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.
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 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.
All the Farseer and Fool trilogy books are some of the best books I have ever read. The character development was so deep that you deeply cared about what happened to them, and not just the main ones. When I finished the last book, I felt at a loss without my good friend Fitz and the Fool to read about.
This is a review for the entire Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest) because I find it almost impossible to rate them as individual books.
This trilogy has just placed itself on my short list of all-time favorite books. There is something about these characters and their stories that I found to be incredibly moving. This is not an easy series to read because it reads so much like real life. It is messy. There is just as much pain and hardship and disappointment as there is hope and encouragement and love. The pacing is timed so that you feel like you have truly lived every long day with these characters. Hobb's talent for world-building and character development is nothing short of masterful.
This is a painfully beautiful fantasy series but it will not appeal to all fantasy readers. It totally lacks the fast paced, slash and dash, sword and sorcery feel of many fantasy novels and anyone looking for that in this series might find themselves bored senseless in the intricate tedium of the plot. On the other hand, I think that this is a series that defies genre stereotypes and could appeal to any typical non-fantasy reader who could appreciate what Hobb has accomplished here.
serinlea reviewed Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I think this is the first time I've ever read a fantasy novel containing a form of magic that the people in the novel's world feared and hated. Robin Hobb's work was highly recommended to me, and it will be interesting to see where the rest of this series goes.
really engaging and well written story. recommended by a friend who is seldom wrong about good books. A bit of magic in a medieval times story, with royalty, intrigue, villans and heros. But contemplative and deep too.
The prince's illegitimate son is dropped off at the King's residence at the age of six - unnamed and unloved. He is immediately dubbed Fitz (meaning bastard) by his father's stablemaster, Burrich. Thus begins the life of a boy hated (and feared) by all. Everyone in Fitz's young life betrays him or tries to kill him. The things they do to him are unconsciounable (sp?).
A few of the people of Buckkeep have psychic abilities - called the Skill. Fitz doesn't appear to have this but he does have an affinity with animals - called the Wit. At the King's command, Fitz is trained in various endeavors - a fighter/warrior, an assassin and even a magic user (Skill). As the King's assassin, he embarks on a mission which will change his life forever.
A backdrop to the story is the red-ship raiders, who are vile barbarians pillaging and kidnapping villagers. They return the victims zombie-like. It's almost like they're given a lobotomy - no emotions at all, no family ties, just violent as hell. The Skill workers are fighting this assualt but no real page time is given to the conflict. I imagine this is left for a future book. I hope so, these people are unbelieveably vicious and I'd like to see the Farseers repel them.
I enjoyed this entry in the Farseer trilogy - even with the treacherous court life, the murdering royals and the traitors. I immediately felt pity for young Fitz and as the underdog, was pulling for him to teach those traitorus jackals a thing or two. Well he makes it through this adventure by the skin of his teeth, hopefully he will get revenge in the next installment.
I have not read science fiction/fantasy for quite a few years and didn't think i would ever get back into it but i have to admit that this trilogy got me hooked almost from the first page.
Fitz is the bastard born son of Prince Chivalry the next in line to be king. You really get involved in Fitz's story and come to care for him in a way that makes his life almost your own, you cry with him and laugh with him and feel proud of his triumphs.
I would definitely recommend this trilogy for first time sci-fi/fantasy readers.
Somehow, I had not heard of this book before ordering it from Paperbackswap.com. I'm not sure how I missed it, because it is a wonderful beginning to a wonderful series. I have read the first two books of the series and can't wait to read more.
The story revolves around, as the title suggests, an apprentice assassin. However, there is much more to the story than that. If you like the detail that you find in the Raymond Feist universe, then you will enjoy the Farseer Trilogy as well.
I can't say enough great things about this book. It's a little out of my normal reading range, I usually gravitate towards stories with strong female lead characters, but based on the excellent reviews, I picked this one to try out.
I'm so glad I did! This is a great first book which is turning into a really powerful trilogy. Robin Hobbs writing will suck you into a whole new world and the life and trials of the central characters. I found that the themes are very identifiable and thought provoking. Great read, you won't be sorry you picked this one up!
I am thrilled that this is a series and I get to read two more books. Hobb has made a land and formed all characters and let us become part of the books she writes. I loved the Ship stories as well and they all intertwine.
I really enjoyed this book. A very intriguing world and character. Robin creates an unusual introduction to each chapter, that at first seems disjointed, but soon becomes key to adding depth to the story.
I received this book free without really knowing anything about it, but was very pleased. The lead character Fitz is very likable and believable. I did not want to put this book down. When I finished the book I immediately looked for the next in the series and during my search realized that there was a second trilogy related to this one and decided that I had to have those as well.
I think this book rivals the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy in it's epic tale of good versus evil. I would highly recommend this book to all who enjoy the fantasy genre. I would like to see someone make a movie of these tales.
Aldo C. reviewed Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer, Bk 1) on
read it as a free e-book download on Stanza for my iPod Touch. Great story, definetly made me want to continue the series. Unlike other fantasy novels, it does not rely too heavily on magic to move the plot.
Sarabeth C. reviewed Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer, Bk 1) on
Not the most original story/characters/setting, but an enjoyable read. Has a bit of a Walking Dead feel to it, with some mind-reading magic thrown in. I finished it pretty quick, but probably won't read the next book.
Really Really well written book. I love that it is in the first person. It isn't the fast pace cut them up and move on kind of book. Really well built characters, especially the main one, but all around him done very well, as well. I loved the story and the ending to this book kind of surprised me. I really didn't expect what happened. I can't wait to read the next two.
This is up there with The BEST fantasy novels of All Time !(this is first of a Mindblowing, Fantastic trilogy!
Outstanding characterization, poignant protaganist that your heart reaches out to.
Robin Hobb is one of the premier novelists out there and this is her best !
Enjoyed reading this series of three volumes and rate highly. Characters and premise are believable and well developed. If I have a reservation it would be in the second book where the plot seemed to get stuck just a bit; the main character was experiencing confusion, and the movement of the story seemed to experience it too! Otherwise excellent, with a bang-up ending.
The first book in a growing series by Hobb (previously writing as Megan Lindholm). Very strong characterizations and a richly detailed world that is explored from the limited perspective of Fitz, the illegitimate child of a noble prince. It is a nice take on the anti-hero story, even if Fitz can figure out what happened to his father and stop the invading barbarians he will still never hold the crown or be adored by one and all. It runs a bit long but is worthwhile. Successive books in the series get bogged down and leave the reader a bit numb.
If you previously have ignored this book because it's classified as a young adult novel, stop! It is far superior to many adult fantasy novels, and I'm really not sure why this isn't stocked among them, unless its because there's no sex. (The word "catamite" is mentioned once, but I guess that isn't enough.) Even the writing is more sophisticated and challenging than many adult books (including "Mistborn"). The characters have depth, the plot is unpredictable and suspenseful, and the intermittent dark malice and cruelty should be enough to disturb most readers. There is a lot going on in this story and the author manages all elements of her tale very skillfully.
I finished the book last night and am picking up the sequel from the library today. Assuming the rest of the series is as good as the first book (and I have a hard time seeing how it couldn't be), Robin Hobb will join Joe Abercrombie, Greg Keyes and Scott Lynch as one of my favorite fantasy serialists.
Young Fritz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fritz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.
As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fritz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.
Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill - and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.
As barbarous raiders ravage teh coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be teh key to the survival of teh kingdom.