Title: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)
Author: Robin Hobb
The old man brings his six-year-old grandson to the entrance of Buckkeep Castle, where he leaves him, saying, that from now on, his father should take care of him. Nobody can’t deny that little boy is the bastard son of Prince Chivalry. Burrich, Chivalry’s stableman, takes care of him and learns him how to take care of animals. And boy soon discovers that he has the ability to connect with them – it’s a talent called The Wit.
When he came to the Buckkeep, he didn’t have a name but soon everyone calls him Fitz. He learns how to write, read and teach royal behavior. One day, his grandfather King Shrewd sends him to his skilled assassin Chade – he will be his teacher because Fitz will become King’s man and will be trained as an assassin. Someday he will succeed Chade.
But Fitz is lonely in the castle, he doesn’t have any friends and most people despise him because he’s a bastard. In addition to his own problems, he is also faced with kingdom’s problems. From the outside, a kingdom is under attack by Outislanders and within the kingdom is a lot of intrigues, lies, and conflicts.
It’s been a while since I read such a good fantasy novel. The first half of the book was a little bit slow because a reader is getting know Fitz and his life on the court, but the other half is really tensed.
I liked Fitz from beginning and this sympathy has grown through the book. He is so likable, from beginning when he’s only a young boy who found himself in an environment where people are unfriendly. Due to similarities with his father, no one doubts that Prince Chivalry is his father, but still people are refusing and despise him and he becomes an object of derision. He finds his comfort in a friendship with animals, particularly with dogs and he even discovers that he has the ability to connect with animals – it’s an old gift which is hated by people and it’s called the Wit. I especially liked his process of growing up, where a reader can clearly see the process how an ignorant and shy boy slowly matures into an independent guy who can also use his brains.
Other characters are presented one-sided. Those who are good, have a positive impact on Fitz’s life, and those who are bad, are making his life miserable. But despite this fact, all characters are well presented and I must say, that the bad ones were presented so well that I really hated them.
I really loved and it seemed excellent to me that every chapter begins with a short presentation or “introduction” – about the world (Six Duchies), customs and tradition, politics, … That helped me to understand a story, written by Fitz himself, easier. And yes, this book is written as a memoir and Fritz himself is writing it.
About the fantasy world, we don’t get to know much. In the beginning of the book, is printed a map of Six Duchies and surroundings, so that the reader can get a feeling about it and can look what happens where. But the reader doesn’t learn much about other places. The story is taking place in two or three parts, the rest is shrouded in mystery. Probably other places emerge in next books. Like many other things. Because even when I finished a book, I still had a lot of questions, whose answers I will probably get when I’ll read sequels. And in a way, this is quite annoying because some reader can’t understand some specific connections and certain events remain unexplained.
But still I had so much fun while reading this book and I really enjoyed it. Especially in the second half of the book, where I got sucked into the story and I can’t wait to read next book.
Rating: 4/5 stars
What did you think about this book? Or the whole trilogy? Did you read any other Robin Hobb books?