Robin Hobb – Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer trilogy book 1)

Assassin’s Apprentice is book 1 in author Robin Hobb’s trilogy The Farseer.  It is about a boy who apprentices as, well, an assassin.

Fitz is a bastard, quite literally.  His father was a king-in-waiting (prince) and his mother remains a mystery throughout the entire book.  Even the mystery of why Fitz’s father, Chilvary, is no longer a king-in-waiting is not revealed by the end of the book.  Grrrrrrrrrr

There seems to be at least 2 magic systems in The Farseer trilogy, the Wit and the Skill.  The Wit allows the magic user to communicate with beasts and the Skill allows a person to delve into the mind of another person and suggest certain things.  The Skill seems to only manifest in those of royal blood line and not much is known about the Wit except that people do not like it because those with command of the Wit always seem to turn into beasts themselves.  Personally I think it will be shown in later books that both magics are one and the same.

Fitz is a self proclaimed “king’s man” and performs his duties dutifully with one hitch; he has a conscience.  This is potentially very dangerous for him.

Assassin’s Apprentice and I assume the rest of the trilogy is written from a 1st person frame point of view.  That is, Fitz is now an adult and telling his story of when he was a young boy.  The first person point of view makes for some strange situations; very often Fitz, the narrator has to say, “well I have no idea why I am in this scene but I need to describe this scene to tell the story”.

One thing I really like about Assassin’s Apprentice is the chapter length; the chapters are relatively short, ~20 kindle pages, and they are consistently that length so I know exactly when the chapter ends because I am one of those people that needs/wants to get to the end of the chapter before I take a break.

I haven’t done this in a while – my favourite sentence in the book,

I do not know who I wish to win; until I do, I will let no player be eliminated.

This is a fairly good summary of the book – who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?

Best fantasy series I have read in a long time.

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One Response to Robin Hobb – Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer trilogy book 1)

  1. Pingback: Robin Hobb – Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy book 2) – Phillip Tang Book Review Blog

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