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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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6,478126592 (4.13)248
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. 50
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  4. 40
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  5. 30
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    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.
  7. 10
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  8. 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)
  9. 10
    A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette (Kassilem)
  10. 10
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» See also 248 mentions

English (110)  Dutch (4)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (118)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
I heard this book is great but I just couldn't get into it. ( )
  Gonzalo8046 | Sep 29, 2014 |
I waffled a lot on this rating. I'm sure there are books I rated higher that i liked less. However, it did not aspire to be much. So, at the start of this review, two stars feels a bit low, but three seems too high. What the book is, IMHO, is a solid entry in the world of genre fiction. Hobb writes a nice little fantasy adventure with some clever and well written twists on the standard genre plot. First off, it isn't all about violence and heroism and our hero isn't granted deux-ex-machina powers. Second, the ways our hero finds to solve challenges mirror actual character traits that people would be better off adapting. Social influence and consideration of others plays a larger role in Hobb's story, which is much, much better than another tale of a chosen hero who is really good at hitting other people on the head.

The protagonist does some nice growing up as the story progresses, as do some of the other main characters. The villains do tend to fall into pat stereotypes and the tribe of virtuous savages are a bit too virtuous, but for all that there is a hint of self awareness and a hint of real humanity in the characters. Not much more than a hint, but it does make for a nice change from either the standard ridiculous good/evil roles or the currently popular dark anti-hero tales that everyone seems to be writing today.

I like it, but it doesn't really hold a candle to the best genre fair (Guy G. Kay) or quite reach the level of the middling stuff that has a bit more depth to it (Abercrombie, Rothfuss).

Still, I have queued up the sequel in my audible list and that says something. So, as I think about the first Farseer book, I'm moved to up my rating of it to three stars. I'm glad I read it and will continue reading her work. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
Review was originally posted on Goodreads.

I received this book from the Goodreads First Read giveaway.

Robin Hobb had me hooked from start to finish. I enjoyed this story immensely after reading about characters that excel at everything that they do; not that I don't enjoy those also. I liked that Fitz wasn't a perfect, excel at all, hero of the story. I grieved with his losses, shamed with his failures, and felt proud with his accomplishments.

I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on the next book! ( )
  apollymipanthos | Sep 8, 2014 |
Good start to what looks to be an interesting series. Very interesting title character in a small but sufficiently complex society. ( )
  jamespurcell | Sep 2, 2014 |
Fitz is the bastard son of the beloved king in waiting. Fitz is quickly cast aside and given to the stable master to raise. Preparing for the future, the king decides to have Fitz trained as an assassin and tested for a magical ability passed through the bloodline. With a new threat to the kingdom and power plays constantly in motion, Fitz has numerous opportunities to implement his new skills but he soon ends up becoming a target himself. This is the first book in the Farseer trilogy.

Assassin's Apprentice is a memorable fantasy novel with rich descriptions. It has an interesting narration where at the beginning of each chapter there is the sense of a much older Fitz relaying the story before quickly settling into the younger perspective. The story unfolds gradually through interlaced storlines that follow Fitz from childhood through adolescence and into young adulthood. It has an episodic quality that lends itself to epic high fantasy.

The story has a cast of noteworthy characters with great characterization and interesting backstories. I liked how the various mentor relationships were formed and tested throughout the story. Fitz's assassin and magic training were intriguing and had engaging storylines where each mission tests his loyalty and resolve. I liked that Fitz struggled with his endeavors and that there was a sense of growth as well as setbacks throughout the story.

The descriptions are rich and vivid creating an immersive reading experience. It has great world building with a diverse range of cultures, societal structures, politics, and locations. The different magic systems were portrayed wonderfully and allowed for further characterization. The first magic system was telepathy with animals and explored the mental bond formed. I adored the animal personifications especially because it remained subtle characterization rather than full blown anthropomorphism. The second magic system was a mysterious ability accessible by a limited group of people of royal descent that had interesting consequences.

The end of the book felt a bit slow because a new location and culture were introduced. However it makes up for it with a clever deadly ploy that ties up loose ends while setting the foundation for the next book. Overall, I enjoyed reading Assassin's Apprentice and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

[Disclaimer: I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads] ( )
  eloquent_codex | Aug 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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.)
Disambiguation notice
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:27 -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 7 descriptions

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