Royal Assassin is the second book of the Farseer trilogy, which tells the story of FitzChivalry Farseer, a royal bastard and assassin. Fitz’s last mission went awry, and he is resting and recovering at the beginning of this book. However, he’s a King’s Man and can’t afford to take any time for himself, so he has to get back to his duties as the royal assassin soon.
Royal Assassin is just as compelling as the previous book, Assassin’s Apprentice. Fitz has grown up a little, although he’s also become quite melancholy because of his failures and his perceived weaknesses. However, he’s still intensely loyal to the Farseer kingdom and family, especially Prince Verity, and will do anything in his power to keep him and the Six Duchies safe.
The Red Ship Raiders are continuing to plunder and destroy the Coastal Duchies, and there seems to be no stopping them. Worse still, the foppish and ambitious Prince Regal is gaining more and more influence, and he doesn’t seem to care about the threat posed by the Raiders – in fact, all he cares about is living in luxury and attaining as much power as possible. Burrich has tried his best to keep Fitz from using the Wit to bond to an animal, but Fitz meets and bonds with Nighteyes, a young wolf. Fitz is already in danger – Regal hates him, and if he’s caught using the Wit, it’ll be certain death for him.
Everything good about the last book continues in this book – every character gets even more depth and backstory, there’s a lot of complex political intrigue and plotting, and it’s fascinating to see Fitz make mistakes and grow as a person. Fitz is often morose, which can get annoying, but not too much. I also really liked the character of Queen-in-Waiting Kettricken and her evolving relationship with Verity.
The end was a bit shocking, but I can’t wait to read the conclusion!
- “Old Man’s War” by John Scalzi
- “Assassin’s Quest” by Robin Hobb