What it’s about:
The next stage of the story of FitzChivalry Farseer starts in the Mountain Kingdom, with Fitz attempting to recover from an almost deadly attack. Accompanied by Burrich, Fitz begins to wonder whether his fate must always be aligned with that of the Royal Bastard, or whether another course might await him. Despite his doubts, he is drawn back into the seemingly inescapable politics of Buckeep Castle, where it seems that those who have protected him grow weaker, whilst those that threaten him and the Six Duchies amass power and strength.
What I Love:
- The deeper understanding we gain of the Beast Magic, and the ways it permeates the relationships of many of the characters we meet. Our introduction to Nighteyes, and the exposition of ‘Heart of the Pack’ confirming much we suspect of Buckeep’s Stablemaster.
- The emotional strength of the Lady Patience in her attempt to ally herself with the cause of Fitzachivalry Farseer, and her fearless refusal to allow anyone to prevent him receiving what she perceives to be his birthright, despite the personal cost it represents.
- The relationship between King in Waiting Verity and his nephew. This is a relationship on which much of the story of Fitzchivalry Farseer hinges, but it is elegantly done. The true meaning and depth of their feelings is clear, and it is in part this intensity that allows the development of the story to be not only believable, but inevitable.
My Favourite Quotes:
- “When he had exhausted himself I leaned forward over him. I gripped his throat to lean down and stair into his eyes. This was a physical message he understood. I added to it. I am the Wolf. You are the Cub. You WILL obey me!”
- “This is not hunting, this. This is no pack’s doing. This is man’s doing. His presence was gone before I could rebuke him for intruding into my mind again.”
- “Heart of the Pack, they will hunt well for you’, Nighteyes urged him. ‘Burrich, take command. They will fight with heart for you. ‘ My skin prickled to hear Queen Kettricken virtually echo Nighteyes’ thought.”