As I mentioned before I love returned to beloved characters. This is the main reason I really enjoyed this new Robin Hobb book: it brings us back to the well known world of Fitz, Molly, Chade, Kettricken, and all the other people we came to know and love in the Seven Duchies. However, it is years after Fitz’ adventures. He lives a quiet life with Molly as Tom Badgerlock, with their and Burrich’s children. It speaks about their life, how little it has to do with his old life, and how the old is still intertwined with the new.
Fitz is still the same old whiny complaining person. I always read the Farseer-books with great pleasure despite him, and not because of him. However, a new character is introduced, and we read chapters from their point of view, and those chapters are excellent. Hobb seems to be way better at describing the world of children than of grown-ups. While reading Fitz’s chapters, I longed for the new person’s chapters.
There is sadness in the book. Some well loved characters leave us, and this left me remembering my own recent grieving, which can be quite a comfort, especially if the grieving of the persons in the book is decribed well. I did not recognize much in Fitz, but then again, I never could. It takes some time for the plot to get going, although some events in the beginning of the book do reach out to events that happen much closer to the end. This seemed to have been done in almost a schematic way – “here we enter a sign of things to come and here we’ll continue to build on these signs” – and did not come across as natural. What also annoyed me, was the plottwist that I saw coming from the beginning, but what our dear brooding Fitz failed to see almost all through the book.
Like I mentioned before, I still greatly enjoyed this book. It is like a warm bath, of reconnection with loved-ones I’ve missed and thought of every once in a while over the years. And it introduced a new character I think I’ll love at least as much as the ones from the former series. I’m also looking forward to the next book, but with the hope of a bit more speed and a bit more cluefulness of Fitz (but I think that is an idle hope).