FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire. Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past… and his future. Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one…
Years after I arrived at Buckkeep, when my father was murdered at Withywoods, hers was the hand most likely behind it. And yet there was nothing I or Chade could do about it, no justice we could demand. I remember wondering if King Shrewd did not know of if he did not care. I remember knowing with absolute certainty that if Queen Desire wished my death, she could ask for it. I even wondered then if Chade would protect me or if he would bow to his duty and allow it to happen. Such things for a child to wonder.
Withywoods was an idea to me, a harsh place of banishment and humiliation. When I was a boy and I lived in Buckkeep, I was told that was where my father had gone, to hide from the shame that was me. He had abdicated his throne and crown; bowed his head to the hurt and anger of his lawful wife, Patience; apologized to king and court for his failure of virtue and judgment; and fled from the bastard he had sired.
And so I imagined that place based on the only places I had ever lived, as a fortified castle on a hill. I had thought of it as a place like the stockade fortress at Moonseye in the Mountain Kingdom, or the steep walls of Buckkeep Castle perched on top of sheer and forbidding black cliffs overlooking the sea. I had imagined my father, brooding alone in a chill stone hall hung with battle pennants and ancient arms. I imagined stony fields that gave onto gray-fogged marshes.
Fitz woont samen met Molly op Whitywoods. Hij heeft het leven in een kasteel opgegeven en leidt nu een rustig leven op het platteland. Hij heeft zijn naam veranderd in Tom Badgerlock.
Fresh snowfall perched in white ramparts on the bare black birch limbs that lined the drive. White gleamed against black, like a fool’s winter motley. The snow came down in loose clumps of flakes, adding a fresh layer of glistening white to the banked snow and smoothing the rutted pathways to mere suggestions of themselves. As I watched, another carriage arrived, drawn by a dapple-gray team. The driver’s red-cloaked shoulders were dusted with snow. A page in green and yellow darted from the steps of Withywoods to open the carriage door and gesture a welcome to our guests. From my vantage point I could not tell who they were, save that their garb bespoke Withy merchants rather than gentry from one of the neighboring estates. As they passed out of my view and their driver moved the carriage off to our stables, I looked up at the afternoon sky. Definitely more to come. I supected it would snow all night. Well, that was fitting. I let the curtain fall and turned as Molly entered our bedchamber.
“Fitz! You aren’t ready yet?”
I glanced down at myself. “I thought I was…”
My wife clicked her tongue at me. “Oh, Fritz. It’s Winterfest. The halls are festooned with greenery, Patience had Cook create a feast that will probably sustain the whole household for three days, all three sets of minstrels that she invited are turing up, and half our guest have already arrived. And you’re not even dressed yet.”
Het feest is erg gezellig en er zijn veel gasten aanwezig op Withywoods. Door zijn huismeester wordt Fitz erop gewezen dat er drie vreemdelingen zijn aangekomen. Ze doen alsof ze minstreels zijn, maar ze hebben geen muziekinstrumenten bij zich. Fitz probeert ze in de gaten te houden, maar tijdens de feestelijkheden wordt ook van hem verwacht dat hij danst met zijn vrouw en plezier heeft. Waarom zouden de vreemdelingen hier zijn?
Wat vind ik van dit boek?
Ik heb al meerdere boeken over Fitz en de Fool gelezen en ik vond het erg fijn om weer in hun wereld te zijn. Het is spannend, zielig en verrassend. Ik ben erg benieuwd hoe het verhaal verder gaat. Dit is een leuk boek voor iedereen die al eerder boeken van Robin Hobb heeft gelezen.