Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy #2)
by Robin Hobb
"Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and returns to the court where he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life. With the King near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened. Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns. In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands--and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice."
And so the journey we began with Fitz in Assassin's Apprentice continues. Fitz has survived much, barely, and is fast learning that there are no easy resolutions to one's problems in life. He must face enemies battering the Coastal Duchies from without who bring violence and devastation, and enemies plotting and grasping for power within. The second book in The Farseer Trilogy moves along at a rapid pace. Once again, Robin Hobb drew me into the life of Fitz and advanced an exciting story that wasn't predictable at every turn. He isn't an invincible hero but rather a boy struggling to make the best of his circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.