Royal Assassin was a bit better than the first one, although I feel that the book was overly long at times and the ending, albeit quite good, felt a bit rushed. There’s like this huge build-up of tension between Fitz and Regal and somehow the ending just didn’t live up to it.
Few things that kept bothering me throughout the book:
– There’s this weird duplicity going on with Regal that I can’t really wrap my head around. On the one hand he is constantly portrayed as being dimwitted, vain, excessive, … like a party boy really. On the other hand I’m supposed to believe that he actively orchestrates the confinement of Shrewd, and somehow coördinates with the Red Raiders, etc… It seems a bit counter-intuitive that a person can be both these things at once. All these things require patience, planning, forsight and insight, and every time we see Regal, we see none of that. We see him as a pouty child about to have a tantrum (which he actually does, on multiple occasions). [spoiler]Even during the torture scene we see him as a shallow idiot completely lacking any finesse.. [/spoiler]
– Regals plans slowly unfold throughout the story and many a time we are confronted with a Fitz that just does nothing, oh he goes on an on about how bad things get, but a lot of times he just refrains from any action. Nowhere is there a mention about why exactly he can’t oppose Regal, or do it through Kettrican, Verity, Shrewd or even the duke of Bearns… I like the Fitz, but his indecisiveness is just annoying.
My reviews seem to be a bit of a mess lately, I apologize for that 🙂
Overall, I like the book, but these last 2 books seem to build up to something big, so let’s hope that Assassin’s Quest delivers on that front.