Format read: paperback
Genre: High Fantasy
Release Date: 1 March 1996
Formats available: audio book, paperback, Hardcover, ebook
Purchasing Info: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Book Depository US | Book Depository (UK)
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 secretly 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.
What an absolutely intrepid start to a series.
Fitz is the bastard son of the royal Prince Chivalry; he has no memories of his mother who gave him to the Royal Family when he was only six years old. He never knows his father who gives up his rightful claim to the throne and left Buckkeep before Fitz arrives at the stronghold. With both of his parents abandoning him, Fitz’s care falls to Burrich, the stable master, who cares for Fitz and teaches him all he needs to know about an honest day’s work.
That is until the king notices him, and decides he could be useful. King Shrewd decides that Fitz should be trained as a weapon, not a soldier, but an assassin. He can tell no one of what he does or who trains him and still keep up his previous appearance so he has reasons to be where he shouldn’t lest he get caught.
Fitz is an amazing character with so many struggles to face, but more than loving the character I am in love with the story itself. I don’t really read high fantasy for the one character alone, I read it for the world building, for the castles and politics and magic. Assassin’s Apprentice had all of these, political marriages, magical training of the Skill, the ability to communicate with others through thought, a gift which Fitz possessed. The waves created by Fitz’s illegitimacy not just for Fitz himself but for all of those connected to his father, Prince Chivalry; Chivalry’s barren wife consumed by jealousy and then guilt, Fitz’s petulant uncle, Regal, who hated him purely for being born, and not worthy of the blood running through his veins or the gifts that came with it, Burrich who lost his master and companion through Chivalry’s abdication and the various other characters jealous of Fitz just because he was good at what he did or hated him just for existing and tainting the Royal bloodline.
Hobb’s writing is absolutely amazing. Occasionally I got confused with some of the dialogue, especially when Burrich the stable master was speaking because he always tended to allude to something he expected Fitz to understand. Fitz never really explained it to us but I almost feel it’s my fault because I’m so used to having everything spelled out for me that I’m not retaining the details I should be.
Other than the occasional confusion I was enthralled from start to finish. Fitz started out as a six year old and ended at about fourteen and the time in between was traversed perfectly. There was one weird time jump in the entire book towards the end but even it was barely noticeable.
Hobb’s world, her ideas and the secret plots leading into the next book have made the Farseer world completely addictive, I need Royal Assassin as soon as possible, it’s imperative.
I feel like I’ll never be able to do justice with my mere words when it comes to anything by Robin Hobb. You really just need to experience it for yourself to truly understand the magic she produces.
I give Assassin’s Apprentice 5 Stars
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