A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: Assassin’s Quest (Robin Hobb)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Death is always at the edge of now. Nighteyes’ thought was gentle. Death stalks us, and he is ever sure of his kill. It is not a thing to dwell on, but it is something we all know, in our guts and bones. All save humans.”

Sometimes I think that Nighteyes actually is the wisest character of them all. >_< He has a way to see the truth in the world and he’s never hesitant to voice it which certainly is a trait many of us humans lack. XD Well anyway, let’s not get philosophical right at the beginning of my review. *lol* Let’s focus on the third book of this awesome series instead. 😉

I know many of my goodreads friends gave “Assassin’s Quest” a rather low rating and weren’t happy with the ending and even though I understand their reasoning I still feel the need to declare that I liked it! Yes, you read right! I liked it and enjoyed to read this 700+ pages book! So how come that I ended up relishing this book even though about 70% of my friends didn’t? I guess the answer to this is simple: I had no expectations! *lol* After the ending of book two I had no idea where Robin Hobb wanted to go with this so you could either say that I was blissfully oblivious to every possible outcome or you could go with the theory that there were so many possibilities that I didn’t care in which direction it would head. XD

No matter how you prefer to look at it, it definitely made it easier to cope with the huge changes that happened in this book. And truth be told, there were quite a lot, which probably is the reason why so many of my friends didn’t enjoy this last book. For instance the story line is no longer bound to Buckkeep but plays in the Six Dutchies instead and unlike in the first two books skilling is taking a huge part as well. Some parts of the plot are even played out through skilling alone and if we wouldn’t have been with Fitz we might have never known about those details. So yes, the surroundings are different, the tone of the book is different, the interactions between the cast of characters are different and the ending is so very different to everything everyone imagined that it is kind of hard to wrap your head around it. *lol*

It’s different, yes, but in my humble opinion “Assassin’s Quest” isn’t only a great book but also worth reading. 😉 And because I still have so many other things to say I’ll head directly to my characters section now!

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You are entering my character section, which is also widely known as my spoilery spoiler section so if you don’t want to be spoiled and still want to experience this book on your own, you better don’t continue to read now. XD This is a fair warning! Don’t say I didn’t give you a choice because unlike Fitz you actually have one. ;-P

FitzChivalry:

”No choice, no choice, no choice. Never any choice about anything. Fate had made me a killer, a liar, and a thief. And the harder I tried to avoid those roles, the more firmly I was pushed into them.”

My poor Fitz!!! I don’t know how often I said this already, but no matter how often I say it, it still holds true! If you ask me Fitz is Robin Hobb’s personal scapegoat and when she wrote his character she probably was like: Mhmm how else could I destroy him?! Because seriously, that boy went through so much already and he JUST DESERVES BETTER THAN THAT!!!! Plus the injustice that happened in those three books is outrageous!!! I mean, he died for his king and then he was forced back into his body!!! The peace he had once again ripped away from him because other people decided that his work wasn’t done!!! Believe me when I say that I understood every single one of Fitz emotions!!! I mean he gave them everything, his youth, his love, his life and yet it still wasn’t enough?! What else could they possibly want from him?! It’s no surprise he wanted Regal and his coterie dead and I don’t even blame him for his stupid actions. For him they were justified! Also DAMN THEM ALL FOR PLANNING TO USE HIS DAUGHTER WITH MOLLY AS WELL!!!! He did everything for them and that’s the way they repay him for it?! By being willing to use his only daughter as a tool and pawn as well?! AADFASKDFASFDJSAKDFAJSDKFA! That made me so angry I can’t even!!! *breathes fire* And yet, still despite everything that happened, despite all the things they would have done to him without even batting an eye, Fitz still would have given his LIFE for Verity’s dragon!!! Because he is precious and pure and he loved Verity!!!! GAH!!! As for the ending, I saw the thing with Molly and Burrich coming from miles away, so it was no surprise for me. Poor Fitz obviously didn’t anticipate it though. =(( I feel so heartbroken for him! T_T And Regal… I can’t believe Fitz let him live! He actually LET HIM LIVE and turned him good by implanting fanatic loyalty in his mind!!! OMG!! Of course Regal died in the end, but it was not through the hands of Fitz!!! My precious, precious destroyed boy… T_T

”That debilitating fear was a cowering presence inside me. I knew, with a sick certainty, that if I were pressed I would become it. I was no longer FitzChivalry. I was what was left after fear had driven him from his body.”

”The choice was simple. Be a wolf, with no past, no future, only today. Or a man, twisted by his past, whose heart pumped fear with his blood.”

”You can’t even imagine what you’ve taken away from me. I should be dead, but you wouldn’t let me die. All with the best of intentions, always believing you were doing what was right, no matter how it hurt me. But who gave you that right over me? Who decreed you could do this to me?”

Verity:

”You. He has refused to allow you to be put into the dragon. He could do it, you know, whether you willed it or not. He could simply reach out and pull you into him. But he refuses. He says you love your life too much, he will not take it from you. That you have already laid down too much of it for a king who has returned you only pain and hardship.”

*sighs deeply* Verity… it made me so sad to see what has become of him. I mean I always hoped that Verity would come to their rescue bringing the Elderlings with him and then we find him carving a dragon out of stone. =( Gosh, what it cost Verity to make that dragon! He lost his memories, his humanity; he gave everything into that dragon just to bring him to life. It was painful and sad to see Verity like that, especially because he was one of my favourite characters and I always hoped that he’d actually become the king of the Six Duchies and would live a long and nice life with Kettricken. Robin Hobb wouldn’t be Robin Hobb if she wouldn’t have spoilt things for me though. *lol* Plus even in those last moments of his life he used Fitz and it was something that rankled me big time. I mean I understand why he used his body to sleep with Kettricken but damn, Fitz deserved better than that and Kettricken too. So yes, I definitely was no happy camper when it came to that turn of events. >_<

The Fool:

”I am glad, glad that you are alive. To see you take breath puts the breath back in my lungs. If there must be another my fate is twined around, I am glad it is you.”

I think now is the moment to scream: I LOVE THE FOOL!!! His character is soo damn amazing that I can’t help but adore him!!! The Fool was always one of my favourites and that he played such a huge role in this book made me more than just a little happy! I always wanted to know more about him and his roots and my wish was finally granted! XD Also I loved that Starling believed him to be a woman who is in love with Fitz. *lol* I mean yes, he’s definitely in love with Fitz but I’m pretty sure he’s no woman, or at least not all of the time. ;-P If you ask me the Fool was initially born as a man but is gender fluid and considering that this book was written about 20 years ago I have to give Robin Hobb kudos for being brave enough to invent his character!!! <333 Still, there is so much I don’t know about him and I hope that one of the other trilogies will provide me with even more information about his origins and background story. I can’t get enough of him and I want MORE!!!!

”That is one thing that in all my years among your folk I have never become accustomed to. The great importance that you attach to what gender one is.”
“Well, it is important …” I began.
“Rubbish!” he exclaimed. “Mere plumbing, when all is said and done. Why is it important?”

Chade:

”Over and over and over again, you forget your place. You are not a prince, you are an assassin. You are not the player, you are the game-piece.”

What can I say about Chade? I’m glad he and Fitz sorted things out and that he mourned him when he thought him to be dead, but still. I hate that Fitz was always some sort of tool for him. I’m sure Chade didn’t know any better because he was raised being a tool himself, but damn I can’t forgive him for everything he did. Especially not for trying to use Nettle as a pawn as well!!! It was wrong and he should have known that!!!

Starling:

”Honor and courtesy and justice … they are not real, Fitz. We all pretend to them, and hold them up like shields. But they guard only against folk who carry the same shields. Against those who have discarded them, they are no shields at all, but only additional weapons to use against their victims.”

I still don’t know if I liked her or not. I mean she was as likeable as they come, but I didn’t feel anything for her. In fact I was as indifferent to her as Fitz and I’m not okay with them being occasional lovers. Fitz deserves so much better than that and I really hope that one of the other books will finally give him the happy life he longed for! He deserves it!

3
Fitz & Nighteyes:

You will pay for this. I promise you.
In answer I leaned down to pat his shoulder and then scratch his ears. Wag your tail, Nighteyes. “He’s a loyal old dog. I should have known he wouldn’t be left behind.”
The things I endure for you. He wagged his tail. Once.

I have so much love for those two!! Their friendship is everything and it made me so sad when Nighteyes decided to go his own way for a while. I mean, I know why he did it and what he wanted to achieve with it but it was really sad to see them separated. By now their bond is so strong that Nighteyes is no longer just a wolf though. He has human features and this certainly doesn’t make it easy to live among the wild wolves. Also can we take a second and appreciate the joining of the Fool, Fitz and Nighteyes?! I love those three together!!! Bless Nighteyes for accepting the Fool into their pack! <333

Fitz & The Fool:

His cool fingers moved tentatively down my face, tracing the scar and the broken nose. He leaned down suddenly to rest his brow against mine. “When I recall how beautiful you were,” he whispered brokenly, and then fell silent. The warm drip of his tear against my face felt scalding.

I LOVE THIS SHIP AND I WILL GO DOWN WITH IT!!! You can say what you want but I adore those two!! They fit together so perfectly and if anyone should be at Fitz’s side then it’s the Fool!! I mean seriously their chemistry is amazing and I ship them harder than I ever shipped Molly and Fitz. Plus it’s not one-sided!!! No matter how much Fitz tries to deny it, it’s still obvious that he cares for the Fool deeply and even loves him!!! He was so worried when the Fool had a fever and he knows him better than anyone else!! OH AND DID I MENTION THAT THE FOOL KISSED HIM!!!??? He freaking kissed him!!! AHHHHHHH!!! *runs around hyper* I will ship them forever and for always and I genuinely hope they’ll be reunited in one of those following trilogies. XD <333

”There was a naiveté to you that none of the ugliness could stain, as if you never truly believed in evil. It was what I liked best about you.” The Fool swayed slightly where he sat, but righted himself. “It was what I missed the most, when you were dead.”

”Ah, Fitz,” he said quietly a moment later. “You do not know how much it means to me that I can still make you laugh. If I can stir you to laughter, I can laugh myself.”

”There, now you have said it,” the Fool replied as if I had proven his point for him. “And I love you, and all that is a part of you.” He cocked his head and the next words held a challenge. “And do you not return that to me?”
He waited. I desperately wished I had never started this discussion. “You know I love you,” I said at last, grudgingly. “After all that has been between us, how can you even ask? But I love you as a man loves another man …”

Chade & Fitz:

“Oh, my boy, my boy, I believed you were dead. When Burrich sent me word he had found your body, I thought my heart would break. The words we had when last we parted … but here you are, alive if not well.”

Curse Chade for being willing to use Fitz’s only daughter!!! No matter how much he seems to love Fitz, as long as it would serve his purpose and his king, he would still sacrifice my boy in the blink of an eye! That’s not right! Where is his conscience? How can he do such a thing to a person he loves? I don’t understand it and I think I never will. I could relate to Fitz’s anger and I don’t blame him for being furious with Chade. In fact I understand him way too well! >_<

”You can have me,” I told him quietly. “And I will do my best to bring Verity back, and do all I can to restore him his throne. You can have my death, if that is what it takes. More than that, you can have my life, Chade. But not my child’s. Not my daughter’s.”

Verity & Fitz:

”I knelt on the rise, looking down at the town, knowing clearly what I wished with all my heart to do. And I could not do it. Nothing held me back, no man lifted a hand or sword to me and bid me turn aside. Only the small insistent voice in my mind, battering at me. Come to me, come to me, come to me.
And I could not do otherwise.”

Okay, I admit it. As much as I love Verity I was still slightly angry at him for forcing Fitz to come to him. I mean, that boy endured enough and now he even had to go on a quest because Verity told him to. I know Verity didn’t do it on purpose but still, it left a bad aftertaste especially because Verity of all people should have known how powerful a skill command is. Also I didn’t like how Verity’s life ended. Sure, he saved the Six Dutchies but he would have deserved better than to end up as a stone dragon. Plus that unfeeling Verity had nothing to do with the Verity I came to love. Poor Kettricken, to go all that way only to discover that her husband has no feelings for her anymore because he put everything he is into a dragon. *sighs* I guess when it comes to this ending I’m totally with the 70% of my friends that didn’t like it. *lol*

”It would be a poor courtesy to Hod’s skill to pass this on with a blunted blade. Take better care of it than I did, Fitz.” He resheathed it and handed it to me. His eyes met mine as I took it. “And better care of yourself than I did. I did love you, you know,” he said brusquely. “Despite all I’ve done to you, I loved you.”
At first I could think of no answer to that. Then, as he reached his dragon and placed his hands on its brow, I told him, “I never doubted it. Never doubt I loved you.”

4
There were many things I didn’t like about “Assassin’s Quest” but despite everything that happened the positive things still outweighed the negative aspects of the book. It was not the ending I expected and if things would have gone my way I would have gone for a nicer conclusion, considering that Robin Hobb wrote other books that feature Fitz and the Fool, I can’t be all too unhappy about it though. *lol* A solid and unexpected ending for a great trilogy.

Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Royal Assassin (Robin Hobb)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Sometimes,” Chade observed, “It would be much easier to die for one’s king than to give one’s life to him.”

Well, if that isn’t the bitter truth then I don’t know! It’s been more than a week ever since I finished this book and my feelings are still all over the place. I swear the last time I felt as agitated as I am feeling right now was when I finished reading “The Kite Runner”. I’m sure by now you’re asking yourself what do “The Kite Runner” and “Royal Assassin” have in common? And the answer is easy: OUTRAGEOUS INJUSTICE!!! That’s what they have in common!!! *GRRRRR goes into grizzly bear mode*

If there is one thing that makes me really, really angry, one thing I just can’t stand than it is injustice! And this book was full of it! It oozed out of the pages, it dripped down into my heart, it poisoned me and made me so angry I hardly managed to refrain from throwing the book against a wall. I swear there were times my knuckles turned white because I was clutching that book so hard. ARGH!!!

My poor Fitz, my poor Verity!!! My poor King Shrewd and Fool!!! =(( It’s just not fair!!! IT’S. JUST. NOT. FAIR!!! I suffered with them throughout the entire book, I was frustrated, I was angry, I wanted to tear my hair out! I felt their pain and their helplessness and it killed me. So if you ever want to read a book that’s going to destroy you, just go ahead. “Royal Assassin” will leave you thoroughly broken and I’m sure somewhere in Washington State a woman named Robin Hobb is laughing her head off! Thank you Robin! Thank you for all the suffering and pain, can’t you at least give them a little break? No? Well, I tried and asked, can’t do more than that, right? T_T *sobs her heart out*

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This section is going to be extremely spoilery and very ranty (is that even a word?), because I need to get all those feelings off my chest. So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better leave now and don’t return again. Well, at least not until you read the book. *lol* This is a fair warning so the rest is up to you. ;-P

FitzChivalry:

”The same angry cold twisted and churned inside me, switching from anger to hatred to frustration and back to anger again, building to an unbearable pressure. They had no right to do this to me. I had not been born to be their tool. I had a right to live my life freely, to be who I was born to be. Did they think they could bend me to their will, use me however they would, and I would never retaliate? No. A time would come. My time would come.”

I still remember my review of “Assassin’s Apprentice” when I asked if Robin could be so kind to give Fitz a little break. Well, she didn’t. And boy how much my wish was ignored! Fitz’s life was already so complicated and horrible in the first book, but in “Royal Assassin” it reached an entirely new level of helplessness and cruelty. I swear everything he did was a mistake, every moment he as much as dared to take a little breath made his life even harder, every little action had repercussions and no matter what he did, he never won. He managed to avoid the worst, yes, but in the end he never succeeded to turn the tide in his favour. Well, until the tide completely swept him away and left him nothing but a broken shell to content with. Fitz was so unhappy and desperate it hurt to read about his struggle and the little happiness he found was taken away from him as well. It’s just not fair, it’s not fair to let a young boy suffer so much and I hate Regal for everything he did. My poor Fitz, my poor boy, I don’t know if he’ll ever recover from this. T_T *cries*

”Fitz? What will you do?”
Tears stung my eyes. I blinked, and it passed. “What I am told,” I said heavily. “When have I ever done otherwise?”

Verity:

”Shame to me, not you, to have ignored how ill you have been.” He had arisen silently. He set his glass of wine before me. “The damage you took was taken for me. I am appalled by what I allowed to befall you.” I forced myself to meet Verity’s eyes. He knew all that I tried to conceal. Knew it, and was miserable with guilt.

I still adore Verity but he had to make a lot of tough decisions in this book and I’m not sure if all of them were wise. I understood his need to help his people and I could relate to him feeling incapable and weak, but he did what he had to do in order to save them and this was already more than Regal ever did!!! As it seems Verity will always be caught between a rock and a hard place and I definitely don’t envy him his position. To be King-in-Waiting must suck big time and in the end his options were more than just limited. Still, to go and search the Elderlings was probably the biggest mistake he ever made and if he doesn’t find them soon the Six Duchies will go to hell. I really hope he has a good plan B because if not they’ll all be doomed in the next book. >_< You better make this work, Verity!!!

”I thought only to bring her swiftly home, and hope not too many heard of it. As if such a thing could be! And so today I think to myself that if ever the crown does come to rest on my brow, it will be in a most unworthy place.”

”For a moment I shared his bafflement that anyone could wish harm on these people, and shared, too, his fierce determination that not one more life should be lost to the Red-Ships.”

Burrich:

”I don’t envy you, Fitz. Sometimes all a man needs is to growl about his problems to another man. They’ve denied you even that. But take heart, I have faith you can handle them even if you think you can’t.”

Hmm… I still don’t know how I feel about him, but I think I liked him more in this book. We learned a lot of things about his past and I think I can understand him better. Still, to have the Wit must be horrible for him. I mean just to think about how much he resented Fitz for using it in the first book and now we find out that Burrich always had it too but decided to ignore it. It’s so ironic that Nighteyes called him “heart of the pack” because he obviously never wanted to be the heart of the pack. It was nice to see that Fitz and him got along so well though and considering everything that happened between them, it was good to know that Burrich still supported him and watched his back! =) Fitz certainly needed that additional help!

Lady Patience:

”But it was not the deed, but the intention that moved me. She had given up her quiet life, her orchards and gardens and woods, to come here, to a damp castle of stone on the sea cliffs, to a court full of folk she cared nothing about, to watch over her husband’s bastard.”

Patience truly surprised me in this one. I mean I always knew that she had come to Buckkeep to protect the illegitimate son of her husband but I never would have expected her to be so close to Burrich. I had no idea that they were lovers before Chivalry fell in love with her and their love story was so bittersweet that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for both of them. Burrich and his unfaltering belief in honour! *shakes head* They could have been happy together… *sighs* Lady Patience definitely deserved better than what she got and I have even more respect for her now. I really hope the end of “Royal Assassin” won’t have any repercussions for her. =S

”Burr?” she queried quietly. He did not even twitch. Very gently, she stroked his face. “You are so thin, so worn,” she grieved softly.

Regal:

”You who take the name to yourself of FitzChivalry Farseer need do no more than scratch yourself to find Nameless the dog boy. Be grateful I do not send you back to the stables, but suffer to let you abide in the Keep.”

I HATE HIM SO DAMN MUCH!!! I can’t even!!! That numpty, that tumshie, that huge and big FOOL!!! ASDFJKLMNÖ!!!! How is it even possible he’s still alive? And how is it possible that he’s so good at scheming and taking away the throne but doesn’t even think twice about his damn actions?!!? I mean WHAT NOW?!!! Awesome! You’re King-in-Waiting now, but what freaking kingdom are you going to reign?!! Your intrigues destroyed it and the Red Ships will do the rest!! How is it possible he got away with all this?!! HOW??!! URGH!!! This is so unfair! I swear by now I just have to read his name and I already see red and turn into a bull! If they ever manage to reveal his machinations, if they ever get a chance to catch that slippery eel, I’ll laugh my head off! I swear. So if you hear the laugh of a madwoman it most likely will be me! *lol* I’m waiting for his doom and I’ve got a lot of patience. *scratches hoof on the ground* XD

King Shrewd:

”I know how you serve me, even when you are brimming with anger at me. I could ask little more than what you have given me.”

Oh poor King Shrewd! There was nothing shrewd about him in the end. I hated to see how fast his health deteriorated and how much he suffered in this book. At some point I even started to share the Fools wish that he would have a peaceful and simple death. Unfortunately he had to suffer the entire book before he was finally allowed to go and the little that was left of his mind had to endure the betrayal of his own flesh and blood as well. No, King Shrewds life had a really bad end and no matter what he did, he didn’t deserve to die like that. >_<

Son of my son, blood of my blood. In my own way, I have loved you.
My king.
My young assassin. What have I made of you? How have I twisted my own flesh? You do not know how young you still are. Chivalry’s son, it is not too late to grow straight again. Lift up your head. See beyond all this.

The Fool:

”Batter away,” he suggested quietly. “New bruises will not show much atop the old ones. I can creep about unseen for a few more days.”

I think I love the Fool. ❤ He grew on me and he’s such a mysterious and intriguing character that I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the little scraps we got of his past. He lived in another kingdom? With a mother and two fathers? And he can see the future?! There’s so much about him I still don’t understand but I’m sure he’ll play a role in all those books that are yet to come. It was nice to see his more serious side in “Royal Assassin” yet I still wish we wouldn’t have seen it. I felt so sorry for him because it was more than just obvious that he truly loved King Shrewd. I still don’t know what kind of relationship those two had but I guess it might have been like father and son. For all I know it could have been romantic though. *lol* I guess I’ll never know. I still have so many questions and I’m afraid they will have to wait until the end of the series. XD So for now I just hope that he’s still alive somewhere and that he gets time to grief his beloved king. >_<

”You fog me, bastard. You multiply the futures a thousandfold, just by your existing. Catalyst. From some of those fogs go the blackest, twisted threads of damnation, and from others shining twines of gold. To the depths or the heights, it seems, are your paths. I long for a middle path. I long for a simple death for a master who was kind to a freakish, jeering servant.”

Kettricken:

”Let us clench our jaws, and remove that which infects us, with as much resolve and regret as if we severed a maimed limb from a body. For such is what we do. Not vengeance, my people, but surgery, to be followed by healing. Do as I say, now.”

That woman was kick-ass and yes she made mistakes but she always tried to do what was best for her husband and her people! I could understand her insecurity and the way Regal undermined her so thoroughly made me angry enough to chew nails! It was undeniable that she was in a difficult position though. *sighs* I mean she was a new queen in a kingdom that was raided and destroyed by the red ships and she’s still so very young. Without Verity’s and the king’s support it wasn’t easy to secure her position as Queen-in-Waiting and I think considering all the mean attacks she had to endure she actually did great! Maybe she’s with the Fool now? I really hope Verity will come back and find her and I pray that their child is going to live through that harsh winter!! =((

Chade:

”Did you think you could lead two lives?” Chade’s voice was soft but not gentle. “We belong to the King, boy, King’s Men. Our lives belong to him. Every moment, of every day, asleep or awake. You have no time for your own concerns. Only his.”

I don’t know what to think about Chade. He’s a king’s man yet he’s still somehow responsible for everything that went wrong. At least considering king Shrewd. I mean I understand why he gave him the strong medicine and why he tried to ease his king’s pain but in combination with Regal’s drugs it was just too much. Why didn’t he try to get rid of Regal’s drugs? Hell, why didn’t he try to get rid of Wall-ass? I know Regal is off-limits, sadly! But he could have gotten rid of Wallace and used one of his own spies instead. That way the king might have still been lucid enough to make the right decisions. *sigh* And why didn’t he help Fitz when he was in the dungeons? Was to help him die really the only option?! To poison him again? To destroy his body again?! When will it have an end?

3
FitzChivalry & Verity:

”Do you know how easy it is, Fitz, to follow a man you believe in?”
He looked up at last to meet my eyes.
“My prince,” I said quietly. “I believe I do.”

I still love their close relationship and I understand why Fitz follows Verity. Still, I really wish they would have been able to help each other more. I know Verity couldn’t do anything from the distance but poor Fitz had to pay for everything that went wrong and this just isn’t fair. =( He’s just a boy and was held responsible for every mistake Verity, Chade, Kettricken and Shrewd made. No matter what happened, Regal let him bleed and pay for it and I hated that Verity couldn’t help him. What also pains me is the fact that Fitz as well as Verity know that he’s using him for his own purposes but that they both have no other choice than to go with it. Verity feels so guilty for using Fitz and Fitz hates to be used like that but has no other choice than to do what Verity wants. In order to survive they both had to use each other and I think their strong and close relationship suffered under the onslaught of their needs. Let’s hope Verity survives his trip to the Elderlings, let’s hope Fitz will get a little peace. Let’s hope their friendship won’t die in the next book. >_<

Molly & FitzChivalry:

”Because on some nights threats are more obvious than others. Bad things happen, that make me take stock of what worse things could happen. On some nights, it is not the healthiest thing to be beloved of a bastard.”

Fitz and Molly… T_T Those two broke my heart! They love each other so deeply but they can’t be together because their circumstances won’t allow it. Fitz position was so horrible and I bled with him and Molly whenever they had another argument. I think the worst thing was that they both knew it wouldn’t work but they both still had hope and refused to give up. If Fitz would have taken her as his wife or would have acknowledged her as his lover, she would have been dead in a heartbeat. Urgh! Their situation was so awful! =(( I hated the way things ended between them and is it just me but is there actually a chance that Molly is pregnant? The way she spoke about her new “lover” almost sounded like she was talking about a baby and knowing Molly I’m pretty sure she would have never told Fitz that she’s pregnant. Not after their argument and certainly not if Regal could have ordered her death so easily. To move to the countryside would be her best option and I think a possible pregnancy would be the best reason for such a step. After all she has to ensure the survival of two lives if it’s really true. 😉 I guess only time will tell. XD

”How can I say I love you so much that I wish I did not love you, or at least could refrain from showing that I loved you, because my love puts you in such danger, and have those words be true?”

”Every time I think I have accepted it, I turn a corner and catch myself hoping again. But there’s never going to be anything for us, is there? Never going to be a time that belongs just to us, never going to be a place that is just ours.”

”I had no more right to her than she had to me. But I gave and took and I swear I shall never regret it. The memory of that night’s sweet awkwardness is the truest possession of my soul.”

Nighteyes & Fitz:

”Nighteyes, my brother. How do I thank you?
Stay alive. A pause. And bring me ginger cake.
You shall have it, I promised fiercely.”

Nighteyes and Fitz were the best!!! They are my new friendship OTP!! *lol* I loved their easy banter and Nighteyes was so clever and funny! Plus they were so close and I loved it! Nighteyes is the best friend ever and Fitz was very lucky to have him. Especially considering the ending. There is nothing Nighteyes wouldn’t do for him and this is true friendship! =) He didn’t even hesitate to adopt him into his mind. I love Nighteyes and I really hope we’ll see even more of him! XD

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“Royal Assassin” was an amazing fantasy book and even though I suffered so much I still loved every second of it. (Haha! I sound like a masochist now. *lol*) This book was not only heartbreaking but also suspenseful and ultimately left me with even more questions than I had before. I can’t help but wonder if this will ever have an end. XD If you’re searching for a fantasy series that has an amazing world building, awesome characters and will hit you with the feels: Search no more! You already found it! ;-P

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”

I really enjoyed this third and last instalment of the ACOTAR series BUT (and there always seems to be a “but” when it comes to “A Court of Wings and Ruin”) I still think that it’s the weakest book in the entire series. Even after rereading it and appreciating the little details that were dropped throughout the entire story I couldn’t help but see the weaknesses of it too. Yes, Sarah J. Maas wrote a great book, but it lacked something the first two books had. Something important that every book should have: A good ending. *lol*

It’s as simple as that! As much as I appreciate all the different threads of the story coming together at the end, the way to get there and how the ending was executed just didn’t do it for me. A huge part of the book has its focus on the war and how to either prevent or to win it, people are persuaded to join ranks, a few surprise guests make their appearances, there are some fighting scenes and a meeting with Feyre’s and Rhy’s allies. Well, and then there’s the war and the final battle. See, it only took me a few sentences to convey the main plot of the book. Don’t get me wrong, there actually happens a lot but many of the things that happen ultimately don’t seem to be important for the overall storyline, which is a shame.

There were so many topics I would have liked to explore, yet Sarah never digged any deeper. All this build up, all those revelations and at the end everything is dealt with in a couple of pages. No matter if it’s the Mor/Cassian/Az dynamic, Lucien/Elain, the Queens from the continent, Rhys long lost allies, etc. Or my favourite:

spoiler

Feyre’s father!!! I mean WTH??!!! Let him come to their rescue even though he apparently never gave a shit about his daughters before, let him name his freaking merchant ships after them and join their forces and then for good measure let us kill him and wrap it up with a bow! Yes, that’s exactly how you dispose of a storyline you would have never been able to explain otherwise. Let it be buried and dead. No questions asked, except of that I have a million of questions and will never get any answers!

So yeah, was this book good? Yes, it was! It kept me glued to the pages and I wanted to know what would happen to my beloved characters. I think we can all agree that Sarah J. Maas can write and that her characters are intriguing and complex. Still, despite all that I can’t help but be salty when it comes to the ending. I wanted a little bit more and I didn’t get it. >_< Which is the reason why this only gets 3,5 paws rounded up to 4 from me. Am I being petty? Maybe, but it is the way I feel and I stand by it. *lol*

This said let’s head to my characters section! There are a lot of things I need to talk about and as expected the GR word limit didn’t suffice! So here I am posting my essay on my blog! 😛 Buckle up!

2

Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! If you haven’t read the book you better turn around and leave this path as soon as possible. To everyone else who already read ACOWAR: Be my guest and enjoy the ride! ;-P

Feyre:

”I suppose that in the past weeks, I had crafted my demeanor as intricately as one of these paintings. I suppose that if I had also chosen to show myself as I truly wished, I would have been adorned with flesh-shredding talons and hands that choked the life out of those now in my company.”

What can I say about the Feyre in ACOWAR? Well, let’s be honest, shall we? I still feel conflicted about her character in this one. I loved how strong she became by the end of book two and I’m all for more independent and badass female characters, yet I’m still not happy about the way her character arc proceeded in this book. It’s like she lost some part of herself along the way. A part I loved and adored: her compassion! I get why she wanted to destroy Tamlin and his court, but she never even thought about the innocent people that still lived at his court. She just didn’t think about the consequences of her actions and this ultimately led to her regretting them in the end. Which is good because I would have been really mad if she would have been called out on it and wouldn’t have given a damn. *lol* Still, to be strong and self-determined doesn’t mean that she had to treat others the way she did. For instance Lucien. I get it, she has a new family and she’s super content with them, but urgh you can still be happy with your new life and appreciate the good parts of your old one. Truth be told, her behaviour towards Lucien and how she spoke about him with Rhys really made me dislike her A LOT. But oh well, I’ll talk about this in my “the relationships & ships” section and you can bet your lovely behind on the fact that it’s going to be a long, long rant! *lol*

”I will use these powers – my powers – to smash Hybern to bits. I will burn them, and drown them, and freeze them. I will use these powers to heal the injured. To shatter through Hybern’s wards. I have done so already, and I will do so again. And if you think that my possession of a kernel of your magic is your biggest problem, then your priorities are severely out of order.”

Rhysand:

”I was willing to lose my mate to another male. I was willing to let them marry, if it brought her joy. But what I was not willing to do was let her suffer. To let he fade away into a shadow. And the moment that piece of shit blew apart his study, the moment he locked her in that house…” His wings ripped from him, and Lucien started.

It’s kind of funny but I think Feyre’s lost compassion was somehow added to Rhys character instead. *lol* Now that we know about his true feelings and have seen the real Rhysand he seems to be more and more human and we get to witness his weaknesses as well. He is still cunning, sassy, caring and all the other adjectives I used to describe him in my review of ACOMAF, but there’s a soft core to his character now and you can see it shine through. His actions and everything he does, it’s way easier to understand the mind behind it all. And we see how truly broken he was while he had to serve Amarantha during his time under the mountain. What it did to him to do her bidding, what he had to sacrifice in order to keep others safe. Quite honestly, I have no idea how he even managed to keep his sanity. 50 freaking years! T_T I’m can only agree with Feyre here: I love every single part of him. Okay, well, except of the part that dislikes Lucien. *LOL* (Also is it just me or did Rhys actually become too good to be true? No wonder everybody wants a bf like him. XD)

”Rhys sacrificed his legion in the process, got all of them captured and tortured afterward. Yet everyone insists Rhysand is soulless, wicked. But the male I knew was the most decent of them all.”

Lucien:

Lucien sat against a nearby tree, folding one booted ankle over another. “Whatever you’re planning, it’ll land us knee-deep in shit.”

I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART!!! <333 Yes, I’m obsessed with Lucien but really, how is it possible I’m the only person who loves this man?!! Why is everyone so mean to him?! I don’t get it! The inner circle is weary of him and doesn’t really trust him, even worse Feyre and Rhys talk bad about him behind his back and this even though he went through hell and back!!! It’s like Sarah created his character just to torment him. My poor boy is like a kicked puppy and no one is even willing to lend him a hand. WHY??!!! After everything he did for Feyre: he got whipped and tortured because he helped her, he almost died because Amarantha wanted him to pay for it, he tried to talk some sense into Tamlin and got hurt because of it, he got raped and abused by Ianthe because he did what Tam couldn’t in order to keep the spring court alive. His own family hates him and wants to see him dead, his best friend isn’t talking to him anymore, his freaking mate can’t even be bothered to look at him!!! ARHKADFKASJDFAKSDFJASDFK! Sarah I ask you: When will you finally have enough of torturing my boy?! And now to add even more fun to it, it’s revealed that he’s Helion’s son! My heart broke so often for him in this book. Like every single moment when Elain didn’t look at him, when he was surprised about the children in Velaris, when Tam ignored him… I swear if he doesn’t get the spotlight and a HEA after this I’m going to riot and won’t continue to read the other three books of ACOTAR. I mean it!

”Would you want it – your father’s crown?”
“No one’s ever asked me that,” Lucien mused as we moved on, dodging fallen, rotting apples. The air was sticky-sweet. “The bloodshed that would be required to earn that crown wouldn’t be worth it. Neither would its festering court. I’d gain a crown – only to rule over a crafty, two-faced people.”

At last, Lucien looked at me. At us.
He said, “There are children laughing in the streets.”
I blinked. He said it with such… quiet surprise. As if he hadn’t heard the sound in a long, long time.

”And you love him. And he – he truly does love you.” Lucien dragged a hand through his red hair. “And all these people I have spent my centuries hating, even fearing… they are your family.”

My friends glanced to each other. Mor said, “It will be – very dangerous.”
A half smile curved Lucien’s mouth. “Good. It’d be boring otherwise.”

Cassian:

”Good,” Cassian said, glancing at Nesta. “If I end my life defending those who need it most, then I will consider it a death well spent.”

Cassian really grew on me in this one and I’m glad he’s part of Rhys inner circle because he actually seems to be the only one who dares to call Rhys out! *lol* I loved that he confronted him with the fact that he always wants to save everyone and doesn’t even think about the possibility that people feel the same way about him. His character has so much potential and even though we got to see more of him in ACOWAR I still feel like I don’t really know him. I need more of his character and I’m pretty sure that we will get a lot of him in those next three books. Well, at least I hope so! XD

”So you’re allowed to be mad about our choices to protect you – and we’re not allowed to be furious with you for your self-sacrificing bullshit?”

”I’m a warrior. I’ve walked beside Death my entire life. I would be more afraid for her, to have that power. But not afraid of her.” He considered, and added after a heartbeat, “Nothing about Nesta could frighten me.”

Mor:

”I hate war.”
“Likewise.”
“Not just for the death and awfulness,” Mor went on. “But because of what it does to us. These decisions.”

How is it possible that Mor is such a wise and strong woman but completely insecure when it comes to other things? I hated to see her get all weak in front of Eris, Beron and her father. She hides it well, but deep down within her she’s still so very broken. What they did to her… No one should have to experience anything like that. >_< Poor Mor! Still, after everything that was revealed in this book I can’t help but feel very conflicted about her character. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Mor, but urgh seriously Sarah, how could you?!! This is the worst, I repeat: THE WORST bi rep I ever read about in my entire life. In fact I’d even go as far as to say that this is the reason why people think that you can’t have a serious relationship when you’re bi. Urgh! Just urgh! Right now I have no words and that’s really, really rare!!! Let’s hope I’ll be able to write something coherent in the “relationships & ships” section. >_<

”We’re all broken,” Mor said. “In our own ways – in places no one might see.”

”I do find pleasure in them. In both.” Her hands were shaking so fiercely that she gripped herself even tighter. “But I’ve known, since I was little more than a child, that I prefer females. That I’m … attracted to them more over males. That I connect with them, care for them more on that soul-deep level.”

Azriel:

Again that dry, quiet smile. “Why do you think Illyrians are so fit?”
“Why did no one warn me about this cocky side of yours?”

Let’s move on to more pleasant themes, like for instance Az! I really began to appreciate his character in this. In ACOMAF he was always the silent presence in the background and we didn’t get to see an awful lot of his character. This time around however, more facets of him and his life were revealed and I loved every single one of them. ❤ Azriel is such a sweet character and in the right company, when he feels secure enough to open up, he’s even pretty funny. *lol* I really hope to see more of him in the next 3 books and considering his particular situation with Elain, I’m pretty sure my wish will be granted. XD

Azriel, wreathed in shadows by the front door, chuckled quietly. Cassian shot him a glare. “I don’t see you sprouting poetry, brother.”
Azriel crossed his arms, still smiling faintly. “I don’t need to resort to it.”

Amren:

”You should kill Beron and his sons and set up the handsome one as High Lord of Autumn, self-imposed exile or no. It will make life easier.”

I always knew why I love Amren! *lol* For that sentence alone she would have gotten in my good books. XD I think after this book we all know how she feels about Rhys and his inner circle. 😉 I always knew it, but it’s good I was proven right! To hear about how she got out of the prison was heart-breaking though and I can only imagine how she must have felt living in her new body. So much raw power trapped in that small form of hers. I was really shocked when I realized that she betrayed Feyre but she did it for a good reason and after everything that was revealed I can’t hold it against her. Also her and Varian!!! <33 I loved those two and I wanted to see more of them! Varian has guts! Boy, does he have guts to pursue a relationship with her! He’s my hero and once again a character I’d love to see in those other three books! 😉

”You did not fit – the mold that they shoved you into. The path you were born upon and forced to walk. You tried, and yet you did not, could not, fit. And then the path changed.” A little nod. “I know – what it is to be that way. I remember it, long ago as it was.”

”I yielded my grace – my perfect immortality. I knew that once I did… I would feel pain. And regret. I would want, and I would burn with it. I would… fall. But I was – the time locked away down there… I didn’t care. I had not felt the wind on my face, had not smelled the rain… I did not even remember what they felt like. I did not remember sunlight.”

”I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp.”

3

Feyre & Rhys:

”I’m grateful,” he said after a while, as the camp beneath us stirred in the building light. “To have you at my side. I don’t know if I ever told you that – how grateful I am to have you stand with me.”

Their relationship is still solid and wholesome! ❤ I love how they respect each other and talk things out. They don’t have any secrets (well at least none regarding their relationship) and they are the equal of each other, which makes for a really nice relationship dynamic. A lot of YA books have that alpha male vibe going on so it’s refreshing to have a counterweight with Sarah’s books. If there is one thing I feel an urge to point out, then it’s the fact that they are almost too good to be true. *lol* They finally found each other in ACOMAF and they somehow became an inseparable item in ACOWAR. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where Feyre ends and Rhys begins. XD I know that’s some sort of weird criticism but I feel like both of their characters lost their independence and a part of what made them… well them, because of their relationship. It’s something I already noticed in Sarah’s “Throne of Glass” series and it happened in here again. Maybe that’s because Sarah is such a fan of all consuming and encompassing love? Yes, you’re allowed to call me a bean counter. I won’t hold it against you. ;-P This relationships is still one of the best in the entire YA genre so there’s that. XD

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that I do not love with everything I am.”

Feyre & Lucien:

”This situation is terrible,” I said, and it was the truth.
A low snort.
I knocked my knee against his. “Don’t let Jurian bait you. He’s doing it to feel out any weaknesses between us.”

Well, yes Feyre, what was your grand plan for Lucien? He would have been fine? Really? IS THAT REALLY WHAT YOU THINK??!! Fine while Ianthe rapes and abuses him, fine while Tamlin hurts him, fine while his only home is destroyed? Nope, no he wouldn’t have been fine and you know it! I think it’s exactly the other way around; Lucien is a better friend to her than she ever was to him! Also Feyre’s holier-than-thou attitude! She’s disgusted by the idea of Lucien being intimate with Elain, because her sister is such an oh so precious flower and he’s got autumn fire in his veins? Really? Seriously? You and Rhys romp around the entire book and you’re disgusted by the idea Lucien might have sex with Elain?!! WTF?! And all that talk about Lucien’s mind being a miserable place to be? Well, you certainly didn’t give him any reason to feel better! GRRRR!!! I’m just angry, really angry at Feyre and I still think Lucien deserves a better friend than that! #FightMe! #I’llNeverGetTiredOfDefendingAndLovingLucienVanserra

”Well? What was your grand plan for me before Ianthe interfered?”
I pulled at a stray thread in the bedroll. “You would have been fine,” was all I said.

”I wish I had been there to stop it. I should have been there to stop it.” I meant every word.
Lucien squeezed our linked arms as we rounded a hedge, the house rising up before us. “You are a better friend to me, Feyre,” he said quietly, “than I ever was to you.”

Lucien loosed a heavy sigh and slid an arm around my waist, the other threading through my hair to cradle my head. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I’m sorry.”
He held me, stroking soothing lines down my back, and I calmed my weeping, those seawater tears drying up like wet sand in the sun.

Mor, Az & Cassian:

”And … I think it might shatter him if I revealed afterward that… I’m not sure I can give me entire heart to him that way. And… I love him enough to want him to find someone who can truly love him like he deserves. And I love myself… I love myself enough to not want to settle until I find that person, too.”

And since I’m already in such a ranty mood I’ll tackle the next topic that made me angry af! *lol* I do understand why Cassian is Mor’s and Az’s buffer and as it seems he doesn’t really mind to be in this particular position, what I really disliked was the fact that Mor strung Az along for centuries! CENTURIES! Guys, we’re not talking about only a few months or years here, we’re talking about centuries!!! O_o Just because she was scared to tell him how she felt?! That she’s bisexual and likes both female and male? And what the hell is all this bullshit about not being able to give her entire heart to him?! She didn’t even TRY!!! What if they would have worked out?! What if they would have been happy? I love Sarah’s books but this is such a bad bi rep that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Just because you like both that doesn’t mean that you can’t be in a serious relationship with only one!!! Just say that you don’t see him as the person you want to spend your entire life with. There’s no shame in admitting that you love a person but don’t love her/him THAT way. If there ever was an example of “how not to do bi reps” it certainly would be this one. Reps like that are the reason why everyone thinks we only want the good things from both sides and can’t settle down. Why people think we can’t be in a serious relationship. Sure sooner or later you’ll have to decide but if it’s the right person it’s not even a decision it’s just LOVE!!! No matter the gender! *sighs deeply* Okay, I’m done with my rant. If you’re an author and read this: Make sure to reach out to beta readers that represent the characters you want to portray. I think this could have been prevented if anyone would have counter-checked the bi rep. (Also bisexual Helion – as much as I love him – was portrayed as a person who only wants fun and can’t have a serious relationship. Ouch, just ouch.)
I’m not okay with Sarah using Mor’s bisexuality in order to explain why she strung along Az for centuries. I’ll never be okay with this. Period! *shakes head*

Elain, Azriel & Lucien:

”It has never failed me once,” the shadowsinger said, the midday sun devoured by the dark blade. “Some people say it is magic and will always strike true.” He gently took her hand and pressed the hilt of the legendary blade into it. “It will serve you well.”

Haha! Okay, as it seems I’m still not done with my rant because here comes the next topic that left a nasty taste in my mouth. (Can we just agree that the relationships in this were kind of maddening? *lol*) I hate how Elain treated Lucien and I’m not okay with Sarah introducing Az as a possible love interest. Not because I think they’d make no good couple, believe it or not, I think they’d make a way better couple than Elain and Lucien, but because this love triangle is so unnecessary! If Sarah wanted Elain to be with Az, why not go in this direction right from the beginning? Does Lucien really need another reason to feel unwanted and unloved? Was it really necessary to hurt that poor man even more? Elain and Az have a harmony Lucien and her will never have, because they are both quiet and rather introvert characters. I’m all for Azriel and Elain, but not at the cost of Lucien’s feelings! And I swear if Lucien doesn’t find another mate and gets a decent HEA I’ll be soo mad! Gosh, I just want him to be happy, is this too much to ask for?!!! T_T

”Well, I never want to fight in another battle as long as I live, but … yes, I’m in one piece.”
A faint smile bloomed on Elain’s lips.

Nesta & Cassian:

”Cassian’s eyes did not leave Nesta’s; nor did hers leave his. There was no warmth, no tenderness on either of their faces. Only that raging intensity, that blend of contempt and understanding and fire.”

And welcome to ranty round four! *lol* I think we can all agree that Cassian deserves better than her, right?! Why does Nesta of all people have to be his mate?! Yes, I know no one ever confirmed that she is his mate but seriously, after all that icy chemistry I’m about 99,9% sure that she is. Or will become in the following books. I just hope that Sarah will give us an amazing and most of all believable character arc, because otherwise I won’t be able to ship this ship! If Nesta doesn’t change her attitude and stays the way she is right now, I don’t see myself boarding this ship. Ever. I know to redeem her character will take a lot of work and I sincerely hope that Sarah is up for this challenge. I want to ship them… the way things are at the moment I can’t though. But hey, miracles happen! So let’s see if this will be the case here. ;-P

”You went off to battle for a court you barely know – who barely see you as friends. Amren showed me the blood ruby. And when I asked you why… you said because it was the right thing. People needed help.” Her throat bobbed. “No one is going to fight to save the humans beneath the wall. No one cares. But I do.” She toyed with a fold in her dress. “I do.”

Cassian grunted in pain, but lifted his bloodied hands – to cup her face. “I have no regrets in my life, but this.” His voice shook with every word. “That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta.” She didn’t stop him as he leaned up and kissed her – lightly. As much as he could manage.

4

I really hoped that I’d love this more after my reread, but if anything to read ACOWAR a second time around only helped me to be able to point out its flaws. I’m glad I decided to go for a second round though. There were so many details that got lost when I read it for the very first time because back then my focus was rather on paging through the book instead of appreciating its many details. This said ACOWAR was a fun ride with quite a few flaws and even though I love most (if not all) of the characters I still believe that a lot of things should have been handled differently or at least could have been done better. It’s just my opinion though and who knows? Maybe Sarah will work on all those flaws in the next three books? I’m definitely ready to find out! ;-P