My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Some good dialogue between the characters, but seriously poor overall.
The narrative was feebly constructed, and events seemed to occur mostly as a vehicle for fitting in as many series cameos as possible even though it made little sense for those people to be there half the time.
Hobb routinely did multiple bait and switches (they’re dead! Oh no they’re not. Yes they are! Nope, just kidding. For real this time!) to the point of tedium, even apathy. I no longer really cared if they’d died or not at the end.
The actions weren’t thought through. For example, Fitz spends the latter two books convincing Fool to embark on a certain course of action, which they agree on multiple times is the right thing to do, and is set up to be so; this is reversed in the last moment by one line of dialogue from Bee. I almost think Hobb changed her mind last minute.
So many things were like that. The book feels unfinished, rough second draft stage, perhaps in need of a good edit. As a long term fan who found the original series influential, I was extremely disappointed.