Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer…

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1) (original 1995; edition 1996)

by Robin Hobb, Michael Whelan (Illustrator), John Howe (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,978131517 (4.12)259
Title:Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1)
Authors:Robin Hobb
Other authors:Michael Whelan (Illustrator), John Howe (Illustrator)
Info:Spectra (1996), Mass Market Paperback, 435 pages
Collections:Fiction, Your library, Favorites

Work details

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (1995)

  1. 80
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (Tjarda, Patangel)
  2. 50
    Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn (Kassilem)
  3. 50
    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!
  4. 40
    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. 20
    A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette (Kassilem)
  6. 20
    Transformation by Carol Berg (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: For epic fantasy that is rarely makes things easy for its protagonists
  7. 10
    The Chef's Apprentice 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)
  8. 10
    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. 10
    Le Vaisseau magique, tome 1 : Les aventuriers de la mer by Robin Hobb (Patangel)
  10. 11
    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (joyfulgirl)
  11. 00
    L'Assassin royal, tome 07 : Le prophète blanc by Robin Hobb (Patangel)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 259 mentions

English (118)  French (4)  Dutch (4)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
As silly and cliche as it is, I definitely judge books by their cover and the new cover of this novel is not great! My sister and I are both avid fantasy readers and she highly suggested this series to me. Although I tried to say no, due to the cover,I tried it out, and am very grateful I did!
What a great start to a fantasy series. It has all the right ingredients: magic, action, a great landscape, and above all else great characterization.
I want to care for the characters I read about whether that be to love or hate them! This book allowed me to understand and dive into the characters and their actions.
I will definitely be reading this series to the end! Robin Hobb is a great fantasy writer and I am excited to have found (technically my sister found) another great fantasy series to put under my belt! ( )
  Kiddboyblue | May 22, 2015 |
4 ½ Stars
Audiobook ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
4 ½ Stars
Audiobook ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
4 ½ Stars
Audiobook ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
Background (No Spoilers)

This is a saga about a boy, Fitz, who spends his life always in reluctant service to others - in particular, the Farseer Rulers of the Six Duchies. Fitz wants so much just to follow his own dreams. Yet his royal blood means that self-determination can never really be his fate. Like the rulers of the Mountain Kingdoms acknowledge, those with royal blood must be a “sacrifice” to their people, and have no other choice: “the true ruler of a kingdom is the servant of all.”

Fitz was born out of wedlock to Chivalry Farseer, the King-in-Waiting of the Six Duchies. At age six, Fitz was taken away from his mother by his grandfather and handed over to Verity, Chivalry’s brother, at Buckkeep Fortress.

With Fitz's existence known, Chivalry was forced as a manner of honor to abdicate his right to the throne and to leave Buckkeep. Fitz’s care was given by Verity in part to Burrich, the Stablemaster of Buckkeep and Chivalry’s right-hand man. A third brother, Regal, was jealous of Chivalry and Verity, and when Fitz came, Regal began to hate Fitz the most of all of them. Regal resolved to get rid of all three of them so he could rule after the death of their father, King Shrewd.

The others ignored Regal, because the Six Duchies had bigger (or so they thought) problems. They were being besieged by pirates from the Outislands, who traveled in distinctive red ships, raiding the shores and stealing the wealth of the Six Duchies. Then the Outislanders began kidnapping villagers and by some unknown process returning them as zombie-like monsters. Because this practice began with the village of Forge, such people, no matter their origin, were ever after known as “Forged.”

People who were Forged could not even be detected by the Skill. This was a magic common to those in the Farseer line enabling a person to reach out to another’s mind, no matter how distant, and know that person’s thoughts. If the other person were Skilled also, the two could even communicate through mind-speak, and if one had evil intent, he or she could control or even kill the other person via the Skill.

The trilogy can almost be seen as a catalog of Fitz’s suffering. Yes, he is a hero, but not a shining, caped hero that escapes repeated trials to save the day. Rather, he is battered and bruised, both physically and psychologically, with few moments of happiness. Thus it is that the rare glimpses of sunlight in his life make you want to weep for him. It is not at all spoilery to tell you he survives however, because the trilogy begins as a recounting by a much older Fitz of his memories. But as for how intact he is when he writes down these memories, and what his current status is - for that you have to read the books.

In Book One, King Shrewd’s half-brother Chade trains Fitz to be The King’s Assassin. It is Fitz’s job to go where the King (through Chade) sends him and to quietly get rid of enemies, including the Forged whenever he finds them.

King Shrewd also insists that Fitz receive training in use of Skill, and so Fitz becomes part of a “coterie” of students taught by Galen, the twisted, masochistic half-brother to Regal. Galen is a cruel teacher and hates Fitz, so it is difficult training, in which Fitz does not excel. Galen brutally beats Fitz, trying, it seems to Fitz, to kill him. But in spite of (or because of) Galen's malicious treatment, Fitz feels like a failure, having internalized Galen’s relentless negative judgments of him. Galen also did something damaging to Fitz's Skill, but it is difficult for Fitz to figure out what it is or how to correct it.

As the book ends, Fitz is sent along with a group to the Mountain Kingdoms to retrieve Princess Kettricken to come back to Buckkeep and be wedded to Verity. Verity is busy using his Skill to try to attack the Red Ship Raiders, so Regal is to go in his place to seal the deal. Burrich goes along to tend to the horses, and Fitz goes with an assassin job to kill Ketricken’s brother Rurisk. Regal has convinced his father that Rurisk needs to be eliminated. Fitz is bound to carry out the King’s will, but he begins to suspect Regal has engineered this murder for nefarious reasons.

Soon Fitz discovers that it is not only Rurisk that Regal wants dead, and Fitz and Burrich must also fight for their lives. ( )
  nbmars | Nov 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Hobbprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boehmer, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santikko, SauliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spångberg, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
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
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.12)
0.5 2
1 17
1.5 4
2 68
2.5 19
3 277
3.5 102
4 802
4.5 118
5 771


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,961,075 books! | Top bar: Always visible