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Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1 Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1996


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist


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Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1 + Royal Assassin: The Farseer Trilogy Book 2 + Assassin's Quest: The Farseer Trilogy Book 3
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reprint edition (March 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055357339X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553573398
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rylin on Feb. 10 2006
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By McMalph on Dec 30 2011
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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By knowledge on May 18 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 and try something new. I picked up Assassin's Apprentice after reading positive reviews on amazon and I have to say that I was not disappointed at all!

While I absolutely love this story and I am about to read Royal Assassin, I found the ending of Assassin's Apprentice to be a bit too long...I felt a sort of ''fatigue'' from the author and I thought that the story was just dragging on for too long (yet I couldn't stop reading the book).

I also loved the author's writing style and the fact that magic is used throughout the story in a constructive way, and that the story is really about character development. I did somewhat enjoy the Harry Potter series but not that much, and I was looking for a good fantasy novel since I was getting tired of reading about philosophy (it does take its toll on ya!) and I will stick to this genre for a while.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!
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By Heroes Die on Oct. 24 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. Go get it.

If you're looking for something more in depth then here it goes. Assassin's Apprentice isn't going to be about a child constantly killing people if that was what you were expecting by the title, so I'll just throw that out there. Instead, it's about a child figuring out life, getting crushed along the way, and finding small triumphs that make it worth while. Sounds like so many other novels out there until you get into Hobb's writing. Rarely do I find an author who can so vividly create people inside pages that bleed and laugh, have flaws and make mistakes so that no one is the perfect, gold-hearted hero. Her writing is powerful. It's incredible. It's dark and deep. It's beyond my ability to capture in such a review as this.

If you like reading novels where the writing is what captures you, then buy this book. Don't let the cover art throw you off it--it's pretty bad, I know. But there's piles of awesome inside that you'll be missing out on if you do.
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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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By Brian on July 18 2004
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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