What started out as brainstorming for my review of the second, fantasy installment of Robin Hobb’s The Farseer Trilogy ended up being a struggle to pick just one quote from the book to share in it.
Review’s Labour Lost, to say the least.
Therefore, I ultimately decided for it to be a tiny bit more … quote-centered, so to speak. Without any further ado, below you can read some of my favourite passages from Royal Assassin huddling up in categories by theme. And if any resonate with you too, even better!
A Feminist is as a Feminist does
▪ We have been rudderless and drifted, pounded by the waves and pushed by every wind. And now, comes a woman, to take the tiller and cry the course. I find it a course full to my liking!
▪ “The man that went would have to be very trustworthy and strong of will.” “Such a man sounds like a woman to me,” Kettricken quipped.
▪ “I am not a changeable man,” he told me. “If I had loved her, I would love her still.”
▪ What she could not leave behind was what I had done to her belief in herself. That she must carry with her forever, a belief that she had been tricked and used by a selfish lying boy who lacked even the courage to fight for her.
▪ I was part of the circle that protected the Queen. At least, I thought I was, until I realized she was actually fighting beside me.
Mental Health – The Medieval Angst Way
I’ve always been partial to novel characters who, even if they breathe and walk in imaginary realms and made-up universes, they display rich inner worlds; and even more so if these inner worlds help un-taboo mental health issues and raise awareness. For example, FitzChivalry, the POV protagonist of The Farseer Trilogy may not be my ultimate favourite literary character; however, his introspective musings do indeed have this rich and honest quality. On to the quotes, though!
▪ The steady physical effort, the lack of anything to focus on put me into a waking dream about nothing.
▪ Our own ambitions and tasks that we set for ourselves, the framework we attempt to impose upon the world, is no more than a shadow of a tree cast across the snow. It will change as the sun moves, be swallowed in the night, sway with the wind, and when the smooth snow vanishes, it will lie distorted upon the uneven earth. But the tree continues to be.
▪ Then from somewhere, like a feather floating in a breeze, or a mote dancing in a sunbeam, came Verity’s voice telling me, “Being open is simply not being closed.”
▪ I woke up sometime. Of all the cruel jests fate had recently played on me, I decided that awakening was the cruelest.
▪ The exercise for centering oneself is a simple one. Stop thinking of what you intend to do. Stop thinking of what you have just done. Then, stop thinking that you have stopped thinking of those things. Then you will find the Now, the time that stretches eternal, and is really the only time there is. Then, in that place, you will finally have time to be yourself.
▪ But with every step I took up that drafty staircase, my anger grew. It was not the kind of anger that led to ranting and blows between men. This was an anger born as much from weariness and frustration as from any hurt. This was the sort of anger that led a man to stop everything, to say simply, “I cannot bear this anymore.”
These Covid19 Days
They sure do provide a whole different prism for our reader’s eyes and mind, don’t they?
▪ The rest of that winter passed as swiftly as the first half had dragged. The separate parts of my life became like beads and I the string that ran through them all.
▪ I longed for savage winter weather to match my mood, but the skies continued blue and the winds calm.
▪ “There has to be a final solution. Nothing, no one can go on like this. There must be a way to make an end of this.”
‘Verity’ is by definition a virtue, yes. But, in The Farseer Trilogy, he‘s something more. He’s a truly exceptional character, about whom I’d be lying if I said he didn’t persistently remind me of a motto widely popular nowadays across readership circles: Read (about) men written by women.
▪ The network of lives he had touched so briefly for me were as if he had opened his palm to reveal he cupped a handful of priceless gems. People. His people. It was not some rocky coast or rich pastureland that he stood watch over. It was these folk, these bright glimpses of other lives unlived by him, but cherished all the same. This was Verity’s kingdom.
▪ It was as if I had stirred gray-coated embers and suddenly found the cherry-red coal that glowed in their depths. He burned too brightly.
▪ Verity’s thoughts, almost calm with the same steadiness that seizes one as a weapon is brought to the ready.
▪ The whole world was a spaceless place, all things inside of all other things. I did not say his name aloud or think of his face. Verity was there, had always been right there, and joining him was effortless.
The Wit is one of the world-building aspects of Robin Hobb’s The Farseer Trilogy; and therefore I wouldn’t wish to spoil it for you by saying anything more about it!
▪ Rest. I will stand watch. I cannot explain what happened next. I let go of something, something I had clutched all my life without being aware of gripping it. I sank down into soft warm darkness, into a safe place, while a wolf kept watch through my eyes.
▪ There is a cleanness to life that can be had when you but hunt and eat and sleep. In the end, no more than this is really needed by anyone. We ran alone, we the Wolf, and we lacked for nothing.
And saved the best Wit quote for last:
▪ Come, hunt with me, the invitation whispers in my heart. Leave the pain behind and let your life be your own again. There is a place where all time is now, and the choices are simple and always your own. Wolves have no Kings.
Come away indeed, o human child. And read–your pains–away.
Which of these quotes resonates with you the most?
If you’re on the lookout for more fantasy worlds to lose yourself in, ‘The Age of Stones’ universe and its Nations might just hold the key.
Bonus: Read all about the Invisible Cities in my review of this inspiring book!