In today’s post I’ll be reviewing the Assassin’s Apprentice. This was my first foray into Robin Hobb’s work and I have to say that I enjoyed myself immensely.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill–and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.
So I read this back in December and it’s gone on to be a favourite. It had everything I wanted in an adult high fantasy and more. Before starting it, I did have that fear that I might not like it as much everyone else but luckily that wasn’t the case (this always happens with popular books).
The Assassin’s Apprentice revolves around a boy named Fitz as he learns to become an assassin. It follows his life from when he is six to when he is a teen. I like the fact that we grow up with Fitz and we get to see the workings of his assassin training. By the end of the novel, it really feels like you know him.
Fitz, however is in no means the perfect protagonist. He is flawed and makes some questionable decisions but it gives him this richness which we wouldn’t of otherwise seen if he was the “hero” character.
Another character whom I absolutely love is Burrich. Man, do I love him! At the beginning of the novel, I didn’t particularly care for him but he slowly crept up on me. He’s so loyal and fair and is definitely somebody you want in your corner. I adored the dynamic between him and Fitz. They have such a wonderful bond and it was lovely to read about.
While Fitz and Burrich were my favourite two characters, I did like/hate all the other side characters too. Usually when books have many characters there is always one or two that are not particularly interesting, but I didn’t find that here. Each one was fully fleshed out and held their own, which I think is the mark of a great writer.
Though I really enjoyed the Assassin’s Apprentice it did take a few chapters for it to get going. But once it did, I was fully engaged and invested in the story. The latter half of the novel was much faster paced, especially right at the end, where its one thing after another. I was never bored and was always eager to pick it back up to see where the story went.
The last thing I want to mention is Robin Hobb’s phenomenal writing style. It was super easy to get into and not as dense as I was expecting. She has this way of writing where, I don’t know how to explain it, but it just gets under your skin. It’s why I gave it that extra half star. Once I read that last page it surprised me how much I actually cared for characters and the story.
Overall, I loved this book a lot and would highly recommend it if you love fantasy in any way. Such a well-thought out and fun read that I know loads of people would enjoy.
As always, thanks for reading.