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Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy) (original 1996; edition 1997)
by Robin Hobb
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553573411, Mass Market Paperback)Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and returns to the court where he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life. With the King near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened. Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns. In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands--and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:26 -0400)
Fitz, crippled in his first mission as an assassin, intends to take refuge in a distant kingdom, but is drawn back to his home and the court of the Six Duchies when he learns the kingdom is under attack from outside enemies and inside traitors.
(summary from another edition)
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