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Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Apprentice (1995)

by Robin Hobb

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Farseer Trilogy (1), Realm of the Elderlings (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,866199546 (4.11)366
  1. 114
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (Tjarda, Patangel)
  2. 60
    The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (LiddyGally)
    LiddyGally: Both "autobiograhical" accounts of the life of a man with powers of a magical kind, told from boyhood to manhood. Compelling writing makes for a great read and memorable story!
  3. 50
    Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn (Kassilem)
  4. 50
    Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman (Kaelkivial)
    Kaelkivial: If you enjoy the Master/apprentice relationship and the coming of age, rags to relative riches story lines. Both involve young boys who are capable of things that they do not yet understand and must harness their powers towards a greater end.
  5. 40
    Transformation by Carol Berg (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: For epic fantasy that is rarely makes things easy for its protagonists
  6. 30
    Across the Nightingale Floor by Gillian Rubinstein (soffitta1)
    soffitta1: A coming of age story, a noble boy with an uncertain future.
  7. 30
    A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette (Kassilem)
  8. 20
    Devices and Desires by K. J. Parker (NovaStalker)
    NovaStalker: Both books that have no feel good quality about them at all. If you finish them and their respective series and don't hate life, love, everyone and want to kill yourself you're either incredibly well adjusted or a sociopath. That's a recommendation.
  9. 20
    Imager by L. E. Modesitt (Dragget)
    Dragget: Similar coming-of-age themes where the plot follows the main character as he discovers and develops his skills against a background of political intrigue.
  10. 10
    Inda by Sherwood Smith (humouress)
    humouress: Both series share the similarity of a country defending itself from invaders from the sea with whom they in fact share their ancestry.
  11. 10
    Le Vaisseau magique, tome 1 : Les aventuriers de la mer by Robin Hobb (Patangel)
  12. 21
    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (joyfulgirl)
  13. 10
    The Book of Unholy Mischief: A Novel by Elle Newmark (mene)
    mene: Both books have a similar setting: Told by a narrator when he is already old and has lived his life, he talks about his childhood. Both main characters lived in the "important building" of the city (though in Assassin's Apprentice it's a fantasy world and in The Book of Unholy Mischief it's Venice in Italy), both boys go to town every now and then to meet his friends (and a girl), and both are apprentices of someone/something they cannot tell anyone else (except for a few people). Both books contain a bit of magic, though of a different kind.… (more)
  14. 00
    L'Assassin royal, tome 07 : Le prophète blanc by Robin Hobb (Patangel)

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» See also 366 mentions

English (187)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (199)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
There are a few stumbles - Molly's distinct lack of character being one of them - but this is an excellent novel that isn't afraid to pull some extremely painful punches. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
A recommendation from a friend. Like Mortal Suns, this is a memoir in a fantasy land. An old man is telling the sad story of his youth as an orphaned bastard in a royal keep. The unrelenting grimness almost turned me off, but the narrative and story are interesting as the world is built little by little and the adventures begin. It's the first of a trilogy and I've put a hold on its sequel too - must be my month for orphans. (July 14, 2005) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
This was a really good introduction to Robin Hobbs and the world she has created. The characters are well-formed and the world is richly detailed. There were moments that took my breath away and others that left me completely gutted. I’m looking forward to continuing the series. Hobbs has a beautiful, descriptive writing style and I look forward to more adventures with Fitz. ( )
  DGRachel | Apr 2, 2019 |
A great start to an intense trilogy. I listened to one after another as Paul Boehmer was such a great narrator. I found myself often surprised by the plot twists and how hard Hobb was on the main character Fitz. There is telepathy in this series which is never something I care for but the way in which it was used in the Farseer trilogy did not detract too strongly from the story. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
I loved the characters and the plot. Both were deeply woven together. There were a number of surprises, some of them tear jerkers. It is written in first person, but Robin Hobb did a beautiful job with this. She allowed the reader to get right inside the main characters head, and this paid off, because I really felt connected with him – I felt his pain and loneliness. It was enough to shatter the heart.

As I said, Assassin’s Apprentice was written in first person, so the author felt she had to include a short passage at the beginning of each chapter (ranging from a few lines to one and a half pages), which explained the history and other characters. These were things that the main character didn’t know and was mostly “telling”. This is the main thing that I disliked about the book. I found it distracting and…well, boring. After reading the first few, I stopped reading them and I feel I didn’t miss anything. The story was just as rich without these “info dumps”.

There were places where the author also described too much. For example, it took something like five pages to describe a city. By the time I’d read 3 pages, I was well and truly over it and just wanted the story to continue – so skipped the rest of the description. Other sections were over described too, but not as bad as the section I just mentioned. These long descriptions were also distracting and managed to pull me out of the story I was thoroughly enjoying.

Taking these things away, this book is excellent. The story and characters are so real that the reader has no choice but to “get over” the bad things and move on. I did, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The book is the first book in a trilogy, but it is also a stand alone novel. I don’t have to read the next book, but I will because I want to see where the story will go (and how the author improves because, I believe, this was her first published novel).

Highly recommended; and, I think it will gain a place in my top ten books.

Second Review in October 2009:

This is the second time I have read this book, the first being in early 2006. On that occasion I had intended to read the trilogy but something happened in my life which stopped me – the loss of my son. Unable to concentrate for long periods of time and unable to handle complex plots, I turned to stand alone, much thinner books written for young children. The three books which make up The Farseer Trilogy have been sitting on my bookshelf ever since.

Now, three and a half years later, I find myself wanting to complete the trilogy. However, I realised the grief had completely wiped the first book from my memory. Apart from the main character's name, I could remember next to nothing of the story. I didn't want to pick up book two and start reading, hoping the first book would come back to me, as that would be distracting, so I read the first book again.

I had expected a flood of memory to occur at some stage during the reading – especially when I approached the climax – but that didn't happen. I did, however, remember small sections that obviously made an impression on me in 2006, but not enough to spoil any of the surprises. This morning, after finishing Assassin's Apprentice for the second time, I set about finding the review I wrote back then. It seems I enjoyed it then, with some reservations about the detailed descriptions. Today, I think I have a better appreciation for the book as I had more time in which to sit and become absorbed by it – I even read the “telling” sections at the beginning of each chapter, that I didn't have much time for previously.

Maybe it's a case of “older and wiser”, but I think it's more likely to do with the time restraint issues I had back in 2006, but whatever it was I really enjoyed this second reading. I became totally absorbed and found myself wanting to return to the story, even when it wasn't possible. Eventually, I left all other distractions at home (for the train trip to and from work) and concentrated solely on the book, which meant I was dedicating four hours a day to reading. I was captivated!

The author shows in this one book how a complex plot can be written in a smooth, believable manner. She also proves that whilst action is important, it doesn't have to dominate every paragraph of every page. She shows that a character driven book can pull a reader in and hold them through thick and thin, through the laughs and pain, through love and death. This is a brilliant example of a well written story.

This morning I finished Assassin's Apprentice and in the next minute I was already absorbed by Royal Assassin, book 2 of the trilogy. It's looking as if this trilogy is going to take a place on my “favourites” list. ( )
  KarenLeeField | Mar 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Hobbprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boehmer, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santikko, SauliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spångberg, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Giles
And for Raphael and Freddy,
the Princes of Assassins.
Bantam 1996 edition:
To Giles
to the memories of
Ralph the Orange
Freddie Cougar
Princes among Assassins
Felines above Reproach
First words
A history of the Six Duchies is of necessity a history of its ruling family, the Farseers.
[The Fool] was proffering a leather drawstring bag. "What is it?" I asked, and tried not to let him hear either the flowers or the doll in my voice.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Despite some titles similar to those of the original 6, the French version of the Farseer books splits the 2 trilogies into 13 books. This is 1 of 13 and it is the only book that is exactly the same as the original one. Make sure you combine only with identically split parts of the series.
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055357339X, Mass Market Paperback)

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 like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him sectetly 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 the 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 the key to the survival of the kingdom.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Fitz, Prince Chivalry's illegitimate son raised by Burrich the stableman, is ignored by all the royalty except for King Shrewd, who has him tutored as an assassin because he has the magic Skill.

» see all 7 descriptions

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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