A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 61: Assassin’s Quest, Chapter 2

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.


The next chapter, “The Parting,” opens with a reasonably detailed overview of the Six Duchies’ political situation in the wake of Shrewd’s death. It moves to Fitz and Chade conversing, with Chade voicing his surprise that Fitz is as ready to leave things behind as he is. Chade pushes Fitz to Skill to Verity, but he cannot, and he flees.

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A memetastic bit from Darling, Say It Backwards on Tumblr, here, and used for commentary

Along with Nighteyes, Fitz considers himself, his shame at having suffered as he did, and the course of action he feels he must take. He steels himself to it, and, over dinner that night, he excoriates Burrich in singularly harsh terms. Burrich leaves, and Chade presses Fitz, returning to the idea of Fitz’s long-simmering anger. Before matters can devolve, though, Chade departs.

Burrich returns in the night, speaking with Fitz about his own history. In the wake of it, Fitz turns to his resolution to kill Regal.

The present chapter makes much of the power of words; Fitz strikes with and in stricken by the words of others. (Not without justification on any side; Fitz’s return to life was far from pleasant, while Burrich’s sacrifices for him had been many, and Chade was not wrong in pointing out the ways in which Fitz had acted with far less deliberation than ought to have been the case.) That an author, whose work necessarily relies on the power of words, would present such a scenario is to be expected–and it is something of a theme in Hobb’s work, as I have motioned towards. Ill-considered words have the potential to cause great harm in Hobb’s milieu, as in life.

The present chapter is another part of the series I find it difficult not to read with affect. As might be thought, I’ve said a great many things in my life. As might be expected, a great many of those things have been hateful; I have not always been in a position to defend myself with fists and feet, but my tongue has always leapt free and quickly. It has not always been at those who have earned rebuke or scorn, either; too often, I have spoken to those I claim to love most unkindly. It has hurt them, I know, and in my better moments, I am astonished that they remain in my life after some of the things I have said to them. Some of them have been as harsh as what Fitz says to Burrich; some of them have been worse.

Far worse.

I am grateful that I have not been left, even if I have deserved it, and from many more people than have left me behind. I continue to work on improving, even if I never do so well as I hope to–and not even close to so well as those around me deserve.

Did you resolve to be more giving? Can I help you meet that goal?

3 thoughts on “A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 61: Assassin’s Quest, Chapter 2

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