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

4.4 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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  • Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1
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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 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was recommended to me by someone who loves this writer and I can see where that attraction comes from. I was told that the world building and descriptions were top tier and I believe it! The way Hobb works with words is amazing.

Even though the story rather slowly follows the life of Fitz after he officially joins the world as the bastard son of a prince, I never found myself bored with the story. Burrich was my favourite character and having him act as the mentor really helped with my immersion in the world.

And what a world it was! It was rich with description and I was never left bored with her long paragraphs of block text. My favourite thing she described was the Mountain Kingdom. Even though I spent such a small amount of time in it the author was able to communicate its beauty and splendour perfectly even though it was seen through Fitz's eyes.

I'm glad that this author was recommended to me because the plot was really enjoyable. All the characters were strong, the world was complete, the magic made sense, and it all just fit together so well.
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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
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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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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