buckkeep, King Shrewd lies dying, attended only the by the faithful, enigmatic Fool; King in Waiting Verity spends all his time Skilling to befuddle and bemuse the dreaded Red Ship Raiders, while his beautiful, neglected wife, Kettricken, wanders disconsolately. Young FitzChivalry, still ailing after his previous mission, tries to serve both Shrewd and Verity while seeking ways to frustrate the vaulting ambitions of Shrewd's youngest son, the viperous Prince Regal. Shrewd, meantime, has forbidden poor Fitz to marry his beloved Molly, a commoner. Fitz also possesses the Wit, an ability to talk to and empathize with animals, and he bonds with a young wolf he rescues from cruel captivity. Verity builds his own warships, but still can't defeat the Raiders—and the weaker Verity grows, the more the people listen to Regal's treacherous murmurings. Finally, Verity goes into the mountains seeking the Elderlings, a godlike race that helped a previous Farseer king to defeat the Raiders, leaving Fitz to protect Kettricken and Shrewd.

Another spellbinding installment, built of patient detail, believable characters, and mature plotting—though, at an unwarranted 608 pages, there are ominous signs that Hobb's beginning to lose control of her narrative.

From the Publisher
"Another spellbinding installment, built of patient detail, believable characters, and mature plotting." —-Kirkus
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553573411
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Series: Farseer Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 688
  • Sales rank: 38,096
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb is the author of the Farseer Trilogy, the Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, the Soldier Son Trilogy, and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. She has also written as Megan Lindholm. She is a native of Washington State.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Prologue: Dreams and Awakenings

Why is it forbidden to write down specific knowledge of the magics? Perhaps because we all fear that such knowledge would fall into the hands of one not worthy to use it. Certainly there has always been a system of apprenticeship to ensure that specific knowledge of magic is passed only to those trained and judged worthy of such knowledge. While this seems a laudable attempt to protect us from unworthy practitioners of arcane lore, it ignores the fact that the magics are not derived from this specific knowledge. The predilection for a certain type of magic is either inborn or lacking. For instance, the ability for the magics known as the Skill is tied closely to blood relationship to the royal Farseer line, though it may also occur as a 'wild strain' amongst folk whose ancestors came from both the Inland tribes and the Outislanders. One trained in the Skill is able to reach out to another's mind, no matter how distant, and know what he is thinking. Those who are strongly Skilled can influence that thinking, or have converse with that person. For the conducting of a battle, or the gathering of information, it is a most useful tool.

Folklore tells of an even older magic, much despised now, known as the Wit. Few will admit a talent for this magic, hence it is always said to be the province of the folk in the next valley or the ones who live on the other side of the far ridge. I suspect it was once the natural magic of those who lived on the land as hunters rather than as settled folk; a magic for those who felt kinship with the wild beasts of the woods. The Wit, it is said, gave one the ability to speak the tongues of the beasts. It was also warned that those who practiced the Wit too long or too well became whatever beast they had bonded to. But this may be only legend.

There are the Hedge magics, though I have never been able to determine the source of this name. These are magics both verified and suspect, including palm reading, water gazing, the interpretation of crystal reflections, and a host of other magics that attempt to predict the future. In a separate unnamed category are the magics that cause physical effects, such as invisibility, levitation, giving motion or life to inanimate objects—all the magics of the old legends, from the Flying Chair of the Widow's Son to the North Wind's magic tablecloth. I know of no people who claim these magics as their own. They seem to be solely the stuff of legend, ascribed to folk living in ancient times or distant places, or beings of mythical or near mythical reputation: dragons, giants, the Elderlings, the Others, pecksies.

I pause to clean my pen. My writing wanders from spidery to blobbish on this poor paper. But I will not use good parchment for these words; not yet. I am not sure they should be written. I ask myself, why put this to paper at all? Will not this knowledge be passed down by word of mouth to those who are worthy? Perhaps. But perhaps not. What we take for granted now, the knowing of these things, may be a wonder and a mystery someday to our descendants.

There is very little in any of the libraries on magic. I work laboriously, tracing a thread of knowledge through a patchwork quilt of information. I find scattered references, passing allusions, but that is all. I have gathered it, over these last few years, and stored it in my head, always intending to commit my knowledge to paper. I will put down what I know from my own experience, as well as what I have ferreted out. To perhaps provide answers for some other poor fool, in times to come, who might find himself as battered by the warring of the magics within him as I have been.

But when I sit down to the task, I hesitate. Who am I to set my will against the wisdom of those who have gone before me? Shall I set down in plain lettering the methods by which a Wit gifted one can expand her range, or can bond a creature to himself? Shall I detail the training one must undergo before being recognized as a Skilled one? The Hedge wizardries and legendary magics have never been mine. Have I any right to dig out their secrets and pin them to paper like so many butterflies or leaves collected for study?

I try to consider what one might do with such knowledge, unjustly gained. It leads me to consider what this knowledge has gained for me. Power, wealth, the love of a woman? I mock myself. Neither the Skill nor the Wit has ever offered any such to me. Or if they did, I had not the sense nor ambition to seize them when offered.

Power. I do not think I ever wanted it for its own sake. I thirsted for it, sometimes, when I was ground down, or when those close to me suffered beneath ones who abused their powers. Wealth. I never really considered it. From the moment that I, his bastard grandson, pledged myself to King Shrewd, he always saw that all my needs were fulfilled. I had plenty to eat, more education than I sometimes cared for, clothes both simple and those annoyingly fashionable, and often enough a coin or two of my own to spend. Growing up in Buckkeep, that was wealth enough and more than most boys in Buckkeep Town could claim. Love? Well. My horse Sooty was fond enough of me, in her own placid way. I had the true hearted loyalty of a hound named Nosy, and that took him to his grave. I was given the fiercest of loves by a terrier pup, and it was likewise the death of him. I wince to think of the price willingly paid for loving me.

Always I have possessed the loneliness of one raised amidst intrigues and clustering secrets, the isolation of a boy who can not trust the completeness of his heart to anyone. I could not go to Fedwren, the court Scribe who praised me for my neat lettering and well inked illustrations, and confide that I was already apprenticed to the Royal Assassin, and thus could not follow his writing trade. Nor could I divulge to Chade, my master in the Diplomacy of the Knife, the frustrating brutality I endured trying to learn the ways of the Skill from Galen the Skill Master. And to no one did I dare speak openly of my emerging proclivity for the Wit, the ancient beast magic, said to be a perversion and a taint to any who used it.

Not even to Molly.

Molly was that most cherished of items: a genuine refuge. She had absolutely nothing to do with my day to day life. It was not just that she was female, though that was mystery enough to me. I was raised almost entirely in the company of men, bereft not only of my natural mother and father, but of any blood relations that would openly acknowledge me. As a child, my care was entrusted to Burrich, the gruff Stablemaster who had once been my father's right hand man. The stable hands and the guards were my daily companions. Then as now, there were women in the guard companies, though not so many then as now. But like their male comrades, they had duties to perform, and lives and families of their own when they were not on watch. I could not claim their time. I had no mother, nor sisters or aunts of my own. There were no women who offered me the special tenderness said to be the province of women.

None save Molly.

She was but a year or two older than myself, and growing the same way a sprig of greenery forces its way up through a gap in the cobblestones. Neither her father's near constant drunkenness and frequent brutality nor the grinding chores of a child trying to maintain the pretense of both home and family business could crush her. When I first met her, she was as wild and wary as a fox cub. Molly NoseBleed she was called among the street children. She often bore the marks of the beatings her father gave her. Despite his cruelty, she cared for him. I never understood that. He would grumble and berate her even as she tottered him home after one of his binges and put him to bed. And when he awoke, he never had any remorse for his drunkenness and harsh words. There were only more criticisms: Why hadn't the chandlery been swept and fresh strewing herbs put on the floor? Why hadn't she tended the bee hives, when they were nearly out of honey to sell? Why had she let the fire go out under the tallow pot? I was mute witness more times than I care to remember.

But through it all, Molly grew. She flowered, one sudden summer, into a young woman who left me in awe of her capable ways and womanly charms. For her part, she seemed totally unaware of how her eyes could meet mine and turn my tongue to leather in my mouth. No magic I possessed, no Skill, no Wit, was proof against the accidental touch of her hand against mine, nor could defend me against the awkwardness that overwhelmed me at the quirk of her smile.

Should I catalog her hair flowing with the wind, or detail how the color of her eyes shifted from dark amber to rich brown depending on her mood and the color of her gown? I would catch a glimpse of her scarlet skirts and red shawl amongst the market throng, and suddenly be aware of no one else. These are magics I witnessed, and though I might set them down on paper, no other could ever work them with such skill.

How did I court her? With a boy's clumsy gallantries, gaping after her like a simpleton watching the whirling discs of a juggler. She knew I loved her before I did. And she let me court her, although I was a few years younger than she, and not one of the town boys and possessed of small prospects as far as she knew. She thought I was the scribe's errand boy, a part time helper in the stables, a Keep runner. She never suspected I was the Bastard, the unacknowledged son that had toppled Prince Chivalry from his place in the line of succession. That alone was a big enough secret. Of my magics and my other profession, she knew nothing. Maybe that was why I could love her.

It was certainly why I lost her.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 246 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(139)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 247 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Book cover was the best part.

    The 2nd book was very slow and boring. The writer has lots of unremarkable stuff that made reading the book extremely difficult. I kept waiting for the action, but the book has very little. If you like confusing plots, weak main characters, and scenery descriptions you will like this book. I like action, adventure, and hidden twists in my science fiction books. Good thing I didn't let this book determine if I would read the 3rd book.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hobb is a master of the genre!

    Wow! How to summarize the amazing ride you'll be taken on in the Farseer trilogy. First off, don't expect a lightweight ride through the fantasy clichés as with other authors. Hobb treats her main character Fitz like a well-used hammer -- flinging him around and not getting too upset with a few nicks and marks. If you can make it through the first volume in the trilogy, this book picks up where it leaves off and continues the complex and emotional roller-coaster ride. There is so much to enjoy about Hobb's work, especially her wonderful skills as a story-teller. Just expect to endure some pain as a reader as the main character is buffeted and clanged around through the story.

    The only criticism I had for these books were the horrible cover art. I really thought they not only looked dumb but really missed the mark when it came to portraying the mood and emotional impact of the stories. They make these books look cheap and cliché which is a big shame for those who, in fact, judge books by their cover.

    Highly recommended read! I can't wait to finish Fitz's tale in the next trilogy.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2005

    MUST READ!!!

    i'm usually very picky about what i read and not much of a book worm but this book is just amazing. Once you pick it up it's hard to put down and i think it's even better than the first book. The way the author writes makes you feel like you're part of the story. Robin Hobb is truly amazing. I think five stars is not enough for this book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    My favorite book in the wonderful and enthralling Farseer trilogy!

    This is my favorite book in the wonderful and enthralling Farseer trilogy! Robin Hobb creates a brilliantly dark and wild tale of treachery, adventure, and utter sorrow. The world she spins around you will have you seething with rage when Fitz does, and feeling light-headed when you pull your head out the mystical waters of the Farseer world. Although this trilogy is marketed as an adults series, I'm thirteen and it is my favorite fantasy series, so if you are looking to buy this for your teen, buy it (there's no graphic sex or anything, and there isn't any horribly disturbing violence)! You will not regret it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Awesome

    Very good book, best in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Awsome

    Great books more please

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Amazing

    Frickin awsome story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Xavier

    Bye to this book

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Just gets better

    The progression of Fitz's life gets more complex, with even more rollercoaster rides of emotions. The first book was awesome, and this only adds to it. Hard to put down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great...MUST READ THE SERIES

    This is a great book. The characters are great. You really get to love Fritz and feel sorry for him! It has great adventure and its just really easy to imagine while your reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 20, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Series

    I am just finishing Golden Fool from The Tawny Man series. I absolutely loved both The Farseer and Tawny Man series. I have only one book left to read and will be sad to end the saga of FitzChivalry. I might just have to read it all again soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2014

    Recommended

    This is a fantasy and I have read all four books in the series. There will still be another 1 or 2. I liked it. Not great but good enough if you are in the market for a fantasy and don't have one in mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2014

    Fantastic!

    It has been a while since I have been able to find high fantasy written so well, and so thoughtfully. I have found that the books start a tad slow, but after the first few pages, they become enthralling (does anyone else wonder whatever happens to the manuscripts FitzChivalry is always attempting to write?). I forsee a school year filled with sleepless nights! Thank you, Robin!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    Great followup

    Better than first

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Loved this book

    Can't wait to read the final book in series!!!!!! Finally a book with some meat to it!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Beware!

    Highly Addictive!! My only complaint is that I did not discover Robin Hobb until now!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Prim

    She runs in then relises it's not the woods and goses to result 30

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Fox's room

    The large room is painted Hunter green, with a camo beanbag chair on the geeen carpet. Her closet was full of pants and tew-shirts, very few acctual dresses. She walked in and left the door open.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Good read

    I enjoyed this second installment in this series. It did start off kid of slow ,but it began to interesting, so I had to finish and buy the last book in the series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Fantastic!!!

    I have enjoyed Robin Hobb's books so much! I read one of her books in the spring, and loved it so much that I bought ALL of her books, and I've just finished this one. The imaginary world of this author is like no other...so original and fascinating. I am completely spellbound from beginning to end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 247 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)