What Hobb does best, quite possibly better than every other fantasy writer, is build, develop, and breathe life into relationships. She writes great characters that you can believe in, but it's in interactions that they truly shine. The friendship between Fitz and the Fool is the heart of the two trilogies, and grows at a slow but steady pace through the books.
The rigid social structure and its constraints generate a lot of frustration for Fitz (and by extension for the readers). This drives much of the tension and plot. Some readers may find it too frustrating and may long for Fitz to break free of it, to drive his message home etc... but for me it was perfectly pitched for maximum effect.
I won't address the plot ... but it's good, and the mysterious attackers are chilling and intriguing. In short - go read this classic!
by: Mark Lawrence