Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.
So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin (goodreads.com).
Assassin’s Apprentice has to be at the top of my favorites list! I loved this book and never wanted to put it down. The story moves at a perfect pace! It is never too slow nor too fast and incredibly I found nothing to be uninteresting! Amazing! Though there are not many high action scenes I still found this book to be incredibly enjoyable and a change of pace from what I am used to reading.
From the very beginning I was engrossed in the story, loved that it was in first-person, and that being written in this way it was very well done. I think that because we follow just one person that the world-building was done perfectly. We learn enough and can picture it rather well. It really does feel like you are following Fitz around city and just enough detail is provided. The ending of the book actually had be on the edge of my seat and created so much anxiety. I actually couldn’t read fast enough to find out how it was going to end.
The story begins with Fitz being about 6 years old and brought to his biological father and ends sometime around 16 years of age I believe. Not sure what to do with him, the King (Fitz’s grandfather) decides to secretly raise him as the court’s assassin. The entirety of the book is spent watching Fitz grow and learn this trade, and although I didn’t think it would be very interesting, it most certainly is. We just get to watch him grow as a person, the troubles that he encounters, and his relationships with the people and animals around him. While he undergoes his training, the King has to deal with the Red-Ship Raiders and their using of a magic called Forging. When they take his people, the Raiders use this magic to make them become less than an animal.
This book can easily stand on its own. The Red-Ship Raiders problem wasn’t delt with entirely, but the problem that Fitz has to deal with later on in the book is solved by the end. There really wasn’t anything plot based that makes me want to read the next book; however, I am enjoying the characters so much I can’t wait to read the next one.
Robin Hobb has a serious talent for character personalities and development! I am astounded how easy it was for me to really like the characters, to get to know them, how distinct their personalities are,
I completely adore Fitz! He is by far my favorite character in this book. Since the book is written in his point of view you really get to know him as a person. We know what he thinks about things and he feeling towards people. I love how we pretty much get to be inside his mind. It is great to get to know him when he is 6 years old and to watch him mature into a young adult. Hobb develops Fitz’s character very well and it is apparent that he isn’t perfect. I love that he has his flaws (he is always lonely and out of place, he doesn’t have parents, and when attempting to learn the Skill he isn’t great).
Watching his relationships develop with some of the more important people in his life, most notably Burrich, was amazing. Burrich really becomes a father figure to Fitz and he always goes to him for help, advice, or general questions. Their relationship is a loving one (saving each other’s lives) but comes with its problems such as Burrich’s hate of Fitz’s ability to communicate with animals using the Wit.
We don’t know too much about Burrich at this point; just what Fitz knows since everything is in his point-of-view. I hope in the next couple books we learn a lot more about him.
The other relationship I really enjoy is between Fitz and his uncle Verity. Not too sure of each other at first, by the end of the book they have a much closer relationship. We get to know quite a bit about Verity as a person and from the beginning I knew that I really liked him. He really cares about his people and his people come first, even over his health, as he tries to save them from the Red-Ship Raiders.
Fitz is being trained by Chade, the current assassin, and everything that goes on between them has to be kept secret. It is really hard for Fitz not to share any of this with Burrich, but he manages it. Chade is a bit of a mystery. By the end, we find out just a little about him such as his relationship to the the royal family, but not much else.
The other character that is a complete mystery is the King’s Fool. I find him to be rather interesting because he doesn’t seem to be much of a fool. He doesn’t talk to very many people and when he does it is mostly in riddles and Fitz has a hard time deciphering them. He also has an amazing bedroom! I can’t wait to find out more about him.
The one thing I didn’t like about the book is that it is very easy to tell who the villains are. Though they do have distinct personalities there are a couple of people you will dislike right away. I wish there would have been more of a grey area concerning the villains; maybe having it be a bit more of a surprise.
I have no complaints whatsoever about the writing. It flowed perfectly and everything was easy to understand. I loved that it was in first-person because it gave it a more personal feel especially with the main character being the narrator.
I really love this book and can’t explain how much I do. It is a great book and I look forward to reading the others in this series. This would be a great story for young adults and adults alike. Everyone who loves fantasy will thoroughly enjoy this book. I suppose it would be for a more avid young adult reader. The story moves a bit slow and there isn’t a lot of action that would interest most readers. I bought the international paperback edition with the beautiful cover shown above. It is a nice copy, but much like a mass market. I wish it would have been a larger copy and more of a lay-flat paperback edition; however, I still love the cover and bought the other two in the same format.
My rating: 5/5 stars!
My other reviews in this series
A review by The Obsessive Bookseller
A review by Geekritque
A review by Relentless Reading
*photo provided by goodreads.com