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Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1 [Mass Market Paperback]

Robin Hobb
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 1996 Farseer Trilogy
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
“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin
“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

Frequently Bought Together

Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1 + Royal Assassin: The Farseer Trilogy Book 2 + Assassin's Quest: The Farseer Trilogy Book 3
Price For All Three: CDN$ 29.33

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The bastard sons of kings play a noble role in fantasy: not only were King Arthur and Modred by-blows, but it is often suggested that Merlin himself came to power from the "wrong side of the bed." While Hobb's offering has a few too many illegitimate heirs backstabbing around, this is still a delightful take on the powers and politics behind the throne. Fitz, who is often called the "Boy" or the "Bastard," was begotten by good Prince Chivalry upon some "peasant" woman. At age six, he is given over to the safekeeping of the prince's man, Burrich. Fitz's impolitic existence causes the prince to abdicate his claim to the throne, and he and his wife leave the court, and the boy, behind. Fitz has inherited the "Skill," a mind-bending talent, and also has the ability to meld his thoughts with those of nonhuman creatures and to mentally "repel" physical advances. When Fitz finally comes to King Shrewd's attention, he is given over to the Royal Assassin's tutelage and trained to carry out the king's devious plans. The novel's conceit-that it offers Fitz's memoirs from childhood through adolescence-allows for several sequels. A gleaming debut in the crowded field of epic fantasies and Arthurian romances.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

As a royal bastard in the household of King Shrewd, a boy called "Fitz" spends his early years in the king's stables. When the magic in his blood marks him for destiny, he begins receiving secret instruction, by order of the king, in the art of assassination, a calling that places him in the midst of a nest of intrigue and arcane maneuverings. Firmly grounded in the trappings of high fantasy, Hobb's first novel features a protagonist whose coming of age revolves around the discovery of the meaning of loyalty and trust. This gracefully written fantasy belongs in most libraries.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A HISTORY OF THE SIX Duchies is of necessity a history of its ruling family, the Farseers. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gotta read this!!, Feb. 10 2006
By Rylin
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Engrossing, hard to put down, that's what Assassin's Apprentice is. Picked it up on Friday and finished it Sunday night. didn't get much done but what a 'vacation' I had (so to speak) I was so entranced by the plot and the interaction of the characters, I think that's what sold me the most. I'd also suggest The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian S. Pratt, though it's not nearly the caliber of this one.
Like I said, you've 'gotta read this!!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good...deserves 4 stars but... Jan. 2 2004
By T Bone
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First let me say this is a good, solid fantasy story. The author creates excellent characters, a very good (though slightly predictable at times) story, and has a gift for stirring raw emotion (goosebumps, tears, frustration, exhiliration, blah blah).
So why only three stars? TO WARN YOU!!! If at times when reading this story you felt is was a bit predictable, a little too "touchy feely" with its spoon-fed, heavy-handed, black-and-white high moral delivery, but you forgave it due to the great characters and (long-awaited) plot twists, then STOP HERE - DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200 - THANK YOU ROBIN HOBB, GREAT BOOK, NOW MOVE ON TO SOMETHING ELSE. Moving on to the second book will only serve to frustrate you and demean the good memories of this book (not to mention waste you money).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Dec 30 2011
By McMalph
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The quality of the writing and characterization in this novel and the two following entries in the trilogy are absolutely superb. The way Robin Hobb manages to so throughly inhabit the skin of this developing boy on the edges of the main story is simply phenomenal. His development, screw-ups, love, and enmities are incredibly realized. The quality of the writing simply sings. One reviewer on the book describes it as a diamond in a sea of zircons and it is an apt description. This is writing of the highest quality and it towers in quality over most novels. I cannot recommend this book and its trilogy (along with the Tawny Man trilogy, also by Robin Hobb) highly enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a truly great trilogy Feb. 20 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first book to star Robin Hobb's often copied but never rivaled FitzChivalry Farseer. The Farseer Trilogy is a classic fantasy tale sprinkled with well delivered fantasy staples (talking animals, bastard princes) yet laced seamlessly with more poignant and difficult themes such as loss, isolation, loneliness and love.

The strengths of this book are myriad, from enjoyably realistic characters (for a fantasy novel) to excellent writing and a principle character so endearing its hard not to find yourself rooting for him. The skillful way that magic is handled and used to propel rather than dictate the story is also excellent.

If there's a drawback (and invariably there always is) it's a slow paced first person narrative including the protagonist's boyhood. Also, would be readers should be aware the realistic approach occasionally makes for some rather grim moments (though never graphical in nature) so younger readers and those of a sunnier disposition might best be advised to look elsewhere.

The bottom line? The start of what is arguably one of the best trilogies in the genre and certainly one of the most immersive. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pass the Duchies July 18 2004
By Brian
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Plot Summary: A young bastard is brought to the palace of the King. It turns out Fitz is the son of Prince Chivalry who proceeds to abdicate his position as king-in-waiting. The story follows the coming of age of Fitz from a boy of six left on the King's doorstep to a young man of indeterminant age (16-18ish) suffering through the teachings expected of boys of royal blood, plus the hardships associated with not being a pure royal and facing the threat he is to the other royal heirs. He is made into a tool for the king, as Assassin, and is sent on his first real assignment, alone, to conclude this book. How Fitz deals with this assignment holds the key to his character. He quite possibly could save or destroy one or more kingdoms by his actions.
Opinion: Wonderful. Not overly complex with tens of plotlines threading through the story, just the relatively straightforward story of one boy's life. There are some pleasures and many hardships, and I felt with Fitz every step of the way. The situations and the characters of this book are very believable and brought to life on the page. There is not much in the way of warlike action, just a few scuffles with some Forged outlaws, but there is intrigue and action going on at all times as Fitz takes various amount of training in fields such as herb lore, killing, writing, fighting, animal care, etc. The naming conventions of the Six Duchies (of the main royal characters actually: Prince Regal, King Shrewd, Prince Chivalry, and Lady Patience, just to name a few) was a bit contrived and I thought it would make me not like the story. I was wrong, the story overcomes this thing that annoyed me for the first half of the book. By the second half, it was totally forgotten.
Recommendation: Reat it. 5 out of 5 stars for a good opening novel. I look forward to the other 2 in the Farseer trilogy and possibly Hobb's other 2 trilogies set in the world of the Six Duchies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Series June 25 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robin Hobb has written a tremendous fantasy series. It certainly rates in the top five of any fantasy series I have read and ranks with the great epic series of authors like David Eddings and Raymond Feist. Assassin's Apprentice begins an epic nine book series featuring incredible character development and an intricate plot that leaves the reader guessing until the final volume. This is not a series for those who like their fantasy light. The characters are numerous and complex, but are so well defined that the reader has no trouble keeping up with them. The number of volumes should not be a deterrent as Hobb orgininally wrote them as three separate series. The Assassin series and Tawny Man series follow one upon the other, but the middle series (Liveship Traders) rounds out some of the details referred to in the final series and should be read before the Tawny Man if possible. All of the books are extremely well-written and the farther one progresses one begins to marvel that so complex a plot was worked out in advance. Perhaps Hobbs just made it up as she went along, but in any case it all fits together beautifully. It is definitely a series that is worth reading more than once, which is certainly more than can be said for 99% of the fantasy novels that have been written. For those who are connoisseurs of the genre the Assassin series followed by the Livship Traders, and Tawny man is a must read.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good fantasy novel. Just bought book 2 and 3. Great vacation read!
Published 3 months ago by Cristina Ruxandra Barbu
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favourite Fantasy Authors
I have loved Robin Hobb's books since I began reading them as a young teenager. Although I wasn't a huge fan of the Liveship Trilogy I have definitely loved the rest and I can't... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ashley McDaniel
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
i began reading this with low expectations and finished feeling as though i had experienced everything in the book; a great read
Published 8 months ago by flipnmelo
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius Book Reviews - Novel Review
Format: Paperback

Rating: 8.5

Review: A while back I was given a recommendation by a friend to read this book. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Matt Hageman
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved reading this book. I had been reading non-fiction for so long (mainly philosophy) that I just wanted to dab into the world of fantasy... Read more
Published 17 months ago by knowledge
5.0 out of 5 stars Piles of Awesome
If you're just skimming reviews, looking to figure out if this is worth it and wasn't going to trust the pile of 5 star ratings, you can stop looking now. This book is worth it. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2011 by Heroes Die
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem
There are some books that are so head and shoulders above almost everything else out there that they can only instill awe. The Fitz trilogies are one of these rare gems. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2008 by J. Allen
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter dreariness
After reading all the rave reviews, I am left completely confused. This book is not good. If ever a book could be judged objectively, this is it. In this book nothing happens. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2005 by "van_dirt"
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book was way better than I had expected! Great story-telling (even though I don't usually like the first person), great characters (Burrich and Chade are my favorite),... Read more
Published on July 7 2004 by Chip Hunter
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