HelenaExMachina

Assassin's Fate, Robin Hobb

91 posts in this topic

lol. I was scratching my head over that tidbit as well. SPOILERS if they're not on shore yet

Spoiler

There is an explanation for it, I think, shortly afterwards: it was a fake plan meant to obscure the foretelling powers of the Clerresians. It was never actually meant to be followed. Fitz is still a moron if he forgot the Servants knew about his Badgerlock identity in Withywoods. They invaded it twice!

 

Per likes handling horses. He learned some swordsmanship and basic reading/writing abilities but what he really loves is tending to horses. One in particular  ;). He doesn't want to be a guardsman or a scholar. Being a stableboy in the giant stales of Buckkeep where horses from all over the country are gathered together sounds like a dream come true for him. The stablemaster doesn't want him to get too uppity though so he's a bit rough with him.

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Am I the only one here who really loves both TTM and RWC?

(Hell I love all Hobb that isn't that final Soldier Son book.)

God I hope she write more in this world. But I must go cry now.

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1 minute ago, Darth Richard II said:

Am I the only one here who really loves both TTM and RWC?

(Hell I love all Hobb that isn't that final Soldier Son book.)

God I hope she write more in this world. But I must go cry now.

I cried a while. I'm now trying to convince myself that was a very happy ending. Fitz and the Fool can be "one" without Fitz throwing kanipshins, and they can all hunt. That's happy, right? Can't get happier, right?? Right?

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Hey it's happier then the end of Assassins Quest.

Actually it's very similar, one of the only differences being that Bee isn't going into isolation after her trauma like Fitz, but is remaining with Kettricken. But key elements are the same; long, drawn out traumatic experience (Farseer Court vs Trip to Clerres), someone enters the dragon, leaving their loved ones behind (Verity vs Fitz and Beloved) loved ones scarred horribly by their experiences (Fitz vs Bee). I'd say the two are both extremely sad, with Assassin's Fate tipping it slightly because it's the end for Fitz, who readers have more connection to than Verity. Plus his incredibly gruesome painful death. And Bee's PTSD. Damn. 

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Posted (edited)

I wonder what the future could've been like if Fitz managed to heal himself (*) (I'm sure he could if he tried, considering the healings he did in the past) and took off (at least most of the) Silver, maybe gave it to Verity Dragon.

He seemed capable enough playing the prince in FQ so he could live with Bee at court and make her life there actually nice there. Or they could return to Withywoods. The folk there don't blame them for what happened. Quiet and familiar things could do a world of good for Bee. Or they could pursue Fitz' dream and journey around the Seven Duchies, maybe righting wrongs maybe just teaching Bee. Or they could do all three, intermittently. Beloved would be a hermit at first I think. He won't know what to do with his life now that he accomplished his goals and destroyed his tormentors finally. But he could find a place for himself in Fitz and Bee's new life,  eventually.

 

(*) It seemed, in both the Tawny and Fitz&Fool trilogies that prophecies have a power to force everyone to follow and not deviate from them. Fitz death now, and Beloved and Icefyre in FF were hardly as unavoidable as they were repeatedly described by the various White Prophets. The only way it makes sense is that Fitz was White-Commanded to follow that particular path of the future, somewhat like he was Skill-Commanded to come to Verity in AQ.

Edited by shadowbinding shoe

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Posted (edited)

My favorite line might have been, The Fool to Bee:

Quote

"You are like your Father. That isn't really an answer to my request."   

Oh what would Fitz have said to that :lmao:  Bee really does remind me a lot of Fitz (with a little Thymara mixed in).

Saddest line, also the Fool to Bee: 

Quote

"Yes. And they have a new baby! Your father told me.  He said, 'I'm a grandfather now...'"  His words faltered to a halt. 

That was the closest I got to breaking down.  Most of the emotional impact was sucked out of it for me after reading Maia's post in the reading thread, because all my brain would think about for the last 20% of the book was "what's the twist? gotta figure out the twist!"

 

Since nobody else has said it, I will, WhyTF would they be using darts that cause death months later during an attack on their innermost sanctum??  I know Vindeliar ordered it in the heat of the moment, but why would have even had them?  Wouldn't that vile shit be stored extremely securely, most likely under the Lock of Four?  I mean, it's called the Traitor's Death, wouldn't all of the Four need to authorize its use?  If not, why had they used it to turn the Four into the One centuries ago?

 

On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 2:44 PM, Shaun Snow said:

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!

Interesting thought.  The dragons would probably be fine with him taking the Silver to try (if he wanted) with the high regard in which the dragons now hold him.  And as you say, the wolf can certainly keep hunting.  I'm sure he's ready to rest though.

 

On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 2:06 PM, Slick Mongoose said:

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.

She really did nail that.  And I'd happily read another one (or three) too.

 

On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:58 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

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.

It's more just an issue of control.  The dragons and Elderlings were a powerful and chaotic force, and with them around there was no chance of the Servants being the rulers of the world, so they took their shot when the Cataclysm was going to weaken them and give the Servants an opportunity to ascend.

 

On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:58 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

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.

How freaking old is Prilkop?  Whites are hard to kill, but all his work seems to have been pre-Cataclysm.  If he got that dark setting the world on a better path, before the Servants sent it crashing down, that implies some serious time in between...  I think I would have preferred seeing him and the rest of the surviving Whites go down too.  I don't trust them to "return to the way things were before."  It didn't feel like all the weeds were pulled.

I'm still curious about how hard it is to find Clerres, in that you cannot get there unless you're led there by a White or by someone that has been shown the way previously.  That was the main reason I thought there would be another source of Silver there.  Something has to be powering that magic.

 

On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:58 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

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

"Kettricken, I didn't see you there."  "You never did."  That was a damn well-delivered line.

 

On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:58 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

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 would have hated that so much.  Not because I thought Lant needed to survive, or that I was terribly fond of him, but because it would have felt like a death because we didn't expect them all to make it out alive.  And disappearing after Paragon split would have felt cheap.  I would have been fine with him dying gloriously in battle!  Or something like that.

 

On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:58 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

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. 

Dwalia and Vindeliar both ended up being very interesting characters.

 

On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:58 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

 

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.

That was my reading of it too.  It was interesting that nobody commented on her being even more pale than normal when they found her, and after her last transition she was close to the same color as Per instead of going back up just a little in shading or even back to where she started.

 

Edited by RedEyedGhost

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12 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Am I the only one here who really loves both TTM and RWC?

(Hell I love all Hobb that isn't that final Soldier Son book.)

God I hope she write more in this world. But I must go cry now.

I loved TTM. RWC i liked a lot more on my second read through.

 

I never understood anyones hate on any od the fitz books. They are amazing.

 

And i had tears in my eyes the entire last 10% od the book. Probably earlier as fitz was telling the fool to leave him as he was trapped. The tears dtarted there and didnt stop until i finished. I was so hoping he got to end up with Bee at the end. 

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 7:47 AM, Damned with the Wind said:

and tossing the Fool in there right at the end didn't have an impact on me.

Nor me.  I think it could have been handled better, but Fitz and Nighteyes had paved the way, so it should have been easy for the Fool to follow.

 

On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 4:29 PM, Gertrude said:

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

I thought he would intentionally drink the Silver.  I wonder if that would have eradicated the parasites?  I still don't know why his normal skill healing couldn't handle them :dunno: 

 

On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 1:57 PM, Maia said:

However, I really love how her character and her relationship with Fitz and Bee was depicted in this trilogy.

Like the story about the two of them in the orchard and the gossip around Withywoods :lol: 

 

On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:15 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

I suppose, unlike Swift in the Tawny Man there is no major deed to reward. He was just there on the quest

He killed Duke Ellik, Vindeliar, and one of the Four.  The dragons recognized him as a friend of themselves and the serpents per Rapskal (which I think is hilarious considering he can't hear them).  Two fine horses and a physically abusive boss seems like an ill reward in my opinion, but maybe they're waiting for him to come of age and then he'll be gifted with some land?

 

On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 0:57 PM, Maia said:

I could have certainly done without Alise and Leftrin, who were, like, one the worst parts of RWC* , but  Paragon/Vivacia stuff seems fairly integral to the resolution. Not that the attached characters didn't come across as somewhat wooden, but that's how it sometimes is where peripheral characters are concerned, with Hobb.

Aww come on, now.  I was really hoping Bee would hug Alise and or Leftrin on departing and fix their little problem.

 

On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 0:57 PM, Maia said:

And Leftrin - how many times have we been told that Rain Wilders tend to marry early, that his niece had an arranged childhood betrothal because of  her prospects of inheriting Tarman from him. Childhood betrothals, BTW, also make no sense given the very real possibility of drastic warping changes during puberty. Yet here is this perfect 30-year-old bachelor for Our Heroine, who is not yet a "confirmed";) bachelor, who is quite a good catch by local standards, but whom for some reason nobody bothered to betroth/marry/pursue long before she came along. And nobody even notices such an oddity!

I thought it was well implied that Leftrin had been around the trunk quite a lot, but he was a romantic and never had that spark with anyone.  It's cheesy but Alise was exactly what he was longing for - love at first sight.

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On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 2:44 PM, Shaun Snow said:

What gender was the Fool? We never find out for certain, and it didn't matter

Didn't we though?  All of the Four refer to Beloved as him, and Fellowdy the pedophile instantly knew Bee for a girl...

 

On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 11:52 AM, shadowbinding shoe said:

lol. I was scratching my head over that tidbit as well. SPOILERS if they're not on shore yet

There is an explanation for it, I think, shortly afterwards: it was a fake plan meant to obscure the foretelling powers of the Clerresians. It was never actually meant to be followed. Fitz is still a moron if he forgot the Servants knew about his Badgerlock identity in Withywoods. They invaded it twice!

Yep, that was pretty much right after I commented about the stupidity of their plan.  Not that the Fool's sneaking in with the butterfly cloak was that much better... well it was quite a bit better, it still wasn't that good of a plan.  The two together was a like an inferior version of Bee's "weeding the garden with Molly."

 

 

What's up with their acknowledgement of Verity as a dragon?  It's not just because of his power level with the Skill, otherwise Bee would have certainly been recognized as such.  Is it only because he carved his dragon?  Does that elevate him in the Skill stream - that next level Fitz experienced after he was coated in Silver?  If so, then what's up with him chilling with Chade and Shrewd in there?  Obviously carving a dragon isn't required to survive in the Skill stream.  Did Chade and Shrewd just join with Verity's larger presence?

I really wish we had learned more about the stone dragons!  How is pouring memories into those different from what happens in the Elderling cities?  Was it truly an Elderling tradition that was shared with the Six Duchies Skill coteries?  Because Fitz and Bee and a few of the Skill healers were so overwhelmed by Kelsingra, I can't imagine that any of the Elderlings possessed that same level of ability, and therefore how could they have enough to bring the stone to life?  Maybe lesser ability but much longer life?  Or maybe, and this is where I get a little crazy, going back to Shaun Snow's thought about FFNWolf becoming a real boy, maybe the live dragons are actually descendants of stone dragons that came to life :stunned:  And that's why they're so interested in preserving their ancestral memories through eating dragons and even the memories of beloved/important humans and Elderlings.  They instinctively want to soak up as much as the possibly can.

And on that note, it's 2am, and I need to sleep (I was up till 3 nearly finishing the book last night, couldn't hold out for that final 2% though)... Or at least it was when I typed this, but the forum wouldn't let me post it.  Right now after much more frustration trying to get it to post, I figured out that it was too long as one post.  So three posts it is!  Or maybe not... now I think it might have been the spoiler code in shadowbinding shoe's post.  I've removed that, hopefully it will actually work this time.

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26 minutes ago, RedEyedGhost said:

It's more just an issue of control.  The dragons and Elderlings were a powerful and chaotic force, and with them around there was no chance of the Servants being the rulers of the world, so they took their shot when the Cataclysm was going to weaken them and give the Servants an opportunity to ascend.

Is there a lot of difference between Servants and the Elderlings?

Both are partly human, partly a "superior" species gifted with magic, long life. Both see humans as a resource to exploit.

In the past, Servants and Elderlings must have been in competition, controlling one another. With the Elderlings gone, the Servants, presumably, went after world domination. I wonder if their breeding programs, enslavement of prophets really got going at this point; Prilkop remembers the fall of the Elderlings, and he also remembers a time when Clerres was still relatively decent. Prilkop is old, but surely not tens of thousands of years old.

Thanks to the Fool, now the Servants are gone. Elderlings are on their own, and they have the same potential for good-evil that Clerres did.

The Fool's new world isn't looking rosy for the humans, unless, of course, this is why he had to hand the silver to Paragon. If humans get some dragons siding with them, if they develop their talent for Skill and Wit, possibly the situation can be equalized...but then there'd still be the difference between the magical and non-magical folk. We'll see how this all works in further series, maybe.

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I thought the Servants were responsible for the wipeout of the Elderlings?

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2 hours ago, kimim said:

Is there a lot of difference between Servants and the Elderlings?

Both are partly human, partly a "superior" species gifted with magic, long life. Both see humans as a resource to exploit.

In the past, Servants and Elderlings must have been in competition, controlling one another. With the Elderlings gone, the Servants, presumably, went after world domination. I wonder if their breeding programs, enslavement of prophets really got going at this point; Prilkop remembers the fall of the Elderlings, and he also remembers a time when Clerres was still relatively decent. Prilkop is old, but surely not tens of thousands of years old.

Thanks to the Fool, now the Servants are gone. Elderlings are on their own, and they have the same potential for good-evil that Clerres did.

The Fool's new world isn't looking rosy for the humans, unless, of course, this is why he had to hand the silver to Paragon. If humans get some dragons siding with them, if they develop their talent for Skill and Wit, possibly the situation can be equalized...but then there'd still be the difference between the magical and non-magical folk. We'll see how this all works in further series, maybe.

Definitely weren't in competition. Bee is told that the Elderlings never really were interested enough in Clerres, and were too obsessed with their dragons to give them much thought.

@RedEyedGhost, thanks for your thoughts. Struggling to quote properly o read multiple posts from my iPad so I'm just tagging you. You make a good point about control probably being a big factor in why the Servants killed the Dragons and Elderlings. Hadn't considered that.

I agree Prilkop and the other Whites were probably dangerous being left alive, but I still think their ending was sad. None of them were, as far as we know, actually responsible for particularly evil deeds. Probably the opposite, actually, since they were former prisoners. I think, had Fitz not being covered in Silver and desperate to return to Bee he would have remained at Clerres and hunted down the last of them (see by way of Comparison how he remains at the Quarry in AQ to kill the last of the coterie). 

Is Clerres mentioned as being difficult to find? The town itself seems like a thriving trade hub, and obviously a lot of people know how to get there, since they make long pilgrimages to have their fortunes told. It's pretty unknown in the Six Duchies, but that is the other side of the World, and has few followers of the White Prophet mythos/religion. Which is why no one in the Six Duchies really knows much of it. I had the impression it was widely known in more Southern locales. Unless there is a particular quote I'm forgetting saying a White Prophet is needed to get there, I didn't get that impression.

Re: Lant, I think my frustration there was just because there had been so much "gotcha, not dead!" tricks pulled already that it felt a bit of a cop out having him 'dead' then showing up again in Bingtown and just the right time to catch Bee and the others. 

The Kettricken line was so Fitz. So blind. So ignorant. *sigh* I agree with Maia that this didn't short-change Molly. I think Molly was given the respectful treatment she deserved in this book. Her status as Bee's mother and the woman who raised her isn't ignored or supplanted by a new caregiver, her time with Fitz isn't relegated to "second best" (sure there is Nighteyes' thoughts, but Nighteyes is not Fitz, and it's obvious the two would disagree on such matters). And, as you say, Withywoods gossip :D 

Vindeliaar and Dwalia actually became some of Hobb's more interesting villains, which was great (barring Kennit, obviously). 

As to why they used the darts, not too sure. They wanted Fitz taken alive, but it was obvious he would only be made to suffer once captured so it makes sense from that perspective. And I think by that stage the damage to the sastle was already long done, and it was down to a case of punishing the infiltrators as much as they could. No swift death by sword for them. 

As for why the Four hadn't become One before, I got the impression that the Four are not necessarily the same people all of the time. When the black flags are flown from Symphe's tower it's mentioned she has only been there for 80 years I think? That to me implies it's something of an office, so once one is killed they can be replaced. And the fact that Coultrie isn't even a White Prophet again implies to me he hasn't always held this office, or surely someone would have called him out years ago?

I don't think Beloved's gender was ever supposed to be important, and I think it funny readers question it so much, because I feel like Hobb intended to challenge preconceived ideas on gender and why it's so important to so many of us to say - male or female? So all the questioning is exactly what Hobb was challenging people to recognise. It was interesting for me.

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11 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

 

I don't think Beloved's gender was ever supposed to be important, and I think it funny readers question it so much, because I feel like Hobb intended to challenge preconceived ideas on gender and why it's so important to so many of us to say - male or female? So all the questioning is exactly what Hobb was challenging people to recognise. It was interesting for me.

This.

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5 hours ago, kimim said:

Is there a lot of difference between Servants and the Elderlings?

Both are partly human, partly a "superior" species gifted with magic, long life. Both see humans as a resource to exploit.

In the past, Servants and Elderlings must have been in competition, controlling one another. With the Elderlings gone, the Servants, presumably, went after world domination. I wonder if their breeding programs, enslavement of prophets really got going at this point; Prilkop remembers the fall of the Elderlings, and he also remembers a time when Clerres was still relatively decent. Prilkop is old, but surely not tens of thousands of years old.

Thanks to the Fool, now the Servants are gone. Elderlings are on their own, and they have the same potential for good-evil that Clerres did.

The Fool's new world isn't looking rosy for the humans, unless, of course, this is why he had to hand the silver to Paragon. If humans get some dragons siding with them, if they develop their talent for Skill and Wit, possibly the situation can be equalized...but then there'd still be the difference between the magical and non-magical folk. We'll see how this all works in further series, maybe.

I don't think there's been anything to say that the Elderlings ever considered humans as an exploitable resource.  In fact the evidence found in tRWC showed that there was likely significant trade between humans and Elderlings and that in a lot of ways they worked hand in hand.  That also jives with the Six Duchies' histories about the Elderlings.

By my estimation, I was thinking Prilkop is somewhere between 1000-1500 years old, not anywhere near 10000+.  With the Cataclysm being 500+ years ago.  I don't think their breeding program started until right around the time of the Cataclysm.  I think that was what kicked the whole thing off.  I believe the Four figured out what was going to happen based on past dreams that were collected, made things go very badly for the Elderlings and the dragons, and then wanted to maintain their newly gained power and control.

I think you're sorely underestimating humans, as will the dragons.  They've got sheer numbers on their side (the Chalcedeans nearly took down Tintaglia and Icefyre through an ambush in tRWC), and ingenuity (Chade's gunpowder) that can both wreak havoc if the dragons continue to provoke them.  I do think the Liveship dragons will be more sympathetic towards humans (most of them at least), and it's already been shown that the Cassarick dragons are more so than Tintaglia and Icefyre.  But I also don't think that the Path the F&F put the world on is necessarily supposed to be the most rosy, I think it's supposed to be the most balanced, with the dragons keeping the human race in check.

 

3 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I agree Prilkop and the other Whites were probably dangerous being left alive, but I still think their ending was sad. None of them were, as far as we know, actually responsible for particularly evil deeds. Probably the opposite, actually, since they were former prisoners. I think, had Fitz not being covered in Silver and desperate to return to Bee he would have remained at Clerres and hunted down the last of them (see by way of Comparison how he remains at the Quarry in AQ to kill the last of the coterie). 

I really hope that doesn't come back to bite them.  I don't think that just because they're prisoners means they're any more likely to return Clerres to being populated by actual servants to the White Prophets.  Look at the one who attacked Bee (Cora?), she just wanted to go back to living a life of luxury in her cottage with her delicious food.  I think they're all too indoctrinated, but Prilkop's letter to Beloved (which probably arrived after he entered the stone) did show they were taking to farming and most of them had stopped dreaming.

I agree that Fitz probably would have killed them all had he been able.

 

3 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Is Clerres mentioned as being difficult to find? The town itself seems like a thriving trade hub, and obviously a lot of people know how to get there, since they make long pilgrimages to have their fortunes told. It's pretty unknown in the Six Duchies, but that is the other side of the World, and has few followers of the White Prophet mythos/religion. Which is why no one in the Six Duchies really knows much of it. I had the impression it was widely known in more Southern locales. Unless there is a particular quote I'm forgetting saying a White Prophet is needed to get there, I didn't get that impression.

The Fool certainly made it seem that way in FQ.  Maybe it was just a way to try and convince Fitz to take him with him, but he did specifically go over a donation required to entice a White to lead you there.  

 

4 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

The Kettricken line was so Fitz. So blind. So ignorant. *sigh* I agree with Maia that this didn't short-change Molly. I think Molly was given the respectful treatment she deserved in this book. Her status as Bee's mother and the woman who raised her isn't ignored or supplanted by a new caregiver, her time with Fitz isn't relegated to "second best" (sure there is Nighteyes' thoughts, but Nighteyes is not Fitz, and it's obvious the two would disagree on such matters). And, as you say, Withywoods gossip :D 

I really loved the Withywoods gossip.  That alone showed that Molly wasn't shortchanged in even the slightest.  She was Fitz's everything.

 

4 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

As to why they used the darts, not too sure. They wanted Fitz taken alive, but it was obvious he would only be made to suffer once captured so it makes sense from that perspective. And I think by that stage the damage to the sastle was already long done, and it was down to a case of punishing the infiltrators as much as they could. No swift death by sword for them. 

I can buy that, but I still don't think it would have been easily accessible because of how deadly it is, especially in middle of all of that chaos. 

 

4 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

As for why the Four hadn't become One before, I got the impression that the Four are not necessarily the same people all of the time. When the black flags are flown from Symphe's tower it's mentioned she has only been there for 80 years I think? That to me implies it's something of an office, so once one is killed they can be replaced. And the fact that Coultrie isn't even a White Prophet again implies to me he hasn't always held this office, or surely someone would have called him out years ago?

The guy in the market said that Symphe was just as beautiful when his grandfather saw her saw her 80 years earlier.  In FQ I thought it was the names were more titles than actual names, based off of the Fool saying "there's always a Fellowdy" (I thought he actually said Coultrie but it was when they were talking about the pedophile).  This book made me think that the current Four were also the original Four kept alive by their continual consumption of dragon flesh - which also explains how Coultrie would have his elevated position without ever having had any Dreams.  If he'd lived that long because he was one of the original Four and was instrumental in their elevation.

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Definitely weren't in competition. Bee is told that the Elderlings never really were interested enough in Clerres, and were too obsessed with their dragons to give them much thought.

Elderlings don't need to be aware of it to be in competition with Clerres and everyone else; a tree in a forest that grows taller than others and cuts off sunlight is competing, whether it's aware of it or not. Clerres certainly saw Elderlings and their actions as a threat to themselves; Servants didn't wake up one morning and decide to destroy Elderlings and dragons for fun. Frankly, you don't need to be Clerres-evil to want to assert some limits over Elderlings and dragons; I find them both rather disturbing. Anyway, I'm looking forward to more Hobb novels set in this universe.

 

10 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

Dwalia and Vindeliar both ended up being very interesting characters.

I thought Dwalia was among the least interesting villains Hobb's ever created. Is there a single moment in the novel when Dwalia is less than completely despicable? She kills her own people, sells them as slaves, doesn't care if they're being raped, physically abuses Bee, is incredibly cruel to Vindeliar, and seems to have been the Fool's primary torturer. There's nothing good there. OK, she loved the pale woman, but since the pale woman's already been established as another utterly villainous villain, it's difficult to feel much sorrow for Dwalia's loss. Dwalia annoyed me as I was reading, not because she was a villain, but because she was too predictable as a villain.

 

22 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Hey it's happier then the end of Assassins Quest.

Definitely. It's also more satisfying than the end of Fool's Fate, in that at least all three of the heroes are accounted for.

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The Fool's gender - I agree it's not important and clearly Hobb doesn't want it to be any kind of issue. But if you were to delve into it there's three options, it seems to me

- the Fool is gelded, like Vindeliar. This seems unlikely (and possibly even directly stated otherwise) since he's a true white bloodline and they want to breed him.

- the White's are alien creatures, long lived, hard to kill, different from humans. Possibly they have no concept of gender and just get lumped into categories by the more human Servants.

- the Fool is an individual who doesn't identify as any particular gender but is or was identified by others as male. This seems the most likely.

The more interesting issue is the Fool's guises and which one of them is most like his real self. Bee doesn't even believe that Beloved is his real name, although that might be just because she can't conceive of a family like the Fool's that seem to have lived in a perfect, happy world. I guess that, now they're together in the stone, Fitz gets to know the Fool totally at last. Is that just because Bee lied and said her dad loved him more than her (I'm not sure that is a lie, myself) and the Fool decided to finally surrender all of himself, or because Fitz was struggling to finish the wolf and the Fool knew he needed to back him up for unselfish reasons, for the first time in their relationship? Both, probably.

The ending - This was a good ending but I thought Fool's Fate was better. It got the bittersweet more right. It was more cruel fate and less Fitz's dumbassery. In fact, I would like the Tawny Man better as a whole except for Bee who was a great character.

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Posted (edited)

Finished up a couple of days ago. I really enjoyed this final trilogy and would rank it right up there with Liveship Traders and, I daresay, I enjoyed Bee's pov a whole lot more than Fitz'. Her chapters got better and better as the books progressed. The ending was very fitting and pretty much perfect except that I was a little disappointed that neither Fitz nor the Fool reached the decision to join each other in the wolf on their own. For Fitz the idea was planted by Verity in the Skill-stream (which Fitz does not even remember) and left Fitz with two choices: either attempt to reach Buckkeep and probably die a horrible death before he even gets there or carve his wolf, which is no choice at all. And for the Fool, it took a lie from Bee to get him to join Fitz.

Concerning future books: I hope that Hobb considers writing further in this setting centering around Bee. There was one chapter that gave me hope that this could happen - the chapter where Bee concludes that there was no justice in the destruction of Clerres, vengeance begets only more vengeance, that the descendants of the survivors of Clerres will grow up hating dragons and the Six Duchies and wondering if there will one day be a White Prophet who can break that cycle. In the same chapter she acknowledges herself as being the White Prophet of this time. The seeds for history repeating itself have already been planted with the destruction of Clerres as well as the Cassarick and moreso the Liveship dragons having spent too much time around humans which means there is a high probability that some of their offspring will turn out to be Abominations.

Concerning Nettle: I strongly disagree with the negative views expressed by some. She has every right to feel some resentment towards Fitz. He was a non-existent parent and there is no doubt that her feelings of abandonment still run deep. Plus, I'm sure she was simply trying to protect Bee from the dangers of being used at court even though she did come across as a bit harsh. Nettle herself had to navigate court life without her father except in her case it was a conscious decision on the part of Fitz to avoid Buckkeep rather than death that kept him away. So Nettle being a little rough around the edges is completely understandable. Her handling of Chade obviously pained her but he was clearly a serious danger to all other skill users and as Skillmistress she really had no other alternative. Also, I don't believe for a second that she would have just erased Bee's Skill ability without first attempting to have her taught to control her ability. At most, I think should would have used elf bark to dull Bee's Skill temporarily until she could be taught to control her ability.

Edited by Consigliere

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15 hours ago, john said:

The Fool's gender - I agree it's not important and clearly Hobb doesn't want it to be any kind of issue. But if you were to delve into it there's three options, it seems to me

- the Fool is gelded, like Vindeliar. This seems unlikely (and possibly even directly stated otherwise) since he's a true white bloodline and they want to breed him.

- the White's are alien creatures, long lived, hard to kill, different from humans. Possibly they have no concept of gender and just get lumped into categories by the more human Servants.

- the Fool is an individual who doesn't identify as any particular gender but is or was identified by others as male. This seems the most likely.

The more interesting issue is the Fool's guises and which one of them is most like his real self. Bee doesn't even believe that Beloved is his real name, although that might be just because she can't conceive of a family like the Fool's that seem to have lived in a perfect, happy world. I guess that, now they're together in the stone, Fitz gets to know the Fool totally at last. Is that just because Bee lied and said her dad loved him more than her (I'm not sure that is a lie, myself) and the Fool decided to finally surrender all of himself, or because Fitz was struggling to finish the wolf and the Fool knew he needed to back him up for unselfish reasons, for the first time in their relationship? Both, probably.

Given that the novels are told from Fitz's pov, and that Fitz is fascinated by the Fool's gender, it's impossible not to wonder. I agree that we're meant to conclude that it doesn't matter. However, I'd go with your third option. Biologically male, but doesn't gaf himself, refuses to be limited by it. Add to that the fact that he was sexually abused for a long time--at Clerres, on the way to Buckkeep, and was shocked it didn't continue with Shrewd--you get a person who might have an interesting relationship with sexuality and gender.

As for the Fool's real self: I'd think that all the identities are facets; they're all true parts of Beloved. As for Fitz's loving the Fool more than anyone: I think that was true. Fitz's ties to Nighteyes and the Fool are beyond friendship/family. Losing both is almost like undergoing lobotomy for Fitz, and explains why the Fool's Assassin read to me like Fitz's fever dream. This is probably equally true for Nighteyes and the Fool, who lost parts of themselves to Fitz. The stone gives these three a chance to be complete in one another, and as such, it's a happy ending.

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