Assassin's Apprentice

By Robin Hobb,

Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice

Book description

Voyager Classics - timeless masterworks of science fiction and fantasy.

A beautiful clothbound edition of Assassin's Apprentice, the first book in the critically acclaimed Farseer Trilogy.

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

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Why read it?

8 authors picked Assassin's Apprentice as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Aside from the gripping descriptions of the medieval setting, what sets the Assassin’s Apprentice apart is the humanity of its characters. I always like to advocate for the realness of characters, even in plot-driven stories.

As a reader, I need to be able to connect with the humanity of the characters I encounter. This novel’s protagonist is a flawed and relatable hero whose struggles and triumphs feel truly real. Likewise, the supporting cast, from nobles to servants, are complex characters. This pleases me as a reader and inspires me as an author. 

Hobb had me rooting for “the Bastard” from the first chapter. With everything against him, Fitz grew up with palace intrigue, was taught by the master assassin, and learned the art of “skilling – despite the efforts of a “legitimate” prince and his followers to prevent it. However, loyalty, determination, and persistence flowed throughout the book. I had trouble putting the book down.

This is the book that made me want to be an author. The worldbuilding and characters so vivid they felt like living, breathing beings whenever I opened the pages. I also blame this series for making me miss a bus, not once, not twice, but four times in one afternoon, I was that enthralled. 

I’m also a sucker for stories written in the first person. Call it vicarious living, escapism, or perhaps a bit of both, but the voice of Fitz drew me in and didn’t let me go until the final page. If you love lush worldbuilding, deep (deep)…

A wonderfully written Fantasy that is filled with sorcery, betrayal, war, and love. I read this book so often I had to replace it several times!  In a medieval-type world, a six-year-old boy is dragged from home to live with the animals in the stables of the royal castle. Against great odds, he discovers his powers which are forbidden and have to be hidden. Royal rivalries and attacks on the country from outside lead to the boy, now named Fitz being put in a group of students being trained to use their powers (sound familiar??) to help save the kingdom.

This book yanks you into the excitement and intrigue of a young boy without social power who gets pressed into the service of his king as a spy and wielder of a familial mind-magic that he was born to, but can’t claim because of his illegitimate birth. The characters show a wide breadth of kindness and cruelty, sacrifice and courage, and a healthy dose of humor and affection. I rooted for Fitz’s wins and ached for his heartbreaks. This book helped me grasp the deep impact that a foster parent’s love can have on a child as well as the…

If you have never read this series or all the others that are based in this world then you are missing out. The main character of Fitz is one we follow from childhood and as he grows up as the bastard of the court. His life is not his own to follow and must bow down to the will of his uncle, the king. He is taken from the stables where he has grown up to become the royal assassin’s apprentice and all the perils that come with it, both physical and ethical. Hobb’s writing is one that keeps inspiring…

Assassin’s Apprentice was the first book where I fell so completely in love with a character that when they died later in the series, I wept like my own brother had died. The story follows Fritz, a royal bastard who finds himself on the knife’s edge of the monarchy’s politics, from the age of six to adulthood. The story is told so closely from Fitz’s point of view that I felt I knew him intimately by the end of the book. Beside Fitz, the whole cast springs to life, from the mysterious Fool, to Molly, Fitz’s first love, to his…

This book was recommended to me by a friend. Hobb has the knack of building a world that readers can totally immerse themselves in. She paints pictures with words, bringing the pages to vibrant life. Her characters are three-dimensional and evoke all the emotions necessary to engage with them. Adventure, love, hate, etc... all abound in a roller-coaster ride of a tale that leaves readers longing for more.

From Katrina's list on fantasy books.

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