I am really thrilled with this start to the Farseer trilogy. I read the book in one day, could NOT put it down! It is richly detailed, well written, and very touching. I can't wait to read the next two!
As a royal bastard in the household of King Shrewd, a boy called "Fitz" spends his early years in the king's stables. When the magic in his blood marks him for destiny, he begins receiving secret instruction, by order of the king, in the art of assassination, a calling that places him in the midst of a nest of intrigue and arcane maneuverings. Firmly grounded in the trappings of high fantasy, Hobb's first novel features a protagonist whose coming of age revolves around the discovery of the meaning of loyalty and trust. - Synopsis by Reed Business Information, Inc.
The usual stock fantasy characters are here, but the main one has a bit of a twist: He learns how to become an assassin for the king.
This story does get a bit gruesome in parts, so if you're particularly squeamish, this isn't for you. Portions of that didn't bother me, but what did bother me (and maybe it shouldn't have) was Fitz's dog. Yes, he has a dog who is quite loyal and protective of him. I won't get into details, but as the dog is introduced fairly early into the story, I nearly stopped reading the book after reading about the dog...
Now, I attach a lot to what happens to a dog in a story, simply because I have 2 dogs and no kids. But certain things with the dog (I won't get into detail) made me want to stop reading fairly early on in the book. But it's rare for me not to finish a book, so I continued.
It moves a pretty good pace, the character of Fitz is interesting enough, so it's not that the story itself is bad. Don't let my prejudice make you think it wasn't an interesting tale (the 1st book of the Farseer Trilogy) because it was.
Oh, and the cover art is beautiful.
This is not the type of book that I usually read, but I found myself engrossed in it and actually caring about the characters and wanting to know what happened next. It was definitely not a book I could easily put down.
This is a very good book, book one in the Farseer trilogy. It follows the early adventures of Fitz-Chivalry Farseer who has the ability to use the 'skill', a form of mental magic. One of the best things about this book is the unique and highly believable form of magic in Hobb's world. This is a very good, and extremely intense, trilogy. Definitely a keeper. Highly reccomended!
This was the book that made me fall back into fantasy fiction. The series (and related series) are among the best I've read--well-developed characters and fictional worlds. Don't let the type-names fool you--the book knows what it's doing and while the Farseer line names do tell you something, this is well beyond say the type-names of Pilgrim's Progress or even Dickens.
There IS quite a lot of really disturbing violence in Hobbs's work--there were times I had to put the book down (see other reviews--cruelty and physical threat to humans and animals is prevelant)--but there's a real reason for it. Hobbs's other work (see the Soldier's Son trilogy) shows a strong environmental consciousness, though it may not be readily apparent to the casual reader of this series. Definitely adult themes--not really a teens's series--though aside from the violence I can't think of a real reason that age group couldn't handle it, but in general her work is more sophisticated about affection, betrayal, political dynamics, cultural encounter, etc. than most young readers will be ready to recognize.