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rameau's ramblings

A reader who’ll try anything once, including bad books in search of good ones. Eclectic as her tastes are, she tends to gravitate to historical romances, realistic contemporaries, and some fantasy novels.

Currently reading

The Complete Sherlock Holmes (The Heirloom Collection)
Arthur Conan Doyle, Simon Vance
Progress: 13 %
Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila

There were FEELS but now there are thoughts

Fool's Assassin - Robin Hobb

...a few ranty and rambly at least.


And I'm serious about the spoilers. There'll be plenty.


If I were to rate the audio narration of Elliot Hill, the stars would be full. I mean, he's the first voice for Fitz whose name I've bothered to learn. His interpretation of cats' voices is the best and blissfully non-nasal and he's the only reason why I could tell the two first person voice narrators of this book apart. There should be a difference between a ten-year-old girl and thirty-something-sixty year-old-man, but damn if I could tell what from Hobb's words.


You noticed that, did you. Multiple first person voice narrators. Deduct two stars from the maximum!


Speaking of Hobb's other sins, on the meta-level first, I'm furious and frustrated that she's done it again. She spent the last chapter(s) of the Tawny Man trilogy sweeping all issues under the rug to give Fitz a happy ending. Not that he hadn't earned his happiness way back in the Farseer trilogy, but not that particular happy ending and not in Tawny Man.


Hobb never showed Fitz actually working to regain Molly's trust or build a relationship with Nettle or accept his other responsibilities at the Buckkeep Castle. Nope, he went into hiding again. With convenient plot-point-tropy Molly.


Of course, to add insult to injury, instead of showing how Nettle gets to know Fitz as her father and him earning the right to hear her call that, Hobb does a do-over and gives Fitz another child. A second daughter, who too is at first only close to her mother and only becomes Fitz's when he claims her after Molly's death. And then the plot recycling continues with the cliffhanger kidnapping. Yet another Fitz's child is kidnapped and he has to go after her.


Don't try to tell me Fitz doesn't consider Dutiful as his son. Fitz may have tried to convince himself that Dutiful is Verity's but nowhere in Tawny Man or Fool's Assassin does he act like Verity fathered Dutiful. This goes with the author telling how good an assassin Fitz is when he's not, and now claiming through Riddle and Nettle that he's not a good father when he is—a few questionable parenting choices excluded.


Anyhow, this is the story Hobb chose to tell, and ignoring my complaints on all the stories she didn't choose... I'm still not convinced. Or compelled.


There's infinitely less rape here, but that's because not much happens for the first half or two thirds of the book–the minutes and hours make the measure a bit fuzzy. Fitz is happy and horny. He's forever young while Molly's not but their sex life is A-OK. And then Molly's pregnancy happens. Listening to it made me realise that even I don't hate Molly as much as Hobb does.


While the abnormally long pregnancy after menopause for a White child in itself makes sense, I felt like Hobb was breaking her own canon here. Later, she admits as much through The Fool when he claims that he too was deceived and he was only repeating lies told to him. Which, fair, is believable after the unnecessary nonsense that happened in the Tawny Man to draw parallels between the abuse of The Fool and the Narcheska. Only, I didn't really buy it then I don't definitely buy it now.


So I'm going with the "canon creator alternative universe"-label with these books. I'll read or listen to them and then promptly adopt a personal head canon in its multitudes. And in all of those, there's no child hanging on to Fitz's shirt tails when he reunites with his Beloved.