by Robin Hobb
The first book in this trilogy is easily the best.
This, the third book, really suffers from saggy middle syndrome. The characters have been journeying since the second book, and the pace is just too slow, while over-using the device of a journey to keep the plot moving. It was hard to stay focussed - the book didn't hold my attention for more than about 15 minutes a time. It was just interesting enough for me to keep reading. Themes, ideas and characters were repeated over and over again with little change.
This book scores 3 stars rather than just 2 for the quality of the ending - it is probably worth persisting just for that.
Specifically - Finally, having had Molly called 'spirited' and 'strong' with very little evidence for 3 books, she finally did do something impressive.
Also, the final dramatic scenes showed the author's fine imaginative and descriptive capacity, more like the first book of the series. Some loose ends were not tied up <spoiler>the white ships were a promisingly scary idea never explored</spoiler>. Some plot elements I will never understand - <spoiler>why could he not tell Burrich and Molly he was still alive? - they were both well over him and probably would have been glad to know he was alive, and to have him as a friend. In thinking he would cause them harm if they knew he was alive, he is still the self-indulgent young man who thinks the world revolves around him, which does not accord with the rest of his character development. </spoiler>.
In general I recommend the series, particularly the first book.
Posted on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45112.Assassin_s_Quest
Thumbnail from Goodreads.