“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is the first trilogy in a joined series by Robin Hobb with the overall title of “The Elderlings” but can easily be enjoyed on its own.
The story is told from the first person perspective of the main character – Fitz – a young man born illegitimately to the heir to the throne. It follows his life from approx. 5 years old into young adulthood. Each chapter begins with a snippet of historical writing, the author of which is Fitz himself several years later (not a spoiler as this becomes very quickly apparent).
As a child of royalty, albeit it not in the line of succession, the direction of Fitz’s life is very quickly and comprehensively decided by others and, with the backdrop of a vicious war; he ends up involved in (and a victim of) the very murkiest of politics.