by Robin Hobb
Opening line: "Why is it forbidden to write down specific knowledge of the magics?"
My overall reactions to this were fairly similar to the first book. The characters are interesting, I love that Hobb doesn't ignored the everydayness of her world (although there's less of that in this book), the prose is sometimes stilted. This is a slightly aggravating book in that it teetered just at the edge of being really good. There was something about it--perhaps the slightly paper-cut-out nature of the villain, or just some of the fantasy tropes present--that kept it from being entirely satisfying.
On the other hand, Fitz's struggles and his attempt to find his place in the word amid immense complications are certainly compelling. There were times when I wanted to deal both him and Verity a smack upside the head, but he remains a sympathetic character nonetheless.
The Fool was one of my favorite parts of the first book. I was a bit put off by his babbling which sometimes worked for me and other times didn't. Still, the mysteries surrounding the character are enticing.
Book source: public library
Book information: Bantam, 1996; adult