Assassin’s Apprentice is a fantasy book and the first in Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy. The story follows a child named Fitz, the bastard son of Prince Chivalry, who is raised by his father’s royal family. He is trained as an assassin, and must keep his strange affinity with animals a secret. He must survive, because he may be destined to save the kingdom.
Format: Kindle ebook
Length: 401 pages
Content warning: depression, suicidal ideation
This is the second time I’ve read Assassin’s Apprentice, but I remembered very little so it was almost like reading it for the first time. I bought it just after getting my first kindle ereader, then abandoned the series as I still preferred ‘real’ books.
I decided to re-read it because of a readathon/book club over on YouTube. The hosts plan to read one book every month until the series is complete. Though the Farseer trilogy is only three books, Robin Hobb has written several more trilogies in this world, with these characters. It’s going to take a while to get through them all.
The series falls into the high fantasy category, being a medieval-type world which has magic. Though there are no (at the moment) wizards or dragons, there is the Wit and the Skill. The Wit is something to be feared and despised, whereas the Skill is the magic of royalty. Fitz straddles this line between royalty and the common people, which enables him to do things and see the world in a way that others can’t.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Fantasy is my favourite genre, so that’s not surprising really. But I do think that this book represents a quality of worldbuilding, and character development that isn’t always present in other fantasy series.
The book is aimed at an adult market, and the narrative voice is very much an adult one. Fitz is writing this as an old man, recalling his childhood and youth, and that is clear in the tone and style of the story. I think this adds to the story in a really nice way. It gives it more depth.
The plot is relatively slow moving, especially the first half of the book. It picks up towards the end, and builds nicely for the sequel.
Overall, I really enjoyed my re-read of this book, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.