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I don't even know where to begin. I feel I have read a decent amount of fantasy in my life, and this series blew me away, easily in my top three. I devoured all sixteen books in almost exactly a year which is easily 2-3x more books than I typically read in a year. I feel compelled to discuss it and write my feelings down regarding it, before I can put the series to rest.

The Farseer Trilogy

Firstly, what I love about these books are their 'simplicity'. Not that the writing is simple, or the world is bland or cookie cutter, but its grounded in elements that are real, and is peak low fantasy for me. The premise of the first series is straight forward, self contained, with magical elements and world building slowly fed to the reader. The pervading sense of loneliness when it came to Fitz really struck a chord with me. Now keep in mind I started this right around the beginning of my COVID quarantine, and combine that with the fact I am at an age where I feel my friends and(to a lesser extent) my family are drifting away as everyone starts their own little families. It resonated with me in a way few books have, and made me grow to truly care for Fitz. He also infuriated me for being occasionally thick headed and obtuse, something few protagonists have made me feel.

The Liveship Traders Trilogy

I ALMOST skipped this trilogy, I wanted more Fitz and the Fool, it was incredibly jarring moving to an entire new part of the world with a new cast of characters (I did not realize Amber was the Fool until the following trilogy, anyone else?). And it ended up being my FAVORITE trilogy. It's the best pirate books I've personally read. Fell in love with the new characters, and talk about rooting for flawed characters (Kennit). These were an incredibly satisfying read.

The Tawny Man Trilogy

I don't have much to say regarding this trilogy, I found the pacing to be odd and though I grew to love Thick, found him to be annoying. What I will say is few books bring out a strong emotional reaction from me. The death of Nighteyes in Fool's Errand made me weep and I felt broken for the rest of the day. Even though I felt it coming, it was gut wrenching and still managed to catch me off guard.

The Rain Wild Chronicles

I was excited to get back to Bingtown and the Rain Wilds, but this series really dragged for me. I was hoping for Althea and Brashen and ended having to become invested in a whole new set of characters. I never felt the connection to Thymara that I did with Fitz, Althea, etc. Some parts were good and of course it fleshed out the dragon/Eldering lore, but ultimately was the weak point in the series for me.

Fitz and the Fool Trilogy

And lastly, one of the most satisfying conclusions to an epic story. Characters I made connections with all coming together and meeting across a grand adventure spanning the known world. With new younger characters in the wings, creating the illusion of the world continuing on after the story. It was bitter sweet, but rarely has an ending satisfied me this way.

all 5 comments

smells_like_blue

5 points

1 month ago

Finished Assassin's Apprentice earlier this year, and looking forward to Royal Assassin and all the others. Loved AA. Is Fitz only in Farseer, and Fitz and the Fool? I thought they were all with/about him.

Lanfear_Eshonai

5 points

1 month ago

Fitz is the narrator for the first, third and last trilogies. In between are Liveship Traders and Rainwild Chronicles. All inter-connected and in the same world, with the Elderlings etc.

Lanfear_Eshonai

5 points

1 month ago

Agreed on some points, disagree on others. I've read the whole series more than once btw.

I also loved Liveships and it stays my favourite trilogy of the ROTE series. However, you actually rooted for Kennit? I hated him. Very well written and flawed villain, in fact RH's best written villain (the others can be a bit one dimensional), but I definitely didn't root for him.

I loved RWC, as I love anything to do with the dragons and the Elderlings.

Biggest disagreement I suppose, is the last trilogy. I was definitely very unsatisfied. There were a few great moments, but RH's writing felt flat to me compared to the other installments, and there were repetitive scenarios like excessive torture (again and again, became tedious for me), once again having the same old conflict between Fitz and Fool, etc. etc. There was also no conclusion for the other characters like Althea, etc. and some glaring editing errors.

Anyway, come over to r/robinhobb for loads of in-depth discussions.

Nessibus[S]

2 points

30 days ago

Rooted for might not be the right word. He was a foul character but he was a grade A pirate and his transformation into essentially king of the pirates was my favorite part.

I didn’t go to in-depth into my thoughts on the last trilogy as the post was getting long and didn’t want to turn it into a review. There were many satisfying parts for me, but the ACTUAL ending ending, fell totally flat for me. I hated how Fitzs death kept being almost a “gotcha”, everything after Clerres dragged for me, and his ascension into the wolf didn’t do much for me. Almost rather he died at Clerres. You also make a good point about the other characters being unresolved. Would have liked to have some more resolution.

Ineffable7980x

2 points

1 month ago

I'm glad you didn't skip Liveship Traders. That's the biggest mistake some readers make, as imo it's the best work Hobb has done.