This book is incredibly similar to the previous two books.
It picks up the story shortly after where the previous left off. Apart from a few close friends, the world thinks Fitz is dead, including love of his life Molly. But he was saved by Burrich and Chade, after hiding within the mind of his wolf companion Nighteyes. Returned to his body, Fitz struggles to readapt to his human body. But the Six Duchies are still in danger, both from the invading Red Ship Raiders as well as the incompetence of self-proclaimed King Regal. But Fitz wants revenge against Regal, regardless of the danger and sets out to get this revenge. But Verity is still lost in the mountains as well, and finding him is necessary for the survivaly of the Six Duchies...
I liked the change of pace in this book as opposed to the previous two. The previous two were focused almost entirely in Buckkeep castle and were very similar. But since everyone thinks Fitz is dead and he's off questing to stop Regal and find Verity, so it's very different in that sense and I quite liked the change as I thought the previous formula was getting quite stale towards the end.
Having said that though, like the previous books (particularly the one immediately before this one) I felt that the narrative was quite slow and did drag a bit. And not much seemed to happen. Fitz spends the whole like first half of the book recovering from the mind share and then going after Regal, and spends the entire second half or so of the book travelling to find Verity and the Elderlings in order to save the Six Duchies, and whilst there were moments of excitement, overall it was just a long description of Fitz walking from one place to another.
I liked the first few chapters of the book, where Fitz was very changed from his time living within the mind of Nighteyes and found it difficult to readjust to being a human. I thought it was such an interesting concept and well executed.
On the one hand, I liked the sort of bittersweet-ness to the ending. Everyone doesn't get everything they want and live happily ever after, particularly for Fitz as obviously everyone believes him dead and Molly and Burrich fall in love, but even though not everyone gets what they want they still end up fairly happy which was nice. I liked that aspect, it felt a bit more realistic than a slightly more cliche everything works out amazingly for everyone. At the same time though... it did feel a bit rushed and the Elderlings felt like a bit of Deus Ex Machina since they're dragons and just go and destroy all the raiders. I felt things were quite rushed with some of the tying up of the loose ends and some things were just explained with a throw away comment - such as why the Red Ships were raiding the Duchies and what Forging was and stuff. I didn't really like Regal's transformation due to Fitz of becoming a good Prince and stuff, although it was a nice bit of Karma I guess.. I would have liked Hobb to have spent more time investigating Forging and the Raiders and stuff, a more final battle against the Raiders who are stated as being the big threat to the Duchies but are barely mentioned outside of the intro bit of history at the start of each chapter.
Also like in previous books, I felt some things were really obvious to me and the reader, in terms of plot twists but it would take a long time for Fitz and the other main characters to realise them, for example it was obvious to me at the end of the previous book that Molly was pregnant with Fitz's child and that Burrich was taking care of them but Fitz doesn't realise for AGES. Also, it was quite obvious to me later on in the book when Regal and the coterie temporarily possessed the Fool in order to find out where Molly, Burrich and the baby were, it was obvious to me but Fitz didn't realise it again until Verity points it out. It just annoys me, and I can't decide if it's intentional or if Hobb is not expecting us to be able to realise what's going on.
Overall though, a good book and apart from the dragging-ness of it and the rushed ending it was a good conclusion to the trilogy. I just found out there's a second trilogy focusing on Fitz in his later years which I'm interested in reading as well I think, but I think I'll wait a bit first before I do.