Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2)

Fitz the bastard struggles to be a King’s man and his own man, while dastardly Prince Regal threatens to usurp the throne while King in Waiting Verity is off on a quest to find the mythical Elderlings.

Royal Assassin marks a solid midpoint in an ambitious trilogy, with all the characters put at great risk from each other and themselves. Antagonist Regal remains too cardboard to feel like a true threat, but overall the characters are solid. I’m not sure the Skill magic totally works for me–at times, it seems like nothing more than Thinking.Really.Hard!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!smoke!!!!!!!!!!! But I mostly overlooked the flaws and enjoyed the ride.

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