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Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy - Book 1): 1/3 Paperback – 3 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (3 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006480098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006480099
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (686 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Hobb is a New York Times best-selling fantasy author. She is published in English in the US, UK and Australia, and her works have been widely translated. Her short stories have been finalists for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, as well as winning the Asimov's Readers Award. Her best known series is The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest.)

Robin Hobb was born in Oakland California, but grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has spent her life mostly in the Pacific Nortwest region of the US, and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington State, with her husband Fred. They have four grown offspring, and six grandchildren.

Robin Hobb is a pen name for Margaret Ogden. She has also written under the name Megan Lindholm.

She published her first short story for children when she was 18,and for some years wrote as a journalist and children's writer. Her stories for children were published in magazines such as Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children, Jack & Jill and Highlights for Children. She also created educational reading material for children for a programmed reading series by SRA (Science Research Associates.) She received a grant award from the Alaska State Council on the arts for her short story "The Poaching", published in Finding Our Boundaries in 1980.

Fantasy and Science Fiction had always been her two favorite genres, and in the late 70's she began to write in them. Her initial works were published in small press 'fanzines' such as Space and Time (editor Gordon Linzner). Her first professionally published story was "Bones for Dulath" that appeared in the Ace anthology AMAZONS!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson in 1979. A short time later, a second Ki and Vandien story entitled The Small One was published in FANTASTIC in 1980.

During that time period, she and her family had moved from Alaska to Hawaii, and subsequently to Washington State, where they settled. She had various money making occupations (waitress, salesperson, etc.) while striving with her writing. Her husband Fred continued to fish Alaskan waters and was home only about 3 months out of every year. The family lived on a small farm in rural Roy where they raised lots of vegetables, chickens, ducks, geese and other small livestock.

In 1983, her first novel, Harpy's Flight, was published by Ace under the pen name Megan Lindholm. Her later titles under that name included Wizard of the Pigeons, Alien Earth, Luck of the Wheels, and Cloven Hooves.

In 1995, she launched her best selling series of books set in the Realm of the Elderlings. At that time, she began writing as Robin Hobb. Her first trilogy of books were about her popular characters, FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool. The Farseer Trilogy is comprised of Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest. These books were followed by The Liveship Traders trilogy, set in the same world. The Tawny Man trilogy returned to the tale of Fitz and the Fool. Most recently, the four volumes of the Rain Wilds Chronicles were published: Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons.

In 2013, it was announced that she would return to her best-loved characters with a new trilogy, The Fitz and the Fool trilogy. The first volume, Fool's Assassin, will be published in August of 2014.

Other works as Robin Hobb include The Soldier Son trilogy and short stories published in various anthologies. A collection of her shorter works as both Lindholm and Hobb is available in The Inheritance.

She continues to reside in Tacoma, Washington, with frequent visits to the pocket farm in Roy.

Product Description


'What makes her novels addictive is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics' The Times

‘Hobb is superb’ Conn Iggulden

‘Hobb is a remarkable storyteller’ Guardian

From the Back Cover

In a faraway land in which members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals -the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and learn a new life: weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By G. Cochrane on 17 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
I found Assasssins Apprentice, and the rest of the trilogy, a very refreshing read. The pace does begin a little slow and at times I felt Robin Hobbs did not have to go to the extremes she did to portray Fitz's utter loneliness, however after about chapter six I found the pace picked up and I was hooked into the book.

This is not a typical 'epic quest' based fantasy tale, Hobb does a great job of avoiding most of the cliches and stereotypes rife in the fantasy genre, although admittedly the antagonist can be a little flat at times in the typical 'bad guy' way. However, overall I think this book is worth reading just for Hobbs' skill in creating deep, dynamic characters that grow with the story. I felt a little distant from most of the characters in the book at first, I think this is a clever reflection on the state of mind of young Fitz in his loneliness, however by the second book I had grown to love them - the characters are all so rounded and realistic, with their own histories, opinions and faults.

Hobbs' use of language also impressed me, she has a lovely style of writing that is very descriptive without being over-indulgent, giving the story an overall feel of 'realness' that sucks the reader into the world of Buckkeep and the Six Duchies.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M Fuller on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a reasonably big fan of the fantasy genre, but finding books that hit the right fantasy spot is a hard task. Some do it for me, some don't. Oddly this book comes up trumps and also comes up short! So its middle ground for me.

It is without doubt very well written and the characters are good and well delevoped. But, for what this is worth it takes 100's of pages to get anywhere, less graphic fantasy novel and more like a fantasy soap opera. The storylines are winding and seemly endless, when you get to the end barely anything has happened that couldn't be summarised in maybe one or two paragraphs, unlike other fantasy novels where the storylines and characters can become hard to manage and follow, this novel just seems happy to trundle along developing gradually and ultimately this spoils it.

In most fantasy novels the Magic is central to the characters and plot lines - in this novel there are only a few who can preform the mystical "Skilling" or the "Wit", but neither are really exciting abilities to have. Skilling lets you read and control minds of humans, Wit the same with animals, our hero Fitz has both ablities, but still they are, for want of a better phrase, boring magics, that very much take a backseat in the development of the story.

I could write an essay on what is wrong with this novel, but in short... Easy read with a plodding storyline that lacks elements you should expect in a good fantasy read. OK, but nowhere near as great as lots of reviewers seem to want you to believe.
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219 of 237 people found the following review helpful By Fisket VINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
It's not very often that you pick up a book from an ordinary shelf, thinking nothing more than 'I'm sooo bored, maybe I'll read this,' and, within a few pages, discover that you have, in fact, stumbled upon genius in print.
Following the life of a royal bastard, known as Fitz, this trilogy takes you on a journey that spans years, miles, height and depth. Though easily qualified as a work of high fantasy, political intrigue, human personality and realistic motivation keeps the entirity incredibly grounded. You never catch yourself wondering just how realistic it all is- it IS real, that's a given. But there was one aspect of this story that especially caught me.
For me, characters are the measure of a good story. If you don't care about them, you don't care about the book itself. In the case of this trilogy, you find yourself becoming more and more deeply entangled in the thoughts, emotions and personality of the characters until it's hard to remember who YOU are.
In particular, I think Fitz is one of the most realistically human characters ever to inhabit the written word, and the Fool remains my favourite character of any I've ever read about. Such depth and delicacy of portrayal and narration is all too rare.
In other words, read this trilogy. You simply can't go wrong with a story like this one.
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93 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Lore on 6 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Friendly fellow fantasy fan warning: buy this book and you'll be committing yourself to purchasing not only the further two books in this trilogy, but very likely every other book in all four trilogies that have thus far been written by Robin Hobb. The characterisation, prose and plots in all of her novels are of such a high standard that it's impossible to describe how engrossing they can be until you've sampled them for yourself. Here's a list of those trilogies, just so you know what you'll be letting yourself in for...

The Farseer trilogy- Assassin's Apprentice / Royal Assassin / Assassin's Quest

The Liveship Traders trilogy- Ship of Magic / Mad Ship / Ship of Destiny

The Tawny Man trilogy- Fool's Errand / The Golden Fool / Fool's Fate

The Soldier Son trilogy- Shaman's Crossing / Forest Mage / Renegade's Magic

The first three trilogies are set in the same world, while the fourth is a stand-alone series set in a different world. Although the Liveship Traders trilogy can be read independently, as it concentrates on a different set of characters, I would still recommend reading the trilogies in order, as they each subtly tie-in with one another and build a larger story-arc in the saga of this world as events transpire. The most recently published fourth trilogy is set in a completely different world, but is perhaps best accessible to die-hard Hobb fans, as it isn't quite in the same league as her previous trilogies.

For me Assassin's Apprentice was easily the best debut from any author I'd ever read in any genre at the time and remains one of my all-time favourites.
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