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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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7,071133510 (4.12)263
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)

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» See also 263 mentions

English (121)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (133)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
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 |
I've had Robin Hobb on my list of "to read" authors for a while and I can't believe it's taken me this long to get around to one of her books. Her prose is wonderful and though she writes pretty standard fantasy her character's, world and magic are intriguing. The magic of this world is, at this point, minimal, but magic seems to be a dying art in the Duchies and there are hints that this is about to change. I can't wait to see where Fitz's story takes him as he evolves from apprentice to full fledged assassin. ( )
  blue_fantasy | Aug 5, 2015 |
In the mood to read a good, solid fantasy trilogy, I picked up the Farseer series by Robin Hobb. It was highly recommended on every “Top Fantasy Reads” list I looked at. That’s really saying something, eh? “Assassin’s Apprentice” (Book 1) begins with the main character as an old man recalling his life story, starting at the tender age of six. Right away, the reader knows she’s in for an ambitious story. Being a writer myself, I appreciate the foreshadowing that Hobbs deftly employed here as well as the organization that goes behind it. The author has a straightforward style that is easy to read. Her character development is amazing, and she takes the time to “grow” the individuals, and they are wonderfully depicted as believable people with natural flaws and foibles. There are no instant advancements or ready-made solutions to either their development or the story’s. Hobbs also does a fine job with setting development, and her plot is just convoluted enough to make things interesting without being confusing.

That being said, and I am looking at the series as a whole, there are some places where the story dragged enough to make me want to skip ahead. I understand that she tried to make each of the three novels work more or less as a standalone. However, this involved boring and copious amounts of repetition made worse by editorial gaffs in which words and/or phrases were often duplicated—in the same paragraph, no less.

I found the first book the least engaging, and if I had not set out to read the trilogy, I would have quit there. The ending did nothing to encourage me to pick up the next book. In spite of that, I’m glad I did. I cried my way through the last couple of chapters. In the end, I felt sympathy and a real fondness for not just the main character, Fitz, but for most of the supporting cast. As another reviewer said, “If you want a story that can pull you in, wring you out, and leave you feeling like you have really been through something, then read this.” ( )
  RobinLythgoe | Jul 6, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
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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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