Rating: 3.5 / 5
ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE by Robin Hobb is book one of THE FARSEER TRILOGY and the first book in the #elderlingalong which is scheduled to read through a couple of Robin Hobb’s trilogies over the next year or so. I have found myself gravitating toward more fantasy of late so decided to join in and this month was perfect timing as a fantasy with a female author was perfectly timed for the #femmefantale readathon which happened last week!
ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE centers on Fitz, the royal bastard son of Chivalry Farseer. In a world where the nobility are named for traits they are meant to emulate, Fitz finds himself dumped into his father’s household as a young boy without a name and without any further contact from his mother. Taken under the wing of the man in charge of the royal dogs, Fitz almost grows up like a pup himself.
It turns out Fitz has a magical ability to link with other animals – to feel what they feel, think what they think and otherwise communicate with them. This magic is looked down upon by many and Fitz must learn to fit in with the royal household and finds there are very few people with whom he can relate. Soon he becomes the apprentice to the royal assassin and embarks on an entirely new life.
I struggled with this book a bit, but overall enjoyed the story. I wound up doing this mostly on audio which I thought was very well done once I got used to the flow of the narrator’s language. I thought the writing was wonderful and I was intrigued by the word and the magical system being established. This is very much a character centered book and there is not a lot of plot going on. Much of what we are learning is Fitz’ internal monologues, limited in our knowledge to his narrow perspective.
I do think that as a start of a trilogy and even beyond that the start of the whole Realm of the Elderling series which involves many books beyond the trilogy, a lot of what we are getting in this book is likely build up for the future. The books get much longer from here (I believe the remaining books in the readalong are slated to be read over two months each) so I am very curious to see where the story goes from here!
My feelings were very much mixed on this one, but I did enjoy the character of Fitz and definitely will be reading on in the series (or I will if my order from Book Depository ever makes it out given current border closings and such). I am looking forward to hearing others’ thoughts from the readalong!