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Royal Assassin

The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Series: Realms of the Elderlings, Book 2, Farseer Trilogy, Book 2
Length: 29 hrs and 16 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (745 ratings)

Non-member price: $42.14

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Publisher's Summary

The second volume in Robin Hobb’s internationally best-selling Farseer series.

We are here Fitz, you and I, to change the future and the world…

Fitz dreams of Red-Ship Raiders sacking a coastal village, leaving not a single man, woman, or child alive. Tortured by this terrible vision, he returns to the Six Duchies court where all is far from well.

King Shrewd has been struck down by a mysterious illness and King-in-waiting, Verity, spends all his time attempting to conjure storms to confuse and destroy the Red-Ship Raiders. And when he leaves on an insane mission to seek out the mystical Elderings, Fitz is left alone and friendless but for the wolf Nighteyes and the King’s Fool with his cryptic prophesies.

©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

“In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons” (George R. R. Martin)
“Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers … what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.” ( The Times)

What listeners say about Royal Assassin

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Disappointing

This is a frustrating book. Fitz is so incredibly dumb that almost the whole book you'll be shaking your head wondering wtf the author was thinking. His friends aren't much brighter.

A big step down from book 1.

Performance was good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 13-03-2018

great story, average performance

fitz sporadically sounds american which is distracting and cook is irish when it pleases the performer. these inconsistencies take you out of this perfect world Robin Hobb has built. i wouldnt let these criticisms stop you.

1 person found this helpful

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Just as good on the 2nd Listen!

Fantastic character development, you really care for the characters! This is my second time listening to it on audio. Just as good as the first time!

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  • Ben
  • 29-04-2020

A fun romp through familiar territory.

This story neither pushes new territory nor competes with any of the greats in fantasy; that said, it does bring with it a kind of cozy homeliness that's the mark of an author, comfortable in their tried and tested traditions. Worth reading of you're into fantasy but have consumed other, more noteworthy titles.

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amazing book couldn't stop listening

more addicted than ever to this author now. can't wait to listen to the next one! highly recommended

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Transports You to Another World

I would typically listen to this at the gym, and it turned monotonous exercise into an engaging story time. Made you a little disappointed when the workout stopped and you had to pause the audio book. Great performance of a great story.

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Not quite as compelling as the first installment

Whilst the story didn't grab me like the first installment in the series, the performance was still terrific and easy to listen to.

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farseer trilogy

awesome story loved the books so far ! and now on to the third book cannot wait !! xD

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Narrator holds it back

Great book, terrible narration. Still worth listening to, but seriously he changes accents for the characters mid sentence.

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gripping and hard to turn off.

I found myself listening at every free moment I had. loitering in the carpark before work so I could find out what was about to happen. great book.

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  • Lesley
  • 19-04-2020

Some EXTRAORDINARY pronunciations

When a narrator can jolt a listener out of a world created by the author it is woeful. It's so hard to pick up the thread and move on when the irritation lasts a while. This narrator seemed incapable of sounding o as in hot, cot, dot etc. He insisted on adding an r... so hot became hort, cot- cort etc. I'm pretty sure it was an affectation (probably trying for received British accent) because every so often he forgot ... er I mean forgort haha and pronounced that sound as most people would... When he did slip up it was when he was moving faster through the text at moments of tension. He put in an OK effort in tone, pitch, speed etc, but there were a few 'blinders' in pronunication appart frorm the o sound. If the story had been weaker I would have given up long before the end. Do editors ever listen to the product part way through a recording??? If they did, they could catch these irritants and deliver a much better product... er... prorduct.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-10-2019

Stunning

This book is quite simply stunning and an amazing follow up to 'Assassin's Apprentice'. The audiobook is beautifully told, too, and thus you must add it to your library!

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  • Raul
  • 30-07-2019

Excellent book and performance!

Paul Boehmer acts so incredibly the characters in the book and Robin Hobb has written a truly wonderful story. It was thoroughly enjoyable experience!

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  • Katarina
  • 19-01-2019

Even more awesome than part 1

I really enjoyed part 1 of this trilogy, Assassin's Apprentice, and hoped that this even longer sequel would be as good. Well, as it turned out I found it even better! Hobb's style of writing, especially when combined with Boehmer's narration, evokes something like a combination of a Grimm fairytale atmosphere, with hints of mythology and ancient lore. I could even detect some Star Wars, with a grand romance, great evil, lots of action and something resembling Jedi force use! This is fantasy as it should be done. Can't get enough of it. I cannot wait to start listening to part 3, and then on to the other six (!) Realms of the Elderings books (two more trilogies, yea!)

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  • Florence S. Tavor
  • 24-11-2018

The Best of the Best

There is no one like Robin Hobb, I loved all of her books and now listening to the narration has been an amazing re-journeying back into the Farseers lives.

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  • Sharon
  • 16-09-2018

Great listen

In spite of other reviewers I thought the narrator did a good job. The story was good and involving.

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  • ratna
  • 08-03-2015

Getting used to the narrator!

Not cringing so much and despite upper class accent he is doing a fine job. The story is brilliant and worth the agony of narration.

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  • Torbjørn S Seiffert
  • 10-08-2014

Absolutely stunning performance by Paul Boehmer

The Farseer trilogy is quickly becoming one of my favorite works of fiction. The author carefully builds a gallery of complex and believable characters that both fulfill and transcend their given archetypes. The setting is deep and engaging and the story that takes place there is an absolutely masterful tour of themes like loyalty, friendship, love, duty, hatred and sacrifice. Robin Hobb constructs a living, breathing world around the characters with the immersive writer's voice that she maintains throughout the work. This is in turn rendered magnificently by Paul Boehner, who reads it as if it were an autobiographical work from another life. I will recommend it to my friends, and I recommend it to you.

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  • Emma
  • 21-06-2014

Could not stop listening

Any additional comments?

An excellent follow up to Assassin's Apprentice, this book is full of action and adventure. Several times I found myself sitting in my car for several minutes at the end of my commute, waiting for a good place to pause the story, but they are hard to find! Once again, Paul Boehmer reads excellently, and does the story a great justice in the telling.

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  • Tai Jorgensen
  • 06-01-2017

Dont know what it is...

I love parts of the book, when I get involved with strong feelings towards the charcters and events of the story. I just dont think that happens quite enough.
Not quite enough is what I think about much of this and the other Farseer books. I dont quite see it, dont quite feel it, dont quite love it.

And yet I want to read on.
I dont know what it is...

7 people found this helpful

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  • Bundoodragon
  • 21-07-2016

Disappointing

I loved reading the first book in the trilogy, and still think Robin Hobb a good author. While the story here is inventive and I was looking forward to listening to this one, it was spoiled by the narration. Is this meant to be an English accent? Incompetent voice coach if it is. I would have given no stars if possible. I shall get the third book from the library and read it, far more satisfying to give the characters voices n my own head.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Samantha
  • 08-03-2017

Great story but readers voice changes

accents forgotten and wrong voices used for the wrong characters it can be a little confusing

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Cochrane
  • 28-08-2018

narrated is inconsistent but story good

the narrate is just as frustrating as ever with his terrible fake accent, although it's less jarring 2 books in. I don't see why he changed his voice for Burridge compared to the first, nor why he changed it for Fitz from boy to man mid way through a chapter

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anders Munk-Nielsen
  • 24-03-2017

Good ending, too slow start

Where does Royal Assassin rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is about on par with book 1

What other book might you compare Royal Assassin to, and why?

It's a bit like the name of the wind but not quite up there. The start is too slow, although that leaves room for more development.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ozzymandias
  • 29-12-2015

A mediocre second book to the trilogy

The Book

I really liked the first book in this series but the second book as been rather mediocre. The book starts well with lots of interesting events and intrigue but then becomes rather treacle-like in terms of story pace where very little happens and you feel as if there is rather too much in terms of filler. Throughout the book there is lots of repetition of past events which becomes tired.

Certain decisions are taken by characters that are obviously going to lead to disasters given what they already know but they take those decisions anyway. The hero of the piece becomes quite frustrating because he should be able to have much better guesses to the answers of the riddles from the king's fool. The tension created in this story also felt contrived and artificial so it became annoying.

I think another problem with this book is that it feels unnecessarily long for its content. This book may suffer from a perennial problem with trilogies where the middle book is unsatisfying both in the way that not much occurs and it's ending is not satisfying as a self contained book.

The third book is nearly 38 hours, I might give this series a bit of a break before deciding whether to go back and finish it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 12-01-2017

Great sequel, performance distracting at times.

Narrator had a frustrating habit of pronouncing 'o' as 'aw'. Some dodgy accents, but not too bad overall. Did female voices well for a male. Took some getting used to, but by the end didn't mind too much.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-09-2020

some golden moment's

Firstly if you are concerned by the many reviews about the voice actor breaking into an American accent the hopfuly this will better elucidate the situation. for the vast majority of the book the voice acting is fine once every couple of hours or so the actor will read a line that fades into an accent but these are few and far between untill one section of about 15 minutes at the end of the book where it is quite bad. The overall story was a good and intresting continuation. the biggest negative is that fitz mindset and actions seem less relatable and out of character such as the way he treats the fool despite the help the fool has given to him. As mentioned in the title there are some excelent moments that will really intrigue the reader.

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  • digi-mech
  • 10-09-2020

superb fantasy and political intrigue

wonderfully written, elegant and succinct, well narrated book. it's a well crafted tale that leaves me wanting to read/listen to, the next installment. the characters are well developed and remain true to themselves throughout. there is an intelligent use of interaction that drives the story and at no point did I feel characters behaved out of character. can't recommend it enough.

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  • Mr. S. L. Grigg
  • 05-09-2020

Overall a very good follow up to the first

Great book and narration. Only issue is the changing of certain character's accents which can be quite jarring and in some places made me laugh out loud.