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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Review: Assassin's Apprentice

Assassin's Apprentice is the first in Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy. It starts with a boy abandoned by his family at the Kingdom's keep, with the grandfather noting that the boy's the King-in-Waiting's bastard son.

The story starts slowly, with the story being told in first person from Fitz's point of view. He is seemingly abandoned at first, left to the care of the stable-master. But we observe the repercussion of his appearance on the political scene shortly after in the abdication of the Prince and the political intrigues begin.

The world itself is fairly non-descript, though as a fantasy world there's magic in the form of telepathy and ability to communicate with animals, magic is not a major force in the world. The story moves along at a good clip; Hobb's a good enough writer that you're never left wondering why a scene is in place but are simply carried along by the narrative. Ultimately, Fitz becomes initiated in the ways of stealth and poison, and is sent on missions for his king.

The narrative speeds up in the last 10% of the book as Fitz is sent to help bring about a closer union with a potential ally by poisoning a prince, and everything comes together at once. Hobb is not afraid to pour hell on her characters, and the ending of the novel leaves us with some long running loose ends but with a satisfactory climax. I'm going to keep reading other books in this series. Recommended.


Allen Knutson said...

The main thing I remember from this book was how hungry the little boy was, all the time. And indeed, some boys are like that!

Piaw Na said...

I spent most of my 20s that way, so I didn't think much of that. :-)