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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb Book Review

Book: Assassin’s Apprentice (The Assassin’s Apprentice)

Author: Robin Hobb

Series: Farseer Trilogy #1

435 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 1, 1995

Price at Amazon

The great Robin Hobb

I used to view books written decades ago with a certain amount of scepticism. That used to be the case, but not anymore. After my first encounter with Robin Hobb, I can tell you that her writing style is quite captivating for today’s generation. The plot is not trite, but very original and engaging, and the characters are some of the most memorable I have ever encountered.


In the first book we meet our main character, through whose eyes we are introduced to the world of the Six Duchies. Fitz was born into a harsh world, a place very reminiscent of mediaeval cities and kingdoms. Robin Hobb describes the palaces, courtyards and stables and we are fully immersed in the daily lives of the people of Buch. We are gradually introduced to typical court life full of intrigue and power struggles.

Fitz is the illegitimate son of the heir to the throne of the Six Duchies. FitzChivalry is loved by the people and is an example of subservience. No one can believe it when his name is sullied by the appearance of the six-year-old bastard. Thrown into the castle by his grandfather, Fitz is brutally separated from his mother and left at the mercy of the king. I should mention again here that the world in which the story is set is brutally cruel and the fate of illegitimate children is very often death, not to mention whether these children can even have a claim to the throne.


Fitz comes under the protection of Burrich’s loyal servant. The six-year-old is trained to be a royal groom and is given difficult tasks. His life is by no means easy and he is not lucky enough to feel the warmth of the family hearth. The bastard is loathed and hated because the people see him as the reason why their beloved prince should abdicate the throne and go into exile. Robin Hobb skillfully portrays the thoughts and fears of a precocious child. As we read and witness Fitz’s decisions, we can believe that these are the thoughts and fears of a six-year-old boy. There is no evidence of Fitz’s early maturation in his plight. The pursuit of his life in the palace courtyard rings satisfyingly true and his image is not beyond that of a six-year-old boy. His dreams and the way he perceives the world are typically childlike.

As I mentioned earlier, Fitz is growing up in a world where bastards have no future. Faced with his son’s illegitimate child, King Umen sees a threat to his heirs and offers Fitz protection in return for an oath of allegiance. For a child, this sounds incredibly acceptable. For a boy who is used to being kicked and spat at, who has no home or family of his own, being fathered, clothed and taught is valuable enough, and the price demanded is acceptable.

Assassin’s Apprentice

Fitz’s life story will truly break your heart. As the mother of a six-year-old son, I could really empathize with the boy’s mental anguish. At the same time, this is not a heartbreaking, dramatic story. I am a fan of battles and suspenseful plots and found many of my favourite elements in Assassin’s Apprentice. I have a hero that I find extremely likable, and one that I can’t wait for Robin Hobb to kill (in a particularly gruesome way, of course). The series has won me over and I will definitely keep reading it. It’s a shame the issues are hard to come by. I hope there will be a new edition soon so I can get my hands on it and display it proudly in my library.

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

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.

“Royal Assassin” #2

“Assassin’s Quest” #3


Hello, my name is Todora, but now also known as Dochka or Docheto. I have two wonderful dragons at home (boys ages 5 and 7) that I am trying to raise in the love of books. I was quite a chatterbox as a kid when I had required reading in school, and now I am trying to make up for it. I love reading fantasy, sweet endings are not my "thing". I love it when there are struggles, intrigue, and surprises in a book that shake you to your core. If I fell into paranoia that all the characters were traitors, my rating would be 5 stars. In short, I love to read and if one day I find a way to make this my sole occupation and get paid for it :D, I will have stumbled into heaven.

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