This is the second book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. This follows the Farseer series. FitzChivalry, the royal bastard/assassin living the life of mellow, Tom Badgerlock is yanked back to court intrigue by public exposure of his inaccurately reported death. The Fool, near to death, once again drags him into danger.
As in my review of the first book, Ms. Hobb seems to specialize in self doubt. Her characters seem to revel in questioning their own values. Ms. Hobb provides her characters with nearly bi-polar emotions, ranging form rage to near disabling despair. There are vague references to other books but I think this book would be confusing if you hadn't read the previous book. A lot of things would also make more sense if you have read all Ms. Hobb's books. That, in itself, should be no hardship as I have enjoyed them all.
Repeating myself, the wallowing wordy introspection occasionally gets tedious but overall the pace is satisfactory. Ms. Hobb develops her characters meticulously. They are full fleshed and as real as fiction can be.
I enjoyed the book and will wait quite impatiently for the third in the series.
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.