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Reviews of Assassin's Apprentice (1995)

Review by brunop (2008-07-22)
Wow! That's is one of my favorite novel. I just couldn't put it down. It's a page turner. I think everything is well done.

While the main character is a child, he still talks with an adult voice, and think like one too, but you must remember that the story is told by Fitz when he is an adult. So he tell the tale of his childhood, with the insight he is now capable of. In fact, it is made clear in the first pages that you a reading the memoirs of Fitz.

The pace is slow, and there is not a lot of action. If by the title, you think you'll read about a cool assassin that goes on many mission and kills a lot of people, ninja style, think again. It is the story of a young boy, the bastard of the prince, who comes to live in the castle of the king. The king choose for him to become an assassin. But the story is about his life in the castle, as a stranger and outcast. Not about his life as an assassin. But don't worry, it is an interesting story. It's more about character development than plot which is a bit unusual for a fantasy novel. And I guess it's why this story is so refreshing. No go there to fetch the magical thingy with your elf friend, destroy the evil goblins or whatever with it, and save the day type of story.

So if you want to try something a bit different, I suggest you read this novel, and the two sequels.

(This review refers to the 1995 version titled “Assassin's Apprentice”)

Review by turky (2007-02-01)
This book was a great start to a great series. FitzChivalry is probably one of the best fantasy characters I have ever read. Throughout the book you learn about Buckkeep and how Fitz is going to be trained as an assassin. This book was exceptional for being written in first person.

I gave it a 7 out of 10.

Review by kingp35 (2006-08-31)
First off let me say that this is only the second fantasy book that I have read aftre the Lord of the Rings series. It was a very well written book and I particularily liked the way the author handled the first person narrative. Everything was written in great detail allowing us to picture the world Fitz lived in. Yes the plot is a little slow but really the first book is about building the various characters that we will encounter in future books. Once the plot gets moving its very good and I like the fact that, although its a fantasy book, its based more in reality than many others.

An enjoyable read. 8/10

Review by archaic (2006-05-15)
First off I have to say that the main character, Fitz, is written very well. The author wrote very detailed descriptions of everything that Fitz saw and felt. The setting of the book was easy to understand and picture. The storyline although slow was good. All together I really enjoyed this book.

I give it an 8/10

Review by SlowRain (2006-03-12)
This is the first book that I have read by Robin Hobb. It is the first in her Farseer trilogy, and her debut novel, I believe. The story is the first person narrative of Fitz's life, an illegitimate son of the crown prince, starting from age 6 and going to age 14 (I think).

Right off, I must confess a bias: I don't like books about children (which may partially account for my dislike of G.R.R. Martin's ASoIaF). I don't like any book (or movie, for that matter) where children are smarter than adults, where children are morally superior, and where adults are always the villains. I felt this book fell into this category, and, thus, outside of my realm of enjoyment.

The author spends too much time detailing every bit of Fitz's education (stable duties, writing, fighting, poisoning, magic, etiquette etc.). It felt like a retelling of my own school days, only with different subjects and marginally more exciting. There is little forward movement in the story outside of Fitz's aging and a new subject that he is learning. Only twice is there any plot advancement (Forge and Jhaampe), and the second one is so ridiculous that it makes me wish that it had never happened. Add to that the poor imagery, haphazard revealing of information, poorly contrived plot, and it amounted to an inadequate read.

There were some highlights, which bring my enjoyment up a little, namely: Fitz's loneliness, the use of animals, the coastal lifestyle, comments on a king's (and, by extension, any leader's) role towards their people, the magic (The Skill) and the idea of Forging. However, good ideas alone cannot make a novel. The good news is, most of Fitz's formal education is over, and the plot has finally begun. It's just unfortunate that it took several hundred pages to do so.

Review by dreamer (2005-09-08)
Nice book. I also wouldn't rate it the best ever since the plot is somewhat slow, but the author manages to get the "just one more page before I go to sleep" effect. Also one of the few books written in first person that manages to actually perceive the world from the main character. Even when it strts from 6 years old...

Review by blueworld (2005-03-10)
I wouldn't put this up as one of the best fantasy series ever, as some have, but it was definitely worth the time spent reading. Robin Hobb's writing style is smooth and comforable, but there's just not much that stood out about this story. I'm sitting here trying to write a review a year after I read it and I can't remember any major plot points.

Review by lord kallor (2004-12-17)
great book but not earthshaking, but Fitz is definatly one of my favorite charecters form any book (except Kallor from Steven Erikson's books), mostly because he always has so many problems and because he is is just well fleshed out and very intense: the book focuses on him almost completely. The book sways more towards the realistic side of fantasy rather than the uber out of this word style , George R.R. Martin rather than Steven Erikson

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