This is another one of those, how-can-you-call-yourself-a-fantasy-fan-without-reading series. I really am sorry I waited this long because I loved it and can't wait for more...good thing there are 10 more and counting set in the Realm of the Elderlings.
That's not to say I loved it from the beginning,
however. I had a bit of a hard time getting into Assassin's Apprentice [US] [UK-Kindle £1.99] [Kindle],
but that could also be the fact that I had a hard time with the narrator
of the audiobook at first. By the end, I actually found it quite fitting.
Apprentice is the first book in the Farseer Trilogy. The Farseer's are a
ruling family in the land of the Six Duchies and the book is told from
the perspective of Fitz Chivalry, the bastard of Prince Chivalry
Everyone knows he's the bastard, his name even connotes
such, but he has an uncanny resemblance to his father. Also, no one
really knows what to do about the bastard until King Shrewd Farseer
decides to put him to good use by putting him to work as the title of
the book suggests.
As an assassin for the king, Fitz learns
about herbs and languages, stealth and subterfuge. He's given tasks that
test his skills such as stealing certain artifacts and then putting
them back without being seen.
The setup of the book works really
well to build up the world without slowing down the action too much.
It's told essentially as Fitz Chivalry writing his memoirs. Each chapter
begins with some information about the world, the politics, the peoples
of or around the Six Duchies, among other things. Following this, the
story resumes as if we're right there with Fitz as he is experiencing
In this way, the world becomes a rich tapestry you can't help but feel
yourself a part of. The world expands while we continue to see the
important role (and roles) that the bastard is beginning to play.
I talk about this book now, Assassin's Apprentice wasn't nearly as
exciting as I thought it would be going into it. We learn a lot about
the world, the history, the relationships and the assassin work is
really just a small part.
Then again, the story is much more
than I ever thought it would be. It's more than just assassins, it's a
rich story with a huge history that's told impeccably. Hobb is a master
at leading you to expect one thing while her real plans come out of left
field...and yet are so obvious at the same time.
4 out of 5 Stars (Loved it!)
Assassin's Apprentice (1995)
Royal Assassin (1996)
Assassin's Quest (1997)
Liveship Traders Trilogy
Ship of Magic (1998)
Mad Ship (1999)
Ship of Destiny (2000)
The Tawny Man Trilogy
Fool's Errand (2002)
Golden Fool (2003)
Fool's Fate (2003)
Rain Wilds Chronicles
Dragon Keeper (2009)
Dragon Haven (2010)
City of Dragons (February 2012)
Blood of Dragons (February 2013)