Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Series #1)

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Series #1)

by Robin Hobb

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Overview

“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin 
 
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 as 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.
 
Praise for Robin Hobb and Assassin’s Apprentice
 
“A gleaming debut in the crowded field of epic fantasies . . . a delightful take on the powers and politics behind the throne.”Publishers Weekly
 
“This is the kind of book you fall into, and start reading slower as you get to the end, because you don’t want it to be over.”—Steven Brust

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553573398
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1996
Series: Farseer Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 32,811
Product dimensions: 4.12(w) x 6.85(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Robin Hobb is the author of the Farseer Trilogy, the Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, the Soldier Son Trilogy, and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. She has also written as Megan Lindholm. She is a native of Washington State.

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Excerpted from "Assassin's Apprentice"
by .
Copyright © 1996 Robin Hobb.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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"Gracefully written" —-Library Journal

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Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 126 reviews.
Zeuxidamas More than 1 year ago
This is likely one of the best books in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre I have read since Ender's Game. I honestly had problems putting this book down and going to bed at night. Maybe it was something as simple as the writing style of using no page breaks until the end of the chapter. Maybe it is because most sci-fi books bounce between three groups of characters and their individual plots. This title stays rigidly focused on the one protagonist, and so maybe I felt like I got to know Fitz better as a character, and was not so distracted trying to keep multiple plot-lines straight. Whatever the cause, I grew totally immersed in Fitz' story, and joined in the constant hope that there would be something better for him just down the road. Cannot wait to read the second one in the series. Bravo. - Vr/Zeux..>>
Hiredoutlaw More than 1 year ago
I went with this book on a whim; good reviews shot me a hope in the fact that this trilogy will be something of epic proportions and keep me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, this book is possibly "epic" to some, but to me? I was severely disappointed.

I started the book one night. I had to read slow, because this is one of those novels that if you happen to read fast or skim, you'll miss a detail and screw up your mental image of the situation or description at hand. So, I read slowly. It was trudging along for the first chapter. I gave it a chance.

Fitz is a bastard child of Prince Chivalry, whom is now abdicated from his throne. Fitz is seen as a mistake to everyone except Burrich, the stable master whom cares for him; Verity, Chivalry's brother, now Prince; and King Shrewd, his grandfather. Fitz carries along in lessons of assassination with his instructor Chade. And that's where I stopped.

Page 150 and my doubts were clear. This book was not for me. I'm all for action, fast-paced adventure, murder and just exciting stuff. This is a book that is character-driven and really, a fictional biography of Fitz. It is told from his old self, recalling on the past. Told in first-person as well.

Sure, I'm fine with description and slow pace for 100 pages. Maybe even 120. But after that, I'm not going to waste my time to read a book that I'm not merely excited by. Granted, this book is interesting! This story is interesting, but it doesn't possess that sort of ... jolt. I'm sorry, I don't get excited by Fitz FINALLY speaking his mind, I don't get excited by his young romance changing her ways to be more girly, I don't get excited when Fitz crawls into bed for three days, full of depression because he feels a ton has been placed upon his shoulders. I'm not a character kind of guy.

I guess that's why you may say I don't particularly enjoy this book or this kind of book for that matter. I stopped reading it early and granted, I may be wrong. It may pick up later on, but judging from other people's opinions or views who have read the trilogy...it doesn't seem that way. I may pick up the book again, may even like it if my need for characterization increases in the future, but right now, I want action. Pick up the book if you want detail upon detail, slow-paced storytelling and characterization. Ignore it if you're like me; you want action and fast-paced events that throw you to the wall in shock and excitement.

Before I finish up here, I'd like to give kudos to Robin Hobb. She has done a tremendous job here and there is nothing wrong with her style. I just happen to dislike the slow-paced trudging through the story.
BluHawk More than 1 year ago
I have been eye-balling this book for years, and I can honestly say I wish I had picked it up earlier! It contains excellent characters and an interesting writing style...I've never read anything quite like it, and I think fantasy readers will love it! Some comparable (and excellent) books are "Thief's Gamble" by McKenna and "Shadow in Summer" by Abraham...
Grandpa More than 1 year ago
Fitz,a five year old and the "bastid" son of Prince Chivalry is brought back to the castle and dropped off by a farmer who had been raising the boy. He is affirmed to be the Prince's child and is put in the care of King Shrew's stable master Burrich, who is both foster father and drill sargent. Fitz has a secret talent of being able to communicate, of sorts, with animals, "The Wit". Burrich is adamant against this, causing confict between them. The Royal family blood line has another "Skill", being able to communicate with each other mentally over long distances, and more. King Shrewd decides to let his "Skill Master", Chade, who is secretly the Queens "Bastid" child as well, teach Fitz this art. He immediately hates Fitz and does his best to destroy him while teaching him to use the "Skill". Enter "Galen" the King's Asassan, who takes Fitz under his wing to tutor him in the Assassan's arts as well. He is told the King wants him to learn and be of help to the King this way. Many sub-plots intertwine. The only dissapointing part of book one is that the Skill and the Wit are discussed at length, but very little is actually done or explained about them, leaving the Magic element of the story a bit weak so far. Secondly the reader finds themselves saying why the heck did Fitz stay until his teens where EVERYBODY hates him. Finaly at the end "FitzChivalry" discovers how to release his "Skill" the hard way setting up for book two. Robn Hobb has done a great job starting out, and I look forward to The Farseer #2. Get this, I think you will like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely enthralling! It is one of those rare books that is like a magnet for the mind. If you don't have this book finished within a day or two there is something wrong. Any fan of fantasy will love this book gauranteed. Robin Hobb's description is legendary and her stories are top notch! A must read.
Reader42AS More than 1 year ago
I have read this series and all of Hobb's following series. They are without doubt among the best in the Fantasy genre I have ever read. I have returned to them time and again. I wish she would go back to Fritz's world and write another series about him. Highly recommend this and all her work. If you find it a little slow going at the beginning, be patient. She is setting the stage for a great series that is well worth the effort. Trust me you will not regret sticking with it.
GLTurner1 More than 1 year ago
At this time, I have only read the first three books in this series (The Farseer Trilogy)and am just beginning the Liveship Traders Trilogy, but I have to say, I have never read anything that so completely captured my imagination, but also touched my heart so deeply. The characters came to life like no others have, they tug and wrench at the heart, and the very, very much unexpected love story that emerged....well I won't spoil it for others, but all I can say is a resounding WOW!!! I actually care about the characters in the story; I feel their love, their joy, their incredible fear and pain, the tension, the vulnerability, the tenderness. This is a story unlike ANYTHING I've ever read before, and will live in my heart long after I've put the books down. I would rate these books with even more stars if I could...yes, they are THAT GOOD. This is what the joy of reading is all about!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robin Hobb is one of the best fantasy fiction writers on the market today! Those who enjoy George R.R. Martin, Mercedes Lackey, R.A. Salvatore, Raymond Feist, etc. are going to fall in love with this amazing writer. Assassins Apprentice is her first novel in the Farseer Trilogy and it is magnificantly crafted. Those who are looking for a new country to explore, new hero to journey with need look no farther. Unlike many romantic fantasy writers, Robin Hobb NEVER pulls her punches, and you may find that you are laughing at one moment only to turn the page and cry the next.
JOLOVE More than 1 year ago
This series is one of my most cherished favorites.
ATOBlue More than 1 year ago
I love reading Robin Hobb's works because nothing ever goes like I would expect it to. Through the book, the Duchies are presented with one threat they never move any closer to resolving, and the events that lead up to the climax don't appear until the last hundred pages or so, making the entire book look like a set-up for the next. But in those last pages my frustration melted away with the heated pace of the climax as Fitz faces off against a threat that blindsides and isolates him. Hobb always manages to build up my expectations one way, absolutely shatter them, and then rocket down another way which is even more incredible but still totally believable from all that comes before.
epow50 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I'm happy I wasn't put off by a couple of bad reviews. I'm also happy to see that this is a trilogy unlike some other series that put me in doubt of living long enough to see the story wrapped up. I have purchased the other 2 books and very much look forward to continuing the journey.
Anonymous 14 days ago
I have been wanting to read Robin Hobb for a while. All my friends have recommended her, and now I know why! I would heartily recommend this book for the following reasons: 1. Its stunning descriptions. 2. New & interesting magic. 3. Very vivid characters that act in very human non-stereotypical ways. 4. The whole spin on assasination being a profession is totally cool. 5. This is the first magic based book that I've read in some time that does not use the same old magic and monsters. I am looking foward to reading the next book in this series.
littlegeek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very cool fantasy. Two things I like: the teenage protagonist acts like a teenager, getting things wrong, being clueless, etc. He's nothing but raw talent, he's not perfect, he needs to learn a lot. The other thing I love is that every character has secrets. Robin Hobb is one of those authors who is not plot-over-character or character-over-plot. She sacrifices neither, and excels at both.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down, which is rather funny because I picked it up thinking that I would slog my way through it. An excellent showing for a first in a series, I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
He has gone by many names - Boy, Bastard, Fitz, and Newboy. He is the son of the King in Training, Prince Chivalry and an unknown woman. He can speak to animals with his mind. He has no memory of his childhood or family. He has few friends, and none who know him by all his names. He has had many teachers but none who know the extent of his learning. And he may just be the only person who can save his country and his king.Shanra and WillSteed have both told me how good this book was and I finally got a copy at the bookstore. I read half of it last night and finished the rest today, after I reluctantly decided that I couldn't pull an all-nighter and finish it in one go. I am absolutely converted - I loved this book. Fitz is such a great character. And there were plenty of good characters in here, both ones to love and ones to hate. I can hardly wait to find the next book in this series. 5 stars
plunkinberry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story; it kept taking unexpected twists and wouldn't do what I wanted it to do or go... First in the trilogy - I will be actively seeking the remaining books. I really enjoyed Fitz and the Skill and Wit and ability to Repel. Very interesting. Still uncertain about Forging...
willowcove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This entire trilogy is a very good read.
dk_phoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't believe it took me this long to read any Robin Hobb! This is a good, classic coming-of-age story with fantasy elements that pervade but don't overwhelm the world building. We have a remarkable young boy who feels anything but remarkable, a mysterious teacher, an aloof young lady and bumbling attempts at relationship...In many ways, this book reminded me of Patrick Rothfuss' [The Name of the Wind], which I loved, though I suppose it should be the other way around since Hobb's book came first. Still, I really enjoy fantasy books where the magic system is subtle and controlled, rather than over the top and somewhat inexplicable.I've purchased the next two books in the series and am looking forward to continuing the journey with these characters... especially since this book doesn't exactly end on a high note for our hero!
Kassilem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even though this was a reread, I found I could hardly put it down. Fitz has been a favorite character of mine for years and I enjoyed listening to his story again. The story of a unwanted boy growing up in a castle is not new but even so Hobb made this story unique with her writing style. I can't even pin it down nicely. I just know that instead of reading the few exerts I remembered and wanted to see again, I read the first chapter and decided I must read the whole of it again. I only slightly regret that decision and only then because it kept me up all night and now I have a headache from lack of sleep. :) The characters here are works of art, the writing is full of expression and life, the story flows very well. And okay, I'm a sucker for animal bonding too (I am really looking forward to the next book and NightEyes - the wolf). If you're a fantasy fan and haven't read any of Robin Hobb's books, I highly recommend that you find one in the near future. This is her first book but it is one of my favorites.
TerrapinJetta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nothing spectacular, but good snacky kind of reading.
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Assassin's Apprentice is more fantasy biography than what you might expect. Writing in first person, Hobb details the coming of age of an unnamed boy in considerable detail. For readers who expect the more traditional fantasy approach then Apprentice may bore you with its politics, slow burning intrigue and deep character building. There's a little action in there and although there is war happening, it's a background theme to the development of the cast. Approach with caution, although you may be delighted.
twiglet12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bored me almost to tears! Hardly any action, the world wasn't that interesting and found the "hero" dull and bit pathetic. Won't be bothering with any of her other books. Life is too short.
theforestofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
his book as been in my `to be read¿ pile for two or three years and despite always seeing good reviews I¿ve never managed to start reading it. As is so often the case for me, it¿s only when I get into it that I realise I¿ve been sitting on a gem and curse myself for not picking it up sooner. The story is told through an older first person narrative looking back on his life and starts with the narrator, Fitz, as a young boy, aged six, and tells of his life through childhood. The plot includes courtly machinations, a hint of magic and the occasional quest of sorts. And it has to be said, Fitz doesn¿t have any easy life but the effect of his struggle is well portrayed. The pacing of the book is pitched perfectly. The early years could have dragged the story down but the author keeps the pace moving at just the right speed. One aspect of the story I really enjoyed was the inclusion of dogs. Overall, really enjoyed this; difficult to put down and a disappointed when it was finished. Yet another series to pick up on.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written but essentially predictable standard fantasy about a young boy growing up and being trained to be an Assassin, which is an interesting twist on the standard role of a young boy growing up in a fantasy tale, but I'll be very surprised if he doesn't eventually end up being a ruler by the end of the trilogy. There are a few other less common twists but the plot is basically the same as many many other trilogies out there. Young boy enters castle, gets trained, suffers during training makes and loses friends, gets sent out on major test, which inexplicably will be pivital to the fate of the kingdom. There can't even be any great claims for originallity in the well descrived world in which he lives. 'Standard' prosperous human farming and costal communities, and then he meets tall willowy gardeners who are good with the bow, They are cast as human, but could equally be elves. A bit of the old concentrate properly mental magic, - in which are young hero is hardly surprisngly naturally able even if untrained- and off we go. All that carping aside it is well writen and a very enjoyable read, the characters interact well and retain individual personalites, and although we have the Wise Old Mentor we are at least spared the dry and sarcastically amusing sidekick. I like the convention for naming which is slightly different than the Norm, although it is oidd that are Hero doesn't get a proper name anywhere in the book - I had to consult a dictionary for the definition of Fitz which I'd not come across before. The retrospective chapter headings - the tale is told from an old Fitz recounting his life to apprentices, followed by first person chapters, is sometimes annoying as it removes any suspense there may have been in the plot. Perhaps the greatest failing is that there is ittle emotion displayed by anyone and certainly not experienced by the reader. Even when Fitz is in the deepest depths of misery and loneliness there is little empathy, and I couldn't say I really cared whether he perked up or not. Well written and enjoyable fantasy fluff along the same lines as many others, better than average, and worth reading the rest of the trilogy without being exceptional.......................................................................................................................
Onefrowningredhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Farseer trilogy is one of my favourites. I have read and re read the series at least five times. The story is so well paced and engaging and the characters are so well developed that even on the third or fourth read I am completely enthralled.