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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)

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7,165136496 (4.12)265
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 (inactive), Favorites (inactive)

Work details

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (1995)

Recently added byMrsAlwyn, PBirgander, cherobula, Jay-Freeman, BooksOn23rd, private library, Lew1993
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» See also 265 mentions

English (124)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
Well, this is one fantasy that is now a personal yardstick for measuring others! Describing the plot/characters/world doesn't convey what a good read this really was -- definitely a combination of excellent writing and characters that stay with you hauntingly while waiting next books in series. ( )
  Spurts | Oct 29, 2015 |
Love this book! I read and re-read it years ago and now I'm back on to it again. It has a heart-warming and sometimes, disturbing, buildup covering the protagonist's early years and the shaping of his skills and personality and then gets into the suspense-filled action. You really feel for Fitz's dilemmas and dangers and those of his mentor.

Horrific adversaries, beautifully crafted world and believable, human main characters - total immersion guaranteed! ( )
  garethmottram | Oct 27, 2015 |
I swear, I have had this book in my room for about five years now and I only just got around to reading it. I've heard a lot of good things about Robin Hobb's books, and I've started this book at least seven times, each time stopping before the second chapter. Let's be honest, it starts out rather dry. Actually, it's incredibly dry at the beginning. So, it is a little difficult to get into, especially when she decides to spend entire chapters on the day-to-day schedule of a six year old bastard's life. I was not a huge fan of how the book started out, as it was confusing and hard to follow because it was a bit too descriptive, it went a bit too far.
However, after the first few chapters, the story begins to pick up and got a whole lot better.
The story in a whole was really quite good. The story of a prince's bastard who is handed about as a child and finally comes under the care of his father's stablemaster. The boy, called nothing more than boy, or Fitz which literally means bastard to them - has talent with dogs and horses and stays with the stablemaster, Burrich, for quite some time. Until he is taken up to the Keep to live with the rest of nobility. There he is trained by Chade, an enigmatic assassin who works for the King. Ensuring that the king will have a tool in Fitz, and not something that could interfere with the line of the throne. When the kingdom is attacked by raiders with eery powers, Fitz is sent off to his gruesome work. Earning himself enemies in high places along the way.
The story was excellent, at times though, it was hard to become attached to the characters. I loved Fitz and his character, but because he was so detached from everyone else, it was hard to like many of the other characters. The characters in this story are not very dynamic. They all fit their preconceived places and never venture out any farther. I was never surprised by the characters. I was surprised by the plot twists, but not the characters that caused them. Though, the Fool is the one character that doesn't seem to fit his mold. All the others work the way their characters are supposed too, however the Fool is one that is confusing and surprising. I did like him a lot.
However, I was told by a friend that this was the driest of the three books in the trilogy. And it was not bad, by far, it just was not particularly outstanding. However, i was informed that the second two are fairly outstanding, so of course i am going to read them. I doubt that it will take me four years either as i understand and love the characters now.
I really enjoyed it in the end. The story became very fast paced and i found myself unable to put the book down. However, it does have it's notable flaws that are difficult to ignore, such as the fact that the beginning is hard to get through. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
My first introduction to Robin Hobb was Fool’s Errand, the first book of her second trilogy featuring Fitz and the Fool (The Tawny Mann Trilogy). I enjoyed it greatly and decided to back-track and read the first trilogy (The Farseer Trilogy) before continuing with the second.

Assassin’s Apprentice is the first book of the Farseer Trilogy and it reinforces everything I liked about Fool’s Errand. Robin Hobb is a highly skilled writer. Her prose is clear and detailed and brilliantly illuminated by poetic description and nuance. She creates a very convincing fantasy world. One can see and feel and smell her scenes. And of course it was her beautifully drawn characters that won me in the first place.

This first-in-a-trilogy volume reminds me of the other one in that Hobb takes her time to unfold her story in both of them. Much of this book is spent in watching Fitz’s childhood from age six to age fifteen. Many writers would have handled this in flashbacks and some readers may lose patience with Hobb’s slower approach. Personally I was willing to let her take her time to immerse us in Fitz and his world. I found it gave the character a depth that would be hard to achieve any other way and it was very far from boring because the world was not standing still. We learned about the Six Duchies and the setting of Buckkeep Castle, with their complex history and intrigues and all the fascinating supporting characters, at the same time that Fitz is discovering who he is and where he fits into it all. By the time Fitz faces the book’s climactic challenge, Hobb has prepared us with an understanding of his predicament and all its repercussions that is deep and subtle and very finely wrought. ( )
  Carol_W | Sep 17, 2015 |
"Of one other I must speak, one dragged into that conflict and intrigue only by his loyalty to me. To the end of my days, I will bear the scars he gave me. His worn teeth sank deeply into my hand several times before he managed to drag me from that pool. How he did it, I will never know. But his head still rested on my chest when they found us; his mortal bonds to this world broken. Nosy was dead. I believe he gave his life freely, recalling that we had been good to one another, when we were puppies. Men cannot grieve as dogs do. But we grieve for many years."

This paragraph says it all....

This book.....will blow your mind.

The sheer talent of this woman...will leave you speechless.

The plot was deep and layered, and incredibly well thought trough. The writing was engrossing to the point where i have felt every single emotion alongside Fitz, his loneliness, his dreams, his awareness of isolation, his tentative reach towards family and some sort of acceptance. My poor heart was breaking at moments.

This is definitely a classic, and the rest of the world already knows it. I'm just glad i finally joined the band wagon....
( )
  IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
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» 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
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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.)
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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

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