Robin Hobb returns to her best loved characters in a brand new series. Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown. But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more... On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing. Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger? Suddenly Fitz's violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.
This author is one of the best currently writing in the fantasy genre. If you are reluctant to read this genre but appreciate good writing I would heartily recommend this author. This first story (presumably the first of a trilogy) finds retired assassin Tom Badgerlock a.k.a. FitzChilvary living happily at his country estate with his beloved wife Molly. Although often asked to return to his King's service he steadfastly refuses as he is content with his lot. When Molly insists she is pregnant even though she is past childbearing age he starts to despair for her, and, along with mysterious messengers arriving, Fitz's contented life looks to be unravelling. The beauty of Robin Hobb's writing is in her ability to develop characters and involve you, the reader, in the emotions and lives of these characters. Frequently I found myself re-reading paragraphs just for the enjoyment and emotion of the moment. She is an author at the height of her ability. - Peter
'In today's crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb's books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons' George R. R. Martin 'Hobb is superb, spinning wonderful characters and plots from pure imagination' Conn Iggulden '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