Friday, February 6, 2015

Review: The Assassin's Apprentice

45107Title: Assassin's Apprentice
Author: Robin Hobb
Genre: Epic fantasy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads summary:
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.
Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.
So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

My first Robin Hobb book was Fool's Assassin. I saw that it was book 1 in the "Fitz and the Fool" trilogy, and figured it was a good place to start.

Oops.

I didn't realize that Robin Hobb's Farseer books are a series of trilogies, and that I was starting almost 40 years after Fitz' story began. I had no idea what the history between different characters was, and I obviously wasn't already attached to all of the characters. I made it through Fool's Assassin, but it was a struggle because it was just so slow.

I figured things would make more sense if I started from the beginning. I picked up this book already knowing the distant future of Fitz, the Fool, Molly, Chade, and all the other lovely characters of Assassin's Apprentice. The thing is, I didn't know much about how they got there. I suppose for some people I was reading this book with major spoilers, but that didn't bother me so much. In fact, I enjoyed knowing what was to come, because it made the beginning of their story that much more striking.

Robin Hobb's books are so character driven, and even though many characters are named by a character trait, they are all far more complex than that. I loved getting to know the characters even better, and now I see why Robin Hobb has so many fans. Her stories aren't exactly fast-paced, but they do build up to something great. I loved seeing Fitz transform from a reluctant occupant of the castle to a young man who risks so much for the people he cares about.

I will definitely be reading more of these!
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2 comments:

  1. Lately I've been trying to push myself into reading some Robin Hobb - this very book, in fact. Glad to know you liked it. Maybe if I keep hearing such good things about her books, I'll finally read one.

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  2. I'm constantly confused about where to start with Robin Hobb- she has a lot of series that semi-link together in one big spiderweb. I bought this book a while back anyhow, it seems she's one of the few mainstream SFF women authors I haven't read a book from yet. I'm happy that you liked it, and happier to know I'm not alone in my confuzzlement.
    Excellent review!
    ~Litha Nelle

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