Monday, June 7, 2021

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy #2

Title: Royal Assassin
Series: The Farseer Trilogy #2
Author: Robin Hobb

Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Royal Assassin begins just where Apprentice Assassin ended.

If you read the books you know what happened to Fitz. Suffice it to say, he didn't do so well on his first solo quest as an Assassin to help his King and King-in-Waiting, Verity. At least, the Six Duchies has gained a Queen-in-Waiting, Kettricken.

In the beginning, Fitz is not sure about himself. He was hurt during the events that happened a the end of book one and he's still recuperating. But Fitz must go back to Buckkeep not only because of his promise to his King but also because he wants to look for Molly, his friend.

When he gets to Buckkeep, King Shrewd is not himself. He looks sick. King-in-Waiting, Verity is trying to keep the raiders off the Six Duchies without much success. The one good piece of good news is that Molly is now working at Buckkeep. The bad news is that by him caring for her, he has painted a target on her back. 

Fitz does make a new connection with an animal, NightEyes who becomes one of my favorite characters in this book (Just like I loved Nosy and Smithy).

In Royal Assassin, nothing really good happens to Fitz. He has the bad luck of being a bastard and having Regal as an enemy. His life is nothing but dangerous situations and people trying to kill him.
Despite things not going well for him, I did enjoy this book and so many of the characters have become dear to me, including Kettricken, Verity, NightEyes, The Fool, Patience, Lacey, and Burrich.

The ending of this book is quite sad in a way.

Cliffhanger: Yes

4/5 Fangs

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy #1

Title: Assassin's Apprentice
Series: The Farseer Trilogy #1
Author: Robin Hobb

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

“When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool you end up looking like a moron instead.”

My husband told me I should listen to this series. 

Foolish me. I thought it was a trilogy. Once I was invested in Fitz's life, I realized there are 16 books in this world and that Fitz is still very much present in the last book!

So what's the Farseer Trilogy about?

The main character, Fitz is born a bastard. Before the age of six, Fitz can't recall anything including his mother. His first memory is of his mother's father  (can't really call him a grandfather since he didn't act like one) taking him to his father's Royal Guard. Prince Chivalry was not there but his stablemaster, Burrich was. 

For most people in the Six Duchies, it's shocking to learn that Prince Chivarly betrayed his wife since their marriage was one out of love than duty. Chivalry, who was King-in-Waiting, decides to exile with his wife, Patience without meeting Fitz. Chivalry's brother, Prince Verity becomes King-in-Waiting. 

At first, when Fitz arrives, he sleeps with the dogs and creates a bond with one of them, Nosy. He speaks very little and he runs free after helping in the stables until the day King Shrewd notices him when he was shy of his tenth birthday. The King promises Fitz to feed him, clothe him in exchange for him being sworn to the Farseer line. Furthermore, King Shrewd wants Fitz to learn to become an assassin, and later he wants him to learn to Skill.

“You need not eat any man’s leavings. I will keep you, and I will keep you well. If any man or woman ever seeks to turn you against me by offering you more than I do, then come to me, and tell me of the offer, and I shall meet it. You will never find me a stingy man, nor be able to cite ill use as a reason for treason against me. Do you believe me, boy?”

The Farseer line has been blessed with the Skill, a way of communicating (like telepathy) but it also can force its will into someone's mind without their knowledge. There is also the Wit which is not spoken of and only a few know and have. It's a way of communicating with animals and sharing their minds (mind link). To have that power is seeing as a perversion by some.

Fitz, without really wanting to, has many enemies, including Prince Regal who will stop at anything until he can see that Fitz is dead. Furthermore, the kingdom does have a common enemy, the Red-Ship Raiders who are responsible for the Forged ones: Men and women who after being taken by the raiders, are returned without a conscience. The Forged ones will murder and destroy everything in their path.

I was happy with this first book in the trilogy. Robin Hobb creates an amazing fantasy world full of intrigue, treachery, and unforgettable characters. It has a slow pace and very few moments of action but it does set a good base for books to come.

As soon as I finished the Assassin Apprentice, I started listening to the next one, Royal Assassin.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Hidden Prey by John Sandford
Lucas Davenport #15


Title: Hidden Prey
Series: Lucas Davenport #15
Author: John Sandford

Theories abound when a Russian gets himself killed on the shore of Lake Superior--shot with fifty-year-old bullets. But when it turns out he had very high government connections, state troubleshooter Lucas Davenport gets the call. Well, Lucas and a mysterious Russian cop with secrets all her own. Together, they'll follow a trail back to another place and another time, and battle the shadows they discover there--shadows that turn out to be both very real and very deadly.

In Hidden Prey, Lucas is called in when a Russian is murdered. Bullets from a few decades ago have been used and it's not clear why this man was chosen. 

The night of the murder, a witness saw it all and Lucas will try to figure out who this person is. At the same time, Russia sends their own investigator who will join forces with Lucas to find the murderer. 

As the clues start coming in, Lucas has to wonder if there has been a Russian spy ring in the midwest all along?

Not my favorite in the series. I liked it because it is Lucas and I know he will find the murderer. It's never easy but I do trust that Lucas and Co, will catch the bad one (most of the time). Yes, sometimes they get away with it but you know that Lucas knows who they are and he will be watching and waiting for them to make a mistake.

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Still House by Christian White, Summer DeRoche


Title: Still House
Author: Christian White, Summer DeRoche
Narrators: Luke Arnold, Sibylla Budd
Publisher: Audible Original
Release Date: April 6, 2021

Situated in a beautiful setting abutting the Balarang waterways and located on an acre of natural bushland, this three-bedroom country home is full of promise, character and potential. Featuring private access to the many splendours of Balarang Creek, this idyllic property is perfect for anyone seeking fresh air and serenity.

Nostalgic for childhood summers a world away from his manic Melbourne life, Dave Johnson purchases a secluded house in a postcard-perfect coastal town. A savvy investment, he convinces his wife. One year on, and his seaside dream has turned into one big headache, with his tenants not paying rent, and now simply vanishing into thin air, leaving all their belongings behind. Summoned back to the house to inspect the abandoned property, Dave and his wife Lisa become trapped in the isolated spot after their car breaks down. Spooked and alone, they become lured into investigating what really happened to their mysterious tenants.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This story freaked me out!

Short of four hours, this Audible Original, was packed with well-defined characters and a terrifying house.

We all know about a certain home in Amityville and Still House reminded me of that one. 

Dave Johnson purchased a coastal home thinking he was going to make money out of it. His wife, Lisa was not happy with the investment. 

A year later, Dave might have to agree with her when his dream of an income evaporates. The tenants stopped paying the rent and when the property real state agent calls him to let him know that the tenants have disappeared, he is obviously upset. There is nothing left but to check the damage himself and Lisa will have to come with him.

Still House kept me hooked to every word. It had wonderful narrators who easily brought the terror to the front and center.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs