Book One of the Farseer Trilogy.
Years ago I fell in love with The Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb. Recently, it occurred to me that I was doing myself a disservice by not reading the rest of her work. So I am turning back to the beginning and reading the Farseer Trilogy.
Assassin’s Apprentice is the first book in the trilogy and begins with Fitz being handed off to Verity’s household at 6 years old. Under the care of the stable hand Burrich, Fitz travels to Buckkeep, the seat of the Farseer family. While there Fitz grows from a stubborn and insolent child in a young boy in desperate need of guidance and friends. Eventually, he find himself under the tutelage of the court assassin and learns more about the heritage his blood allows- bastard or not.
I’ll keep the summary short because mostly I think it is a story the reader should enjoy for themselves. This story is a character study following a young boy who is struggling to find his place in a world that continuously reminds him he deserves none. I admit that sometimes I struggle with stories that begin when a main character is so young. And I struggled with the slower pace of this book at the beginning.
At the same time I appreciated it when I finished the book because it was only through understanding the loneliness of Fitz’s childhood that you understand his need to belong and find his place. Just like with The Liveship Traders, it is the way the characters are written where Hobb’s writing truly shines. They have a complexity that make them leap from the pages. When they misstep or make a stupid choice (and they do) you are frustrated but also understanding because those choices make sense based on who they are – maddening as it may be.
This book also took some patience since we only saw things from Fitz’s point of view. From being a child and then a young boy, it meant that there were plenty of questions that went unanswered. Like Chade, I want to know more about the Skill and how it is applied. What is happening on the Red Ships? I’m sure it will all be answered is time. Until then, I look forward to reading more about Fitz’s story in Book Two – Royal Assassin.
Other reviews for the Farseer Trilogy: