HelenaExMachina

Assassin's Fate, Robin Hobb

80 posts in this topic

I've not finished the book yet, but I have so many thoughts I need somewhere to write some of them out, even if I answer them myself as I read more. I'm currently 48% through (Chapter 21) so my spoiler tags cover events up till then:

First off, this is probably my favourite of Hobb's books so far. Everything is coming together nicely, and it's particularly interesting reading this after seeing the discussion between Maia and RedEyedGhost in the Fool's Quest thread, which touched on many issues addressed in the book already.

The most heart-breaking thing so far has probably been the breakdown of the relationship between Amber and Fitz :( It's entirely convincing and understandable given the dire situation and what the Fool experienced on Clerres, but sad nevertheless. 

Also saddening is the reintroduction of characters from previous trilogies. I was looking forward to seeing Brashen and Althea, and Etta and Wintrow again, but in true Hobb style it's been devastating rather than heartwarming to meet these characters again. And once more we see how Amber's experiences on Clerres have changed her. She shows a lot less regard for the feelings and repercussions to others. Although I do agree with her desire to return the Liveships to dragon form, she really ought to have discussed it with Althea and Brashen, given it's their livelihood that will be destroyed. As an aside, I'm assuming Thymara gave her the Silver when Fitz saw them talking in Kelsingra.

Seems I was correct about Skill-healing being the bargaining chip for the Six Duchies in trade talks with Kelsingra. Though it's not apparent that it will be successful. I'm also not sure I trust Rosemary...

Most frustrating thing about the book is having Fitz unable to Skill back to Nettle Duriful and co. *sigh*

Slowly the book is teasing out the connection between the Servants, the Abominations and destruction of dragons. Starting with hints, like the Fool telling of things from the Treasure Beach being taken to the Four on Clerres, and several of Bee's dreams, and now Tintaglia and Rapskal expressly telling Fitz the Abominations stole dragon eggs and butchered Serpents. So it's becoming clearer how the dragons died out. And if the speculation that the dragon's Winter Grounds are close to Clerres is correct, then it's even more apparent how they died off.

This trilogy is obviously many years after the end of RWC. So does that mean some Serpents/Dragons Eggs have already been destroyed by the Abominations? And does Bee's dream, with the Serpents in a net, suggest that some Serpents were captured at Clerres too?

I guess She Who Remembers being killed off before she became a dragon is much more significant in light of these developments. None of the other surviving Serpents or Dragons ever went to the Abomination's island.

I've actually found Bee's chapters the most enjoyable in this book. Brief as it was, it was nice to get a glimpse of Chalced. So,etching about Bee's chapters is very curious and makes me feel like she is building to something big. Perhaps she is the Destroyer everyone seems to be seeing, rather than Fitz. There is a lot of talk of the Destroyer being what they made him, and I feel like that's what is happening with Bee. Her experiences with Dwalia and Vindeliar has unlocked her Skill, made her ferocious and strong. She's not some helpless little child. I'm wondering how feral and vicious Hobb will make her before the end. 

Dwalia has been well handled I think. Loathsome as any Hobb villain can be, her background still adequately explains her motivations. Infatuated with Illistore, then devastated by her death and fallen from grace as a result, it's no wonder she was determined for vengeance. I can't wait to see Clerres and the Four.

Slightly surprised we've only really seen two dragons in any great detail so far. I guess it would be over too quickly if they all just descended on Clerres and destroyed it. Assuming none were butchered at Clerres already... and if they were, I wonder if that is perhaps how Chase got hold of Dragons blood? That would be a troubling thought.

I expect at least one of either Amber of Fitz to die. Possibly both. I'm bracing emotionally.

The glimpses of Bee's dreams have been fun to try and interpret. Some are much easier than others.

Paragon Kennitson is an arse. Just what Fitz needs on the voyage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I've finished the whole thing and am still trying to process it. Heavy spoilers, for the entirety of Assassin's Fate, will be below. For the love of all the imaginary people in the sky don't click unless you've finished the book!
 

Spoiler

 

When Bee was first introduced and given her own pov my instinctive reaction was to resent her. These are Fitz books! Fitz books are always told from his pov, and she should not be here, I thought. But It didn't take long for Ms. Hobb to win me over and it was with surprise that I soon realized that it was not Fitz's relationships with his established friends and family members-not even the Fool!--that I was most invested in now, it was Fitz's relationship with Bee. I so utterly wanted them to get to know each other, to bond and for Fitz to come to understand why Bee is the way she is and to get past the way she seemingly rejected him when she was growing up, and for Bee to understand why Fitz is the utter mess that he is. I needed them to be reunited and to have a chance to act as father and daughter ... and the most heartbreaking thing for me is that they never really did.

Fitz's death was long in the coming and well-telegraphed, but even so it was still too soon. A few months with Bee, a week even, so that she could talk about the terrible things she endured with someone she knows would be utterly on her side, someone who has endured similar treatment, who would understand, support and forgive it all. How sweet that would have been. And how healthy for her. A few days together on Vivacia during the trip back to the Duchies might have been enough, but in a tragic fashion that is so very Robin Hobb, Fitz and Bee are denied even that much time together. They get a brief few minutes during the escape from Clerres, enough time for Fitz to tell Bee she is beautiful and he is proud of her, and that is it. The sum of the bond they are allowed. When next they meet Fitz is already partially Forged and dying horribly of the flesh-eating parasites, a situation that makes it virtually impossible for he and Bee to bond. It was so frustrating. So gutting an end.

Bee herself is a triumph of a character IMO. Hobb has given us one of the best new protagonists I've read in a long time. I find her utterly engaging and would be more than happy to see more stories told in this setting with Bee as the new main character.

And ... this is probably the denial phase, but is it too much to hope that it isn't truly the end for Fitz? Paragon was able to turn dead wood into living flesh. Could it be that living flesh could emerge again from dead stone? Perhaps if the stone wolf found and drank from the skill river? If not that, well Verity and the dragons who flew with him remained active so long as they had enemies to feed on. Could the stone wolf continue to stalk and protect Bee in the years to come, provided it had enough game to hunt? I just don't want this to be how they part!

There's a lot else to talk about in this book. It really does feel like a finale, not just to the current trilogy, but to the current era in the Realm of the Elderlings. Many of those talking points echoed the unresolved relationship between Fitz and Bee. How unfair that Chade dies drugged and addled, his last message to Fitz confused and fraught and tainted with the belief that Fitz had betrayed him. How tragic that Kettricken, whom I have always thought-as Nighteyes did-was the best possible love interest for Fitz, makes plainer than ever in this book that, yes, she does regard him as much more than a friend; and yet receives no acknowledgment of their unspoken attraction. Fitz, as broken and devoid of self-esteem as he ever was, continues to regard any affection she shows him as directed towards those nearby. She kissed him in the Tawney Man ... but only because he reminded her of Verity. She kissed him in this book ... but only because she and Nighteyes were close. Obviously it couldn't be because she loves a worthless guy like him. Dammit Fitz. Why not just admit that you loved her and that if circumstances had been different you would have been great together? She deserved that much from you.

I'm glad Kettricken became Bee's guardian instead of Nettle. I've tried to like Nettle. But I don't. She's no villain certainly, but I don't find her sympathetic and I don't trust her at all. The absolute last straw for me was when she gave serious thought to the suggestion that they should dose Bee with enough elfbark to remove her Skill entirely. Abducted and abused, recently orphaned and delivered into the care of a relative who has barely taken the time to get to know her in the years since her birth ... only for that relative to think of arbitrarily removing the one weapon that prevented Bee from being utterly helpless in the hands of cruel adults ... I'm sorry, but fuck Nettle. I've often thought her an annoyingly self-absorbed character, unwilling and unable to see anyone's point of view but her own. She spent decades not even trying to understand why Fitz did what he did at the end of the Farseer trilogy. And she showed a terrible lack of understanding or compassion towards Bee. I sometimes wonder if it's a result of being able to control her dreams as she does. If you can control a fictional world so utterly then maybe you come to regard the real world as a place than can and must always be the way you will it to be. But ultimately I don't care why she came to be as she is. She is it. And it is someone I find unlikable. I didn't want Bee to be in her care and am relieved that she didn't end up there.

What else? Damn there's a lot to talk about in this book. I'm in danger of writing an essay here. The Fool. Yes, I can't finish without talking about the Fool. I've been annoyed by him in this trilogy. I've found him significantly less charming than his previous appearances, to the degree that when Bee questioned whether he had ever really cared for Fitz or had just been manipulating him with false smiles, much like the rest of the Servants so routinely do, my first response was not, "Don't be silly, Bee," but "It's actually possible, you know." He behaves quite selfishly here, stealing from some friends, sabotaging the livelihoods of others, lying and betraying without hesitation. His attempts to cast himself in a parental role with Bee I found to be disrespectful to the memories of both her dead parents, and instead of feeling pity towards him over her rejection of his overtures I was glad of it, glad she chose to honour her parents memories and accept no surrogate in their places. I felt the Fool should have known how inappropriate it was for him to approach her so and limited himself to trying to be her friend ... but there's that word again. Selfish. And worse, dangerous. Not only was it inappropriate for him to try to take that role with Bee but by implying, and in some cases outright stating, that she was his daughter, he endangers her life. Perhaps there is truth to the suggestion that he and Fitz shared their essence (DNA) through magical means, I can accept that as a reader. But no-one in-universe is going to and Bee herself plainly doesn't want to hear of it. If it is dangerous to be a royal bastard, how much more dangerous is it to be the legitimate daughter of royalty who is rumoured to actually be the bastard of some travelling minstrel, probably through an affair with Molly? Not only does he imply and encourage insult to Molly and Fitz but everyone who heard those tales and repeats them is a potential knife at Bee's back. What if Amber's claims towards Bee drift back to the Duchies? What if people connect her to the Fool? Bee's heritage would be called into question, along with her titles and her right to bear the name Farseer. Worse, her very life would be in danger. The Fool should have had the decency and the sense to keep his mouth shut.

All of which was doubly strange to me considering this is Fitz and the Fool's final tale. Surely they should have been behaving more warmly towards each other, right? Why, at the end of their days, is Fitz at his most estranged from his dearest friend. Why is that estrangement something that doesn't even seem unfair? That left me feeling very unsatisfied at first but having thought about it for a while I think it might, in a bittersweet way, be better than them having one last hearty adventure. It doubles down on the lasting theme of their relationship. What gender was the Fool? We never find out for certain, and it didn't matter. Whatever it was, Fitz loved him. And he loved him despite his many character flaws too. In a way, how difficult their final days together were makes that final offer to join him in the stone wolf even more powerful.

One final word on this final adventure and it's a complaint this time. I've never been one of those to dismiss Fitz as stupid. Yes, he routinely fails and never really lives up to the potential for greatness that someone with his abilities and training really should. But I regard that as being because Fitz is insane rather than merely dumb. And I do not use the word insane lightly. He has crippling self-esteem issues, is very paranoid, suffers from depression and is full of self-loathing. I blame his failings on these more than a lack of intelligence and that has made it much easier for me to overlook his flaws. But still. I do wish that Ms. Hobb had given him more moments to shine in these final books. That he will fail at some things is inevitable, but could he not have had a few more opportunities to impress, to be something other than a walking punching bag? Even during the infiltration of Clerres castle all he did was kill a half dozen mooks. It's so unfortunate that his greatest accomplishment in this trilogy is being able to endure a slow and agonizing death long enough to finish carving his wolf. And it leaves me with the sad feeling that Fitz's only real talent in life was at being a victim and a martyr. I don't like thinking that of him ... but the text doesn't really offer me the chance to think anything else.

In this, and in everything else, Assassin's Fate was a sad end to a sad story.

 

 

Edited by Shaun Snow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler

 

I've reached page 680, and I'm really enjoying it.

I share both your  views about Amber/The Fool, but someone who has been savagely tortured is bound to be have been very badly warped by the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I couldn't tell whether I was disappointed or overjoyed with the book. It's difficult to tell. But mostly I think it was a fitting end.

Some of it felt rushed. I thought the liveships characters all deserved more, for example, as did the characters left at Buckkeep. Clerres itself, being the driver for so many of the major events of the series, was disappointingly flat and one-dimensional. There wasn't anything more to it that it seemed on the surface, apart from some petty internal squabbling.

But the ending was beautiful, as Hobb said herself it was the only ending that could have been. Bee is a fantastic character, her chapters were wonderful. I like how Hobb dealt with the inevitability of her destiny (something that most fantasy does terribly badly). I also enjoyed the tension between Fitz and "Amber".

Incidentally, at the talk on friday Hobb's publisher mentioned that she hoped that it wouldn't be the last book set in this world. Hobb just laughed. So there's a glimmer of hope. I'd love another book set back in Buckkeep.

Edited by Slick Mongoose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

65% in

Bee!

:o I did not expect her killing Symphe and Dwalia; at the very least not so soon. I'm enjoying her chapters a great deal. Girl has fire in her.

Poor Chade :( Not unexpected (he must have been ancient) but a sad end, thinking his friends and family had betrayed him. 

The fraying of Fitz and Beloved's relationship is really quite devastating. Completely understandable but devastating all the same

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got it, but have the finish Bakker's 'The Great Ordeal' first. Hoping to start (and probably finish) during this weekend.

Very happy to see that people are liking this book. Fitz deserves a great finale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Test

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@Shaun Snow

I agree that Bee is an excellent character.  She was right to tell the Fool a few home truths.

I wouldn't say that Fitz is insane.  He was manipulated ruthlessly by Chade, the Fool, and Shrewd, and that left a big mark on him.  In order to work as a professional assassin, you probably do have to kill off some part of your personality. 

I'm having difficulty with spoiler tags at the moment, so I'm limited in my comments.  But, it was a good ending to the series.

If I were to rate all the Elderlings books out of 5, I'd give:-

Farseer Trilogy 4,

Liveships Trilogy 4.5,

Tawny Man Trilogy 4,

Rainwilds Chronicles 3,

Fitz and the Fool Trilogy 4.5

Edited by SeanF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Finished it. Lots to take in, overall very satisfying ending. Will post more thoughts later, but one immediate thought:

 

The "why?" of the Servants killing off the dragons was a bit weak. Dragon parts for long life and profit I suppose, but it seems pretty weak motivation for their continued actions of poisoning, capturing serpents etc.

Thats probably my main issue.

So, here is a brief summary of my understanding of the end of the Dragons/Elderlings. 

1) The Elderlings trade briefly with Clerres but are considered to self-important and obsessed with their dragons.

2) The Servants dream of the cataclysm that will change the shape of the land and kill many Dragons and Elderlings, and cause the evacuation of Kelsingra and such.

2) The cataclysm occurs. Many dragons and Elderlings die as a result of the quakes, ash fall etc. 

3) Elderlings from Kelsingra flee through the pillar to their Southern retreat near Clerres. They are attacked on arrival and killed. 

4) Dragon hunting/breeding grounds near Clerres are set as traps, with poisoned herds and water. As the dragons die, they are butchered by e Servants, and their parts used, I presume, to extend life, to make a profit, and to construct their fortress.

6) Allying themselves with the Abominations, the Servants conspire to steal the dragon eggs. They trap Serpents and confine them to gain power from them. Others are caught in nets and butchered. 

7) Unable to best Icefyre they use the Skill to encourage him to kill himself by burying himself in ice. 

I guess that's it. Probably not so neatly ordered as that - poisoning of the herds probably began before the cataclysm for example. But it's an approximation.

Tragic endings pretty much all around. The Bingtown traders have effectively lost the livelihood that was the lifeblood of their city. Trading is still possible, but I imagine many fortunes will be lost. (Btw, I wonder why Keffria wasn't in this, even briefly?) I liked that they freed the dragons from the Liveships though. 

Etta loses her son and probably her Admiral. Who knows what will happen to the Pirate Isles? (Actually, there is a story I'd be happy to see Hobb write - what happens to Bingtown, Kelsingra, the Rain Wilds and the Pirate Isles now?)

Prilkop and the few surviving Whites are left with everything they ever knew destroyed, more or less without purpose. As evil as the Four and their Servants were, it's still a very sad ending for them. As Prilkop said, many on Clerres were innocent or even victims of the Four. And they suffered from Bee's actions and the dragon's retribution.

Kettricken loved Fitz. :bawl: I think that broke me more than anything else.

Chade dies, feeling betrayed and cheated by those he loved.

Fitz and Beloved's relationship I will post more about later. That was one of the central pillars of this novel imo.

Will also post more about Bee later. Suffice to say I love her, and think Hobb crafter one of her best characters yet in Bee. She has grown from a rather simplistic infant (as one would expect, given her age when we first get her POV) into a hardened, scarred little warrior.

All of the side characters were very endearing in this trilogy. I think it would have been more impactful had Lant actually been dead, but that's a minor detail in the grand scheme of things.

I felt as though Motley was going to be revealed as someone's Wit-partner or a Piebald before the end. I actually thought the Pie-bald dreams referenced her, which is pretty amazing considering how obvious it should be that it means Fitz/Nighteyes and Nighteyes living on in Bee.

I actually appreciated the "fake outs" that Fitz was dead or going to die. I was expecting him to die so it genuinely made me sad each time. 

There was discussion in the Fool's Quest thread about the shoddy planning of Dwalia and foolishness in going through the Pillars. I think this book did a good job of explaining her quest. It had some reasonable planning, but wasn't exactly endorsed by many, and Dwalia's obsession with vengeance and her ruthlessness was at odds with how the Four would have operated. Dwalia only cared about taking the Child and inflicting harm on Fitz and Beloved, she cared nothing for the luriks she was sent with. 

Inwould have liked to see more done with Spark/Ash. I was hoping this book would explore the gender fluidity stuff some more but there wasn't a lot. Hobb clearly had it in mind (Per asking about it in Kelsingra, Fitz separating the Fool and Amber as people in his mind) but I think because we had the story from Fitz' POV we were pretty limited in that respect. Though there were a couple of moments where the idea of being stuck as female seemed to depress Spark (on Paragon and at the end, when she is assigned the very public role as Kettricken's protector, meaning she must remain Spark).

On Bee as a White Prophet; 

So I noticed, I think after Trader Akriel was killed, she had one of her "shedding fevers" and was paler underneath. Is it reasonable to conclude that a Prophet gets darker after being successful, and lighter if they fail/choose the wrong path? This would explain Illistore remaining so pale for so many years. And suggests that things would have worked out very differently if Bee had done something that preserved Trader Akriel's life.

It was very sad to see Bee at the end of the novel, suffering PTSD, feeling isolated and sad. Buckkeep is certainly not somewhere she feels at home. I'm not convinced it ever will, because it's so foreign to her, having been raised in a very sheltered life in Withywoods and then being subject to the brutality of Dwalia. I did like the scene with Shine and the Ladies though, where she shut down Violet. 

 

@Shaun Snow I'm not sure I agree with you completely about Nettle. I think she is only being protective of Bee. Who knows better than she does how dangerous the Farseer court is for a bastard, how Bee could be used, how those she associates with are endangered? She only does what she can to try and help, even if it seems harsh. 

Regarding being dosed with elf bark, I have two points. The first is, I'm not sure she really considered it. Her response to skilled woman seemed a bit sarcastic - "I'll weigh up the options and consider it" could reasonably be never in a million years. Bee uses it that way herself shortly afterwards. But, if she was sincere, I still don't necessarily object. Nettle isn't just Bee's big sister, but the Skillmistress. She has to be concerned with more than just Bee, she needs to protect other Skill users, the royal family, everyone. An erratic skill user could be very dangerous - we saw in this book how Chade had become. Nettle has a duty to make the tough choices like that, even if they are hard

Edited by HelenaExMachina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished the book

 

Clearly a book meant to wrap far more than just Fitz and the Fool's story lines.  I thought it was an alright book, but it didn't move me as much as I think it ought to have.   By the time Fitz and the Fool bit the dust I was past caring -_-.  Drawing out Fitz' end didn't do anything for me, and tossing the Fool in there right at the end didn't have an impact on me.

I felt Kennitson was born to die.  I knew Hobbe was going to kill him rather than take away the Vestrit's kid (and ruin their previously established happy ending).  How the Pirate Isles survive as a polity is beyond me.  When Etta dies, I can't see how they don't shatter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/7/2017 at 3:44 PM, Shaun Snow said:

What else? Damn there's a lot to talk about in this book. I'm in danger of writing an essay here. The Fool. Yes, I can't finish without talking about the Fool. I've been annoyed by him in this trilogy. I've found him significantly less charming than his previous appearances...

Spoiler

 

In defense of Beloved, he's fucked up in this trilogy, and he's been fucked up all along. He's been tortured for years at Clerres, physically tortured and sexually abused as a child, abused on his travels between Clerres and Buck. All that happens, of course, on top of his having to use his beloved as his catalyst, which the Fool's been bemoaning for eleven books. He's dangerous, but willing to face danger himself--journey to Aslevjal. His influence on his catalyst is complex; without him, Fitz would never have survived Assassin's Apprentice. He and Fitz are a messed up couple, equally needy of one another. Fitz without his Fool is not entirely "there," and Hobb does a brilliant job of showing that in Fool's Assassin.

Re behaving selfishly on Paragon: Paragon and all the other liveships are slaves. I was first shocked that Amber did what she did, but it had to be done, and the masters didn't need to be involved in that decision. The brilliant thing here (I'm thinking of Dany and the slaver-villains of Essos, less brilliant) is that Hobb shows the consequences of freeing slaves on sympathetic characters.

Re parenting Bee: The Fool wants to die with Fitz. Fitz is the one who places him in a parental position re his daughter. After that, the Fool's simply trying to fulfill what he believes is Fitz's dying wish. I agree that he doesn't go about it in the right way, but by this point, he's barely functioning. Fitz should never have asked this of the Fool. While pinned under that beam, Fitz should have told the Fool to lead Bee to rescue, then return to him so they could die together...which is what happens at the end, anyway.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Spoiler

Oh Jesus, this book. I cried so hard during the last stages of it I couldn't breathe and was giving myself a headache but still couldn't put it down. Still kinda drained and can't talk about it. It was the right ending, but that doesn't mean I liked it - quintessentially Hobb, damn her. I kept waiting to see how Fitz was going to get out of that tunnel because that's not how Fitz dies (and the darts hadn't been paid off). I had a brief flash of hope that he would at least get a little time with his loved ones once the story came back to him, but then the silver explosion happened and fuck that. That spelled his doom and misery to me almost more than the darts did. Bah! I hate these books! I love these books!

 

Edited by Gertrude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re Liveships, and Fitz/Beloved's relationship

I wonder if Ophelia would take the Silver? At the end of Liveships she seems entirely happy with life as a ship and claims to have little to no memory of being a dragon. I wonder if that would still be the case now, knowing she could become a dragon...

The story saw the fracturing of Fitz and Beloved's relationship, and it was as heartbreaking as one would expect. But the beautiful, tragic thing is that it's entirely believable. As Bee says at the end, whether she was being truthful or not, Fitz was cut up when the Fool left him. After all they had been through it must have left him pretty hollow to lose his friend like that. Especially knowing he was in touch with others like Jofron. And there's no denying the Fool used him ruthlessly at times. Their separation I guess gave him time to dwell on that.

And Beloved was broken and changed by his time on Clerres. Already scarred and abused as a child, he returns from what is his lifetime's triumph only to be doubted, betrayed and tortured. By the time we get to this novel he is completely changed, a broken shell of the lively Fool from the Farseer trilogy. He's consumed, first by desire for vengeance, then by desire to save Bee. He stops caring so much about who he hurts on the way - Althea, Brashen, Fitz, Ash/Spark. It's all worth it, if only they can recover Bee and end Clerres. He still feels for his friends, but he is willing to set those feelings aside. 

All that said, the "first ending" on a Clerres in the tunnel was deeply saddening, and it hurt to see the impact of Fitz' death on each of these characters, and Beloved in particular. Especially since he and Bee were unable to come together in their grief. 

Him going into the Wolf felt right in the end, though that part of the carving was too rushed. (Strange really. The carving as a whole dragged too long, but Beloved joining his Catalyst was rushed). 

Fitz actual death, well, gruesome. Tragic. I bawled like a baby then bawled some more. I'm so glad he got a last chance to see everyone before he died. Kettricken :bawl: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a reason everyone is spoiling their comments? I thought this thread was started explicitly because we didn't want to have to deal with spoilers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would spoiler tag for the first page or so in case people wandered in accidentally or wanted to post as they read (like I did). Plus it hadn't come out in the US when I started the thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/7/2017 at 3:44 PM, Shaun Snow said:

I'm sorry, but fuck Nettle.

Spoiler

Totally agree. By the same token, I also blame her for Chade's sad death. The guy was already dying and wanted to enter the Skill stream on his own, and Nettle denied that to him, reducing him to a helpless old man...at which point he, of course, died, just not as he'd have wanted. She's the self-righteous doctor who'd deny pain relief to a patient on their deathbed, as they might get addicted, and addiction is BAD and we can't have that. Her treatment of Bee was cruel and cold, and her only excuse seemed to be that her baby had colic. I'm sure lots of readers love her, but really, fuck her.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the book and the trilogy as a whole. Hobb stuck the landing and is redeemed for TTM and RWC  in my eyes. I'll be there for whatever she does next.

Do I have some quibbles? Of course, I usually do. I'd love to respond to the comments above, but it is such a PITA to do multiple quotes under spoiler tags.

Oh, and BTW, I feel that one can safely skip RWC and still fully understand what is going on in the book. And even LST maybe - though LST is very worth reading on its own merits, so omitting it is not recommended. Still, IMHO Hobb explains the backgrounds quite well in AF itself and most of the cameo charaters come across as somewhat flat-ish anyway. The Six Duchies crew and the antagonists own the stage and do it with panache. 

HelenaExMachina:

Would it be possible to add a "Spoilers!" disclaimer in capital letters to the thread title? We can all post our thoughts in big ol' wall o'texts and I intend to do so, but wouldn't an actual discussion be more entertaining and satisfying?

P.S.

Also, it seems that my first attempt at this post didn't get through due to containing spoiler tags. Spoilerific musings will have to wait, it seems. Or because the Universe randomly hates me.  Just my luck....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really surprised at the Nettle dislike. Both with regards to Chade and Bee. Chade was clearly a danger to others, it wasn't simply a case of denying him the Skill. The moment he started using the Skill he battered several Skill users into unconsciousness and endangered Bee and nearly dragged Fitz into the Skill current with him. It wasn't self-righteousness, it was recognising concerns beyond what would make Chade happy. 

And let's not forget that in the past Chade had recklessly used other Skill users for power and endangered them. It was for everyone's safety that Nettle had to dampen his Skill.

I've touched on the stuff with Bee already so I'll just refer you to my earlier post for that.

Maia (Eda and El, even the tagging isn't working now!) sure, I'll add spoilers to the title. Like I said, I started the thread before the book was released in the U.S. Plus I was still reading, so really it was a selfish choice on my part ;) 

I agree that there is no need to read Liveships or Rainwilds. That's actually intentional from Hobb, from what she has said on social media and such. She had a bit of trouble writing the Kelsingra stuff without assuming people would have read RWC I seem to recall. However, I do think I got more out of the book having read the preceding trilogies, so there was pay off in that respect. Like seeing Phron dying, after the seemingly happy ending of RWC, meant more having read the previous books. 

I actually wished we saw some of Selden, Chassim and Keffria, even if it was just small appearances (I'm not counting Bee's brief glimpse of Chassim). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we're going down that route, let's be real, you'd have to say fuck you to pretty much every non protagonist character.  These books are quite frustrating like that, nobody acts the way you might want them too, everyone gives the main character shit for very little reason.

But I see this as just Hobb creating coherent characters. Nettle is a practical person, she was raised by Burrich and Molly, she's been a member of court since she was young and she's spent her life curbing the wilder excesses of her Farseer relatives. It seems totally reasonable that she'd behave like that and I agree with Helena that it seems unlikely that she would ever have fed Bee elvenbark until her skill failed. It is quite telling though that nobody thinks to raise Bee in the way that would be best for her until Fitz dictates it in his death tent.

Kettricken however is a perfect character from the readers point of view - she understands everything that's going on, knows how all the magic works, behaves impeccably as a queen and, most importantly, she actually appreciates Fitz to the extent that he deserves. It's cool that she gets the last word, or last moment, of the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what I wanted to say in my spoiler/quote tag doomed post:

 kimim said:

Totally agree. By the same token, I also blame her for Chade's sad death. The guy was already dying and wanted to enter the Skill stream on his own, and Nettle denied that to him,

 

Spoiler

 

You seem to forget that Chade was affecting and endangering other Skill-users and Skill-sensitives by his antics. And that both Dutiful and Fitz wanted him kept alive. If it had been up to Nettle herself and there was a way to let him go safely for other people - who knows?

And I really like the "disfunctional family" aspect of this trilogy. Nettle cared about Bee and was completely right back in FA in criticizing Fitz's fitness as a parent. But given a chance herself, due to combination of personality and circumstances, she doesn't manage any better. 

There were many fans who expected the Fool and Bee to get on like a house on fire and would have demoted Molly to a  role of  surrogate womb that was discarded as soon as Bee didn't need so much physical attention, when most of tedious physical work of parenting was over . But... it didn't work that way and it was so very believable that it didn't. For the record, I disliked Fitz getting back together with Molly in Fool's Fate, since I agreed with Kettle's evaluation of their relationship in AQ. However, I really love how her character and her relationship with Fitz and Bee was depicted in this trilogy.

P.S.

Oh, and there is a lot of what I call "Hobbisms" employed to create a situation where Bee would be unhappy in Buckkeep and at odds with Nettle. That is, when Hobb wants to create problems for characters - mostly female ones, she suddenly shoves in Victorian conventions, like need for chaperones, etc. that are patently absurd in her setting. She has always done it - starting with RA, where Molly having been known as Fitz's friend  could suddenly be ruinious for her reputation and Kettricken and her ladies were cooped in and  relegated to unimportant and borderline pretend work - that in a country were women could  practice any trade and had equal inheritance rights, i.e. would be expected to work with and often lead men. And we  saw them actually do it! But Molly/Kettricken had to be oppressed and circumscribed, so out flew logic and consistency.

And we see the same thing here with Bee and Shine being saddled with tedious make-work, restricted from physical activity, etc. Which makes less than zero sense, since Shine should be training her Skill and working with a coterie, while  noble girls such as Bee should be getting the same education and opportunities as noble boys. 

Ditto Per and Spark not getting elevated and rewarded for their roles in destruction of Clerres. This wasn't some secret operation, like stuff in the Assassin's series, it was right in the open in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.