Assassin’s Apprentice

Not a lot to say before I get to the review, so I’ll just mention that about halfway through reading this book I went out and picked up the second and third books in the trilogy, it was a good read and a good beginning to a series.

Book Stats

435 pages

Fantasy

1st book in The Farseer Trilogy

Characters

The main character of this book is Fitz, the bastard son of Chivalry, who is the king in waiting of the six duchies.  Fitz was an interesting character and well written throughout the course of the book.  The book starts when he is six and his maternal grandfather is giving him to the care of his father’s men because he can’t afford to keep him fed and clothed.  He is quickly taken in by Burrich, the stable master for Chivalry.  After living with Burrich for several years, he is visited by King Shrewd, who decides to train Fitz to be an assassin.  I thought that all of the characters were well written and interesting to read about.

Setting

The six duchies, a fairly standard medieval fantasy kingdom.

Plot

The book follows Fitz as he grows up and begins to learn the assassin’s trade.  His training as an assassin is a bit different from what we would normally consider it anymore (I think the prototypical assassin currently is either Altair or Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed video games), he mostly deals with poisons and very subtle methods of accomplishing his task.  As the book continues, the six duchies are being attacked by raiders from across the sea, and Fitz has to use his skills to help the kingdom survive these raids.

Enjoyment

This book does some things very well and falls in some other areas.  One thing that it does exceptionally well is to keep a steady pace throughout the entirety of the novel.  We’re really not introduced to the core problem of the novel until about halfway through if not a little further.  But the book is constantly dealing with smaller problems for Fitz and we watch as he learns the various skills that will allow him to accomplish his goals later on.  My biggest complaint about the book is that (what I think is going to be) the main problem for the series is really introduced about 90% of the way through the book.  This is a common enough problem with fantasy novels that I’m almost used to it, but if I had to wait for the next book to come out after picking up this one I would be really upset (fortunately I don’t have to wait).

Overall Grade

A different take on a fantasy novel that does some interesting things.

7/10

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks, Adam. I see this title fairly often in the fantasy section of the local used bookstore, so I’ll probably head up the street and pick it up soon. I’ve been watching lately for good young men’s coming of age tales, and I’m also curious about how a compelling book can get away with delaying presention of the core problem for so long.

    Reply
  2. I have a few Robin Hobb books but have yet to read one – so I’m pleased to see that they make a good read!

    Reply

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