• Royal Assassin

  • The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 29 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (754 ratings)

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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

“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)
“In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons” (George R. R. Martin)

What listeners say about Royal Assassin

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Missed potential

Just a lot of missed potential. Even more than the first one. Pacing also much to slow and repetitive.

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downgrade

somewhere in the middle the amount of stupid decisions made by what looked like smart characters made me lost interest in the series now only my compulsive instinct to put an end to things is what will have me hearing the next one.

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Enjoyed it

I enjoyed book 2 looking forward to book 3 and seeing how FITZs journey come to an end

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This is 90's Game of Thrones to me

Brilliant story with really good flow and gripping arc. All the Characters are there for a reason

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Great tale, yet slow at some points

Great listen, but sometimes the story slows down and looses the listener. But, towards the end these problems fade away.

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amazing!

the narrator has done a great job and the story pulls you to it. couldn't stop listening 😊

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To much angst and not enough intelligence in story

I can’t finish this book. The characters are both hypercapable in some aspects but then also unbelievably useless in others. Provides a background for lots of self flagellation and angst, but not much else.
How can you continue accepting a “king” who is so cunning and manipulative he has everyone tied in knots and scared of reprisal, yet he allows a blatantly treasonous and shallow son to keep attempting to kill or disable him, and also orders no one else to stop him either. They all bloody deserve it for being so incompetent.
Eventually just gave me the irrits

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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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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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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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  • Bundoodragon
  • 07-21-16

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.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tai Jorgensen
  • 01-06-17

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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  • Samantha
  • 03-08-17

Great story but readers voice changes

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

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 01-12-17

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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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ozzymandias
  • 12-29-15

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • melpem
  • 04-12-21

I live these books but not the narrator

I have read the books many times and I never got the audio books dur to the narrarors annoying fake British accent but in the end gave in for the love of Fitz and the fool.
still annoys me

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-26-21

Narrator is appalling

Great story and great to read, but the narrator is awful, takes you out of the world. Recommend buying the book instead.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-22-20

excellent story and world-building but...

the performance is shocking at times, with a glaringly fake English accent. hire someone who's actually English if you want that kind of sound, it's passable at times but it's immersion shattering in some moments. he's obviously American

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-20

Fake British Narration

Paul Boehmer has one of the worst fake British accents I've ever heard. It sounds so strange to British ears! So many outlandish mispronunciations, I found it quite amusing... The book itself is fantastic, I enjoyed it even more than the first one. Night eyes is such a great character.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Cochrane
  • 08-28-18

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 06-22-17

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Michael L. Titter
  • 05-03-21

A classic story

I love this series and the performance is great. I will revisit this one for sure

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 03-13-18

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Fey
  • 08-31-22

Amazing, but ye gods...

Amazing as ever, but ye gods, Robin Hobb, WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO DEPRESSING!?! Nothing good ever happens to Fitz or any of the other characters, I need a hot bath and a glass of wine just to remind myself that everything's ok after listening to this 🤣
Paul Boehmer is an excellent narrator, I give him 4 stars only because at the start of every chapter he suddenly sounds American, due to travel, I surmise...? It is quite disruptive to the narrative unfortunately...

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  • r
  • 08-18-22

good book, wish I'd read it as a teen

found it funny how the narrators voice jumped between English and a southern USA accent whenever played a drunk or aggressive person, it was like the characters suddenly became cowboys. good book, the fighting isn't immersive but I've been spoiled by Brandon Sanderson, Hobbs characters are what make this book shine

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-27-22

Captivating

These stories just pull you in and grab you, there are so few books that do it so well, you feel everything Fitz is feeling,
Just amazing

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-10-22

Overly long

For the length of the book, very little happens. it's okay for filling in time but I prefer more events in close to 30 hours of story

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 12-29-21

Why is this so long?

Nothing happens for so much of it.
It's like the whole book is the middle of a better book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-23-21

Hooked!

I am not even pausing before starting the next one! I cant wait ro devour them all.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thubten Chokyi
  • 11-13-21

Both beautiful and sensitive

I read Royal Assassin a few years ago. Captivated, I knew I'd found an author in Robin Hobb whose examination of characters and the intersection of diverse cultures is colourful and clever. Robin Hobb's portrayal of animals and the potential of relationships between animal and human closely matches my own lived experiences and convictions.

With the audio book I was curious - would I still be as enamoured as I was with my first reading years ago? The answer is Yes!

Paul Boehmer's narration carried me splendidly and convincingly through the rich tableau of characters, events, settings, and suspense. I felt as though I was participating, not an outsider.

At the end of the last chapter I wiped away tears. The threads are so beautifully and sensitively brought together.