SPOILERY BOOK REVIEW: Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb

“We were very good friends for a long, long time. We did hard things for one another. Risked our lives. Gave up our lives and faced death, and then faced life again. You might be surprised to learn that facing life can be much harder than facing death.”

Fool’s Assassin, ‘Dreams’

First off, to anyone hoping you might find at least a few non-spoilery thoughts in this post – you can leave right now and go read my August wrap-up instead ๐Ÿ˜œ There will be spoilers right from the get go! After all, I have so many thoughts on this series that I didn’t even manage to squeeze all three books into one review…. Which should tell you all you need to know! Trust me. Go read this series and then come back.

To everyone else, however… Welcome!!! ๐Ÿค— Be prepared for an onslaught of thoughts and feels, ranting and gushing, and generally loads of excitement about Fitz, the Fool, and Bee. Despite some initial misgivings – That Fool’s Fate ending had made me a bit wary, okay? What was I supposed to think when the first thing we see is a moronic moony-eyed Fitz more preoccupied with dancing than listening to an important message and warding off a potential threat to his home? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ – I soon fell completely and utterly in love with this book. I loved being with these characters again. I loved the addition of Bee and how much her chapters reminded me of Fitz growing up. I loved Bee’s complex relationship with her father. I loved how we finally got to see that Fitz was way more hurt by the Fool leaving than he originally let on. I loved when the Fool finally returned (EVEN THOUGH THAT PART TOOK FOREVER!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ). I loved deciphering the Unexpected Son mystery. I loved trying to figure out what Chade was up to and groaning over Shun and FitzVigilant’s exasperating antics. I loved getting to explore Withywoods and seeing Buckkeep again. So yeah – expect excitement!!!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Title: Fool’s Assassin

Series: Fitz and the Fool, #1 / The Realm of the Elderlings, #14

Author: Robin Hobb

Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 630

Publication Date: August 12, 2014

Date Read: August 6, 2022 – August 8, 2022

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Anyway, let’s get straight into the thick of things! As per usual, we’ll be starting off with what I thought while reading the book, and then get to some of my more general thoughts afterwards. So grab some snacks, get a blanket, and tuck in, because this is going to be a long one!

๐Ÿ It hasn’t even been ten pages yet, and I already want to vomit over Fitz and Molly salivating over each other. They’re worse than any blissfully happy couple in a Hallmark Christmas movie! (And trust me, I know what I’m talking about. The amount of terrible Christmas movies I’ve seen is truly embarrassing ๐Ÿ˜…)

๐Ÿ Excuse me, but the Fitz I’ve come to know would NEVER shrug off suspicious houseguests who might not be who they claim to be or ignore a messenger with urgent tidings, just to go dancing. THIS GUY USED TO BE A SUPER PARANOID ASSASSIN!! SERIOUSLY, DID HE PUT HIS BRAINS INTO GIRL-ON-A-DRAGON WHEN HE GOT HIS MEMORIES BACK??? I HATE THIS!! Fitz doesn’t even feel like Fitz anymore! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ Lady Patience is still epic, though! ๐Ÿคฃ

๐Ÿ Seriously, Fitz??? Web feels like the mysterious guests might be Forged, you barely feel them with your Wit, and you STILL shrug this off? ๐Ÿ˜ค What is wrong with you????

๐Ÿ Fitz not wanting to replace Nighteyes with a new Wit companion has me slightly mollified, though. As does how much he misses the Fool! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I mean, I’m not sure where this is suddenly coming from, after that atrocious Fool’s Fate ending and Fitz being so absorbed in being a bland and boring husband that he hasn’t even bothered to look for him… But I’ll take it!

๐Ÿ I still think Molly’s finest moment was when she left Fitz when she learned she was pregnant. Why is she suddenly being such a doormat with no personality other than being a loving wife? How the fuck am I supposed to read an entire book of this? ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

๐Ÿ Am I a bad person for thinking that messenger being murdered is the best thing that could have happened here? At least Fitz is finally using his brains again! But what do you mean, the messenger was “blonde” and “white”??! ๐Ÿ˜จ That sounds suspiciously White-Prophet-y!! Did Fitz just squander his chance at getting a message from the Fool? The freaking idiot!!

๐Ÿ “For years, I had waited and longed for a message from the Fool. And when it finally came, I had not received it.” – And thus, Fitz’s idiocy is confirmed ๐Ÿ˜ค AND WHAT DID THAT SCREAM OF AGONY FROM THE FOOL’S CARVING MEAN?? That wasn’t there when Fitz first got the carving! The Fool had better not be in pain!!

๐Ÿ How is Chade STILL alive??? ๐Ÿ˜ณ He was already ancient last time we saw him, and I’ve been expecting him to die pretty much since reading Royal Assassin… He’s not gobbling down illegal Elderling flesh like the Duke of Chalced, is he? ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ Experimenting with the Skill and sealing himself off without telling anyone is so like Chade, though ๐Ÿ˜‚ And I love everyone’s reactions – Kettricken’s exasperation, Thick being intensely proud of the “special word” Chade taught him to say, and Fitz trying to stay calm even though he’s clearly frantic. The complicated bond between Fitz and Chade has always been one of my favorite things about this series!

๐Ÿ Chade told Fitz he’s as close to being his son as makes no difference to him! ๐Ÿ˜ญ However, all this talk of White Prophets and the messenger probably having been assassinated is making me very nervous…

๐Ÿ So far, Molly has always been much better at realizing she’s pregnant than Fitz has, so as far-fetched as her claim sounds, I’m inclined to believe it. Especially since Fitz immediately dismisses it and goes into a panic about Molly becoming senile ๐Ÿ˜

๐Ÿ I love how upset Fitz is about the fact that the Fool wrote to Jofron and not to him.

๐Ÿ Why won’t Dutiful give Nettle permission to marry? I thought he respected his cousin, and I’ve always liked Riddle! Stop letting petty Farseer politics mess up this family, Dutiful! (However, did I mention that I think it’s really cool that Nettle is Skillmistress now? ๐Ÿค—)

๐Ÿ Fitz and Nettle thinking Molly is nuts, quietly scheming about it, lying to Molly’s face, and Molly catching them at it is giving me enormous satisfaction! Molly being angry at Fitz is long overdue, and Fitz can be such a self-righteous mansplainer… This, at least, feels in character, and I’m loving every minute of it! ๐Ÿคฃ

๐Ÿ I really like Revel. Kind-hearted and sincere people aren’t exactly plentiful in Fitz’s life, so him having such a loyal servant is tugging at my heartstrings ๐Ÿฅบ

๐Ÿ “‘It’s a baby?'” – No shit, Fitz. I knew Molly was right! ๐Ÿคฃ Also, as weird as I think this is, Fitz being reduced to such a panicky idiot at the sight of his daughter is making my heart melt.

๐Ÿ Yeah, nope. A two-year-long pregnancy resulting in a miniscule baby and you expect me to believe this child is pale-skinned and fair-haired because of your Mountain genes? How are you this dumb, Fitz?? Your closest friend growing up was pale-skinned and fair-haired!! If this baby isn’t a White Prophet, I renounce all plot-twist guessing skills.

๐Ÿ “Her opinion of my utter stupidity radiated from her.” – ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Okay, maybe Molly isn’t that bad. Her no-nonsense way of putting an end to Fitz’s crazily overprotective plans to keep his daughter hidden from the rest of his family is almost as satisfying as when she dumped Fitz all those years ago. Almost, but not quite.

๐Ÿ Also, Fitz being super indignant on Nettle’s behalf and then freaking out when he learns she’s been seeing Riddle secretly is so him!

๐Ÿ Oh gosh, poor FitzVigilant! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I would have wet myself! But Fitz going berserk over someone possibly hurting his daughter is a nice sign that he’s getting at least a bit of his edge back. And of course Chade would use a test like this on his apprentice.

๐Ÿ Kettricken, would it hurt you to stop thinking of people as Sacrifices for one second and stick up for your friends? You are seriously starting to get on my nerves! ๐Ÿ™„ I love Molly puts everyone in their place, though, and how indignant she is on her daughter’s behalf. If she weren’t married to Fitz, I might actually like her.

๐Ÿ Fitz has been writing letters to the Fool that he can’t ever send ๐Ÿ˜ญ I just can’t!!! Why did you ever let the Fool go, Fitz? Why didn’t you go looking for him?

๐Ÿ Fitz, Molly, has it ever occurred to you that if it took Bee two years to mature in the womb, she might also mature more slowly outside it? How can they not notice that she isn’t exactly a normal baby?

๐Ÿ Bee can draw and write! I knew she wasn’t stupid! And Molly having known about this but never having discussed it with Fitz really shows that what they have is a truly fulfilling marriage based on something deeper than an uncontrollable desire to tear each other’s clothes off… Why couldn’t Fitz have just lived with the Fool in his cabin and had cozy teatime chats till the end of his days? ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

๐Ÿ I was not expecting Bee to be a narrator! It’s always been just Fitz in these trilogies, but oddly enough, I’m not upset. I actually really like her! I guess smart kids who don’t like talking to people kind of resonate with me… ๐Ÿ˜… Also, after that tongue incident, her dream journal entries, and her sensitivity to the Skill, there’s no way in hell you’re going to convince me she’s not a White Prophet.

๐Ÿ “Then she died.” – Oh, thank god, finally!!!! Yes, I am a terrible person. But guys, I just could not have put up with Fitz and Molly’s lovey-doveyness for the rest of this series. They were driving me insane! And, since I am such a terrible person, I kind of also love seeing in how much pain Fitz is over Molly’s death… I’m sorry!!! Plus, it’s helping him bond with Bee. It’s the bonding with Bee I like, okay? ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ “I’m staying with Papa.” – Oh Bee! ๐Ÿ˜ญ I love this. This is the kind of bond I signed up for. And the fact that Fitz thought Bee didn’t like him and couldn’t really speak, or that Nettle is probably upset that Fitz didn’t fight this hard to take care of her when she was born is making it so much more emotional.

๐Ÿ “The worst part was that I had already given my heart to that imaginary child, and it was so terribly hard to forgive Bee for not being her.” – ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Yes, this is exactly the kind of emotional family stuff I signed up for. And Fitz tiptoeing around Bee afterwards and trying so hard to be a good father and subconsciously mirroring how Burrich and Chade raised him is really hitting me in the feels, too.

๐Ÿ I’m definitely more emotional about Lady Patience’s death than I was over Molly’s. Just saying.

๐Ÿ Somehow, Bee getting lost in this maze of passages is what it took to get me completely hooked. I can’t explain how Robin Hobb did it, but I would be willing to read about Bee living her life at Withywoods and doing nothing of consequence for pages and pages! ๐Ÿฅฐ The atmosphere reminds me of Fitz’s early days in Assassin’s Apprentice, and I feel so at home reading this. In fact, I think I’m starting to like Bee’s chapters more than Fitz’s.

๐Ÿ “Her heritage was unmistakably Farseer.” – HOOOOOOOLD UP!! If she’s not Fitz’s kid or Dutiful’s (which wouldn’t work timelinewise and would go against every vibe I get from Dutiful and Elliania), then she must be Chade’s. Does Chade have a daughter? ๐Ÿคฏ That would explain why he’s leaving her with Fitz, too, because, let’s be honest, Fitz is the only person apart from himself whom Chade really trusts. Why the fuck isn’t Fitz making this connection?? He should be demanding answers from Chade!

๐Ÿ Oh my gosh, Fitz, how obtuse can you be? Chade raising such a spoiled apprentice? Him feeling comfortable enough around her to let your name slip? Him giving her his own surname? He’s basically screaming at you that he is Shun’s father!

๐Ÿ Why can Bee talk to Nighteyes? I am so confused, but I’ve missed Nighteyes so much that I’m rolling with it. I do want an explanation eventually, though! Is Fitz’s connection to his wolf somehow engrained in his DNA? What exactly did Bee inherit from her father?

๐Ÿ Fitz being super freaked out about Bee having gone missing and almost suffocating her with his hug is everything I ever needed.

๐Ÿ What I wouldn’t give to see the looks on Tavia and Mild’s faces at all this information Bee is revealing! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Also, why does it not surprise me that Fitz is horrible at upholding a respectable, well-dressed appearance? Despite Bee remembering how Molly used to do that for him, all I can think about is how the Fool used to pick out Fitz’s clothes – and, trust me, it’s emotional.

๐Ÿ Okay, Bee sneaking around Withywoods and reading Patience and Chivalry’s correspondence and Fitz’s accounts of his life is everything. Like, she just read about Fitz first meeting the Fool! How can you do this to me, Robin Hobb?  ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ And now Fitz is telling Bee about the Fool. I’m just gonna sit here and cry, I guess ๐Ÿ˜ญ But what is this about the puppeteers? Is Bee trying to say that the real reason the Fool left was because he was scared of an accident happening if his and Fitz’s story continued past the death the Fool was fated to have? What did the Fool know? Is Fitz in danger of dying if their paths cross again? (I mean, it’s still not gonna redeem the shitty Fool’s Fate ending because what I hated most about it is all on Fitz and his teenage lust for Molly, but it would literally explain so much!!)

๐Ÿ Watching Withywoods being repaired is beyond satisfying. I guess the part of me that loves watching hours’ worth of cleaning videos on YouTube is showing ๐Ÿ˜‚

๐Ÿ “‘The butterfly in the garden, Father. The wing is on the ground and the pale man awaits you.'” – DOES THIS MEAN WE’RE ABOUT TO SEE THE FOOL?!?! And how can Fitz still not realize his daughter is a White Prophet when she talks exactly like the Fool used to?

๐Ÿ “As I lifted, I revealed more of the gaudy butterfly-wing lining of the cloak, and then I uncovered what had been concealed beneath it. The Fool.” – AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

๐Ÿ “She spoke in a strange accent, her voice so different from my Fool’s voice that I knew instantaneously that I had been completely mistaken.” – NOOOOOOOOOOO! WTF, ROBIN HOBB? HOW DARE YOU TO GIVE ME HOPE LIKE THIS AND THEN TAKE IT ALL AWAY AGAIN!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ WHAT MESSAGE? WHAT WARNING? I need to know what the Fool wants to tell Fitz straight away, and also why his messenger is in such a terrible condition!

๐Ÿ Find the sun and run??? What sort of message is that? What is going on here??

๐Ÿ Shun is such a spoiled brat. Chade should have given her to Starling instead; they would have gotten along tremendously ๐Ÿ™„

๐Ÿ How did they lose the messenger this fast? Seriously, Fitz, you are losing your edge! I needed more answers!

๐Ÿ Hang on… IS THIS SCROLL SAYING WHAT I THINK IT’S SAYING? Are Whites always the offspring of other Whites “breeding upon either a man or woman”? Because neither Fitz nor Molly are White! Is Bee somehow the Fool’s child, too?! If I remember correctly, the Fool said something about having two fathers once, and while I thought at the time that he probably just meant they’d raised him, maybe there’s more to it. How exactly do Whites procreate? Did something happen that night after Fitz brought the Fool back from death? Or did the Fool somehow pass something onto Fitz when they swapped bodies? Or is this just a mental choice you somehow have to make? Please don’t laugh at my wild theories too much, guys, I swear they make sense! ๐Ÿ˜… 

๐Ÿ Shun is so freaking annoying. And I know Bee is probably going to pay for it, but I love how she put her in her place! ๐Ÿ˜‡

๐Ÿ AAAAHHHHH! Where did the girl suddenly come from again? This is beyond creepy and I don’t blame Bee one bit for freaking out!

๐Ÿ Ooohhhh, it was “find the son and run”! I didn’t realize that wasn’t already the full message, but now I’m even more intrigued. Also, since we now have confirmation that the Fool had a child, I am 99% certain that son is Bee! I mean, yeah, she’s a girl, but when has the Fool ever taken gender seriously? Or maybe he just assumed the child he prophesized was a boy and got that part wrong – like Bee did with the butterfly man… Okay, fine, I don’t know how to explain it, but I am almost positive that Bee is somehow the Fool’s kid!!!

๐Ÿ UGGGGGGHHH!!! What is it with Robin Hobb and disgusting parasites that eat the body from the inside out? This is rasp snakes all over again, but even worse!! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿคฎ

๐Ÿ Sweet Eda, now Fitz is enlisting Bee’s help to dispose of the body. He’s definitely mirroring his own upbringing in his childcaring skills! ๐Ÿคฃ

๐Ÿ Fitz can be so obtuse sometimes. If the Fool ever slept with Garetha, Laurel, or Jofron, then I am a penguin.

๐Ÿ How did someone as hysterical as Shun ever manage to train with Chade? ๐Ÿค” Although at least she feels bad for what happened to Rono. That’s something, I suppose.

๐Ÿ These letters from Fitz to the Fool are killing me! ๐Ÿ˜ญ However, I’ve just thought of something. Up until this book, every account of Fitz’s that we’ve read so far was framed as him having written it down. So what if everything at the end of Fool’s Fate is a lie? I mean, not what actually happened, but how Fitz framed it. Did Fitz portray himself as so weirdly happy and giddy to be back with Molly because the alternative, openly admitting how much the Fool leaving him had cut him open, was too painful to face? Because if so, that’s actually brilliantly tragic. Which is why I’m choosing to believe it. Because then it would also explain why Fitz has been dwelling on the Fool so much again so suddenly – in reality, he never stopped ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ Bee is talking to the cat! Does this mean she has the Wit? ๐Ÿค— Also, I really like the cat! If Bee wants to bond with it at some point, I won’t mind!

๐Ÿ Hmmm… I still think that this Unexpected Son prophecy sounds like it might refer to Fitz ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ I love Nettle ๐Ÿ˜Š She refuses to put up with Fitz’s nonsense, yet still clearly cares for him deeply. I mean, the fact that she hasn’t retrieved Bee after all of the chaotic news Riddle must have been relaying to her speaks volumes.

๐Ÿ Actually, I much prefer the name Dapple to Priss ๐Ÿ˜… I do like Perseverance, though!

๐Ÿ Also, the butterfly cloak is cool. I want one.

๐Ÿ It’s about time Fitz thought about educating the children who live at Withywoods. Seriously, sometimes that man lives in a completely different world with no practical skills whatsoever! How could Kettricken ever have thought he would make a good king? Fitz is terrible at everyday logistics! ๐Ÿคฃ

๐Ÿ Bee trying so hard to appear cheerful about her new room even though she hates it because she knows how much love her father put into it is getting to me way more than it should. First off, the relatability is off the charts – being a major conflict avoider, I have been in my fair share of such situations. And second, this scene is just so heartbreaking and emotional! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ “‘You should have asked me! You should have ASKED me!’ I hated the tears that suddenly flooded my eyes and how my throat closed and choked me. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to be angry. Angry hurt less. I turned and did something I’d never done before. I hit my father, as hard as I could, my fist connecting with the braced muscles of his chest. It wasn’t a little girl’s slapping. I hit him with as much force as I could muster, wanting to hurt him. I hit him again, and again, until I realized he was allowing me to do it, that he could have seized my arms at any time. That perhaps he even wanted me to hurt him.” – ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ THIS. Never mind the last scene. This is what never makes fails to make bawl. Where someone lashes out at one someone they love and the person heartbrokenly takes it. Where so many hurtful things were said and done, even though they were unintentional. Where the real problem is a shared loss that has never really been discussed. Where people finally open up to one another!

๐Ÿ Is Shun related to Malta? Because she’s got her spoilt, bratty cruelty down to a T.

๐Ÿ FitzVigilant is Laurel’s kid? Why didn’t she do more to protect him, then? Laurel never seemed like the kind of person who would let other people dictate what she should do. Then again, she also never seemed like the mothering type, so I guess her not wanting FitzVigilant would kind of make sense… ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ To be honest, I think I dislike FitzVigilant even more than Shun. What the heck does Nettle see in him? Adults who feel the need to hold grudges against young children and use their position of power to show them who’s in charge rank pretty much as low as you can get in my books ๐Ÿ˜ค I would hate having him as a teacher and don’t blame Bee one tiny bit!

๐Ÿ Fitz telling FitzVigilant off, taking Bee’s side, and telling her that he will always be on her side no matter what is making my heart melt! ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐Ÿ Oh, and this orchestrated dinner conversation about the Elderlings is awesome, too! ๐Ÿ˜ Take that, FitzVigilant!

๐Ÿ Bee wanting to get presents for Careful and Revel at the market is making me love her even more than I already do!

๐Ÿ Of course Fitz came to those dogs’ aid! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ You have nothing to feel guilty about, Fitz!

๐Ÿ Fitz finally having had enough of Shun and FitzVigilant is the best thing ever!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I love how he doesn’t even try to spare their feelings! ๐Ÿ˜‡

๐Ÿ HOLD UP!!! IS THIS BEGGAR THE FOOL?!?!? IS THIS WHY BEE CAN SUDDENLY SEE SO MANY FUTURE POSSIBILITIES WHEN SHE TOUCHES HIM?? ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค— I kind of don’t want to get my hopes up again, but this is the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. We’ve only go Fitz so far, so the Fool needs to show up at some point!!


๐Ÿ “Beloved. Don’t die. Please don’t die.” – ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ If the Fool dies, I am never forgiving you, Fitz. Never.

๐Ÿ Okay, about 90% of my brain is distracted by the Fool being back and on the brink of death, but the other 10% can’t help but wonder why he suddenly showed up and why he was in such bad shape even before Fitz stabbed him. WHAT HAPPENED?!?! Is he here of his own free will? Or is this a trap to get Bee, who I am now certain is the Unexpected Son?

๐Ÿ I love that Fitz is dropping everything to try to save the Fool. I mean, he’s the one who stabbed him, so it’s the least he can do, but still! Seeing Fitz so frantic and the Fool trying to comfort him with his familiar sarcastic banter is going a long way toward healing my wounds from Fool’s Fate! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ How can Shun still not have realized who Fitz is? Chade constantly let his name slip when he first introduced them!

๐Ÿ Oh Riddle! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ You are such a loyal friend!


๐Ÿ Oh my god, Fitz being so gentle to the Fool and totally skirting around the question he must be dying to ask (“Why did you sever the bond and leave me?” might be a good start, Fitz!) is killing me! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ The Fool asking Fitz to assassinate everyone for him is way more extreme than I was expecting! ๐Ÿ˜ณ Still… the “Please. For me.” kind of got to me. Honestly, I don’t even care why they are suddenly reunited again, I just love that they’re together again! If the next book turned out to just be about Fitz nursing the Fool back to health, I honestly would not complain.

๐Ÿ Noooo, Revel! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I know I said in my Rain Wild Chronicles review that I wished Robin Hobb wouldn’t only kill off characters I hated, but this is still beyond painful! Also, why are these raiders here? Is this about the Unexpected Son and the Fool was meant as a distraction to keep Fitz away? Or does someone want to hurt FitzVigilant or Shun? Or is this entirely unrelated?

๐Ÿ I love that Bee brought the other kids to safety by giving up her hiding spot and that they trusted her to keep them safe. But the fact that Bee and Perseverance were left out in the open is making me extremely nervous!

๐Ÿ Wait, FitzVigilant is dead, too?! I mean, I didn’t like him much, but still! He had potential and didn’t deserve this! Also, how is Chade going to react to Fitz’s safekeeping skills, I wonder? ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ So they are looking for the Unexpected Son! What kind of twisted, evil people are these Servants? Couldn’t they have quietly asked about it instead of slaughtering the whole household?

๐Ÿ Noooo, they have Bee! And for some weird reason, she’s fallen under their spell! ๐Ÿ˜จ Perseverance, you have to wake back up and do something!!

๐Ÿ Yeah, we get it, Fitz. You were obsessed with Molly. Now can we please get back to the Fool and Bee? I’m so glad I already have the next book on hand because otherwise, this cliffhanger ending would have me dying!

So yeah, did I mention that I loved this book? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Although the beginning infuriated me – I am not forgiving Robin Hobb for making me endure 200 pages of our dear Holder of Withywoods being so intoxicated by his lady that he won’t even react to threats when multiple people point them out to him!! Not even Fitz’s irrational besottedness with Molly can make me believe that is in character!!! ๐Ÿ˜ค – and the Fool suddenly appearing at the market was very convenient to say the least, the rest of the story more than made up for it in my eyes!!

Granted, initially, I was a little impatient that it took so long for the Fool to show up, but in hindsight, I actually really like that decision. It gave us a chance to get to know Bee in her own right and see parallels to the Fool’s childhood that eternally obtuse Fitz was completely oblivious to but that the Fool would certainly have recognized immediately. It gave us a chance to see how much Fitz missed the Fool and how hard he was trying to avoid thinking about it. Which, in a way, redeemed the ending of Fool’s Fate to me. Because when writing his story, wouldn’t it make sense for Fitz to gloss over one of the worst events in his life and portray them like he was happy back then, so he wouldn’t have to face the pain of losing the Fool all over again? Wouldn’t it make sense for that ending to have a fake, polished feel, like it was betraying everything we had never known about the characters? It feels fake because it is, because Fitz would never be content without the Fool in his life.

Which made the part where Fitz stabbed the Fool so much more heartbreaking! Talk about double meanings, indeed; I was not expecting Fool’s Assassin to get this literal! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Which obviously only has me appreciating this title more! Not only does it unceremoniously claim Fitz as the Fool’s, but it also twists a painful knife into the reader as they realize just how accurate that title actually is.

Speaking of Fitz and the Fool, though, I am so, so happy to have them together again!! ๐Ÿฅฐ The two of them realizing all they’ve ever needed is each other is all I’ve ever wanted, so maybe with Molly out of the way, we can finally get that? Which – just to be perfectly clear – does not mean I need anything sexual happening between the two of them!! Wrapping my head around Bee somehow being Molly, Fitz, and the Fool’s child is plenty for me, thank you very much! I just mean that Fitz and the Fool are so obviously soulmates, so at peace when they are in each other’s company, that I don’t think it matters whether you label what they have as platonic or romantic. Their bond transcends that, and I’ll be here waiting for both of them to finally catch on and mend what happened between them. Because even if the Fool thought he was holding Fitz back, or that the two of them being together would risk setting more world-changing events in motion, that is an entirely stupid reason that I fully hope to see Fitz and the Fool discuss in more detail! After all, judging by the horrific state the Fool is in and the fact that Bee’s existence caused such a cosmic stir, I highly doubt that nothing world-changing was set in motion by them being apart, either.

Bee Farseer by Animalver

But enough about Fitz and the Fool. We’d be here forever if you really allowed me to really get going, so let’s turn to Bee instead!

Initially, I can’t pretend I wasn’t a bit weirded out by Robin Hobb apparently basing her last Realm of the Elderlings trilogy on the premise of Fitz and Molly having another child at the ripe old age of sixty-something… ๐Ÿ˜… And then, when I realized Bee was going to be stealing some of Fitz’s narrative spotlight, I was even more upset. I love my single-POV fantasy stories, and no matter how obnoxiously dumb he can be at times, Fitz’s head is one of my favorites to be in!

But then I started reading from Bee’s perspective. And, against my will, I found myself almost immediately falling for her. She had all of Fitz’s stubbornness, but none of his rashness. I loved show deeply she thought about the world, how she could see and shape future paths, how she had an intricate sense of what was right and what was wrong, how she didn’t speak to other people even when she could have, how much she loved her father but had difficulty being close to him. I loved how inquisitive she was and how we got to explore Withywoods through her child’s eyes. I loved the mystery that surrounded her birth and her possibly identity as the Unexpected Son. I loved getting to see Fitz from someone else’s perspective. So yeah, by the end of the book, I think I maybe even liked Bee’s chapters more than Fitz’s… At least more than the ones that didn’t have the Fool in it ๐Ÿ˜

But anyway, I think I’ll leave it at that! I had a vague idea of adding on to this once I’d finished the rest of the trilogy – which I have now, at the point where I’ve finally whipped things into something vaguely resembling a publication ready post, done – but honestly, I feel like this review is already long enough as it is. None of my thoughts have changed to the degree that they’re worth mentioning here, so instead, I’ll just give you some overall Fitz and the Fool reflections in my Assassin’s Fate review. Keep your eyes peeled!

In the meantime, if you haven’t had enough and are inexplicably craving more excitedly incoherent Realm of the Elderlings content by yours truly, you can always check out my reviews of the other books in this series:

Enough from my side, though – I’d love to hear from YOU! I’m just gonna go ahead and assume you’ve read Fool’s Assassin if you’ve made it this far, and I’m dying to know what you think! Did you love this book as much as I did? Did you enjoy getting Bee as a second narrator? Did you cry over Molly’s death and make up for me nearly skipping with joy when I read about it? I would love to know!

17 thoughts on “SPOILERY BOOK REVIEW: Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb

  1. Line @First Line Reader says:

    Yes, I know that first paragraph was for me and you want me to go away, but while it might be acceptable to leave a short comment, I can’t NOT comment at all! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ You didn’t leave me much to work with though ๐Ÿ˜‚ Soooo why are you no longer using your best profile picture ever? ๐Ÿ˜

    You can also tell me about your thoughts on These Violent Delights or update me on your Umbrella Academy progress ๐Ÿ˜„ Then I’ll come back sometime in the future to actually comment on the content of this post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Sorry ๐Ÿ˜ I guess you’re just going to have to read the books if you want something to work with! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ And what profile picture? Any horrendously ugly mustached versions of me that you might have seen around here were probably a figment of your imagination and definitely not the result of an idiotic dare I simply couldn’t say no to ๐Ÿ˜‡

      Also, I’m afraid my Umbrella Academy progress is pretty much nonexistent ๐Ÿ™ˆ In my defense, though: When I was still at my parents’ place, my sister came home before my brother and I had finished watching Season 2, and since she had already finished Season 3 and didn’t want to watch it again, we had to switch to something else. Because excluding a sibling from Netflix time is pretty much an unforgivable sin ๐Ÿ˜‚ And then I moved here, and since I’ve been spending pretty much every minute while it’s light out in the Alps, I need the evenings for lesson preparation, blogging, and reading. Which means no watching anything! ๐Ÿ˜…

      I can give you thoughts on These Violent Delights 2.0, though! So far, I LOVE IT!!! ๐Ÿฅฐ I think dark academia (ish) is actually a pretty good description – it has exactly my kind of academic pretentiousness, I find it fascinating how much I relate to Paul in spite of how horrible he is, and how I love his dynamic with Julian in spite of its toxicity. Also, I’m dying to know the background to the prologue and what they did to this Charlie person and why! Oh, and so far, I think I’ve understood what they were talking about (I’m currenly at the part where Paul has flown to visit Julian), so now I’m constantly waiting for things to get confusing… ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • Line @First Line Reader says:


        Well, maybe you’ll finish season 3 right when season 4 rolls around then ๐Ÿ˜‚

        But I’m glad you approve of my description of These Violent Delights AND that you love the book ๐Ÿ˜„ I also thought about our discussions on the pretentiousness in The Atlas Six and how THIS is the right kind of pretentious! There’s so much more substance to it!
        And you might never find it confussing! It’s very probable that I just wasn’t in the right headspace for it but I do think my confussion started around the part you’re on now ๐Ÿ˜…

        Liked by 1 person

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