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Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  88,309 ratings  ·  2,993 reviews
In a faraway land where 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 Farseer, 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....more
Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 1996 by Voyager (first published 1995)
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Thehonestowl First comes the farseer trilogy comprised off
1 assassins apprentice
2 royal assassin
3 assassins quest
Followed by the tawny man trilogy
1 fools errand
First comes the farseer trilogy comprised off
1 assassins apprentice
2 royal assassin
3 assassins quest
Followed by the tawny man trilogy
1 fools errand
2 golden fool
3 fools fate
Followed by the live ship traders trilogy
1 ship of magic
2 mad ship
3 ship of destiny
Followed by the nit yet complete rain wild trilogy
1 dragon keeper
2 dragon haven
3 not out yet(less)
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
11th out of 2,230 books — 15,279 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
11th out of 1,619 books — 6,807 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 22, 2008 Anni rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nerdy badasses
This book made me realize a number of things:

1. I like the idea of killing people for fun and profit
2. You can't trust your uncle
3. I like men who whine a lot and play with dogs
4. I would like to read people's minds, but I do not want them to read mine
5. Poison is an interesting topic, and discussing it with strangers online can lead to tragic relationships with gay Nazis who live in other countries

If you keep these things in mind, you will be able to enjoy this book more.
Mark Lawrence
I haven't read a lot of fantasy in the last decade, so the fact I've read 12 of Robin Hobb's books in the last 5 years says a lot about how much I enjoy reading her work. The adventures of Fitz through three trilogies account for a big chunk of that reading.

Robin Hobb can write a first person story with rare skill. She shows you a world though Fitz's eyes and makes it matter, makes it vital. Some elements of Hobb's fantasy are fairly old school, but written with a modern style and a literary ski...more
With the exciting news of a brand new series about Fitz & the Fool, The Fool's Assassin, in mind, we are buddy reading this series in December and continue with the Tawny Man trilogy.

Yup, I'm all set! (for some funky reason, I'd feel weird about reading Robin Hobb on my Kindle, so I got the entire series in English paperbacks too.:p

Buddy read with:
*Kat (joins for book 2)
*Lee(first timer, wooot!)
*Erika, and I'm confident we'll catch up with...
*DayDreamer ;)

I’m going to have to begin this by saying those words all readers know. It won’t be the first time I’ve said it, it won’t be the last, and it’s a phrase you’ll probably constantly hear where it comes to this book.

I should have read these sooner.

FitzChivalry is the bastard son of the king-in-waiting, the ironically named Prince Chivalry. At the age of six his grandfather carries him to Buckkeep, refusing to raise him anymore, and so begins his coming of age tale. Raised by a loyal servant of his...more
One of my all-time favorite series. I love it so much I have first edition hardbacks. Lovely, touching, dramatic. It has everything.
Buddy read with Alexa August 19th!

Wearily I regard the faltering trail of ink it has tracked down my page. I have seen that shape before, I think, but it was not ink then. A trickle of drying blood on the deck of a Red-Ship, and mine the hand that spilled it? Or was it a tendril of smoke rising black against a blue sky as I rode too late to warn a village of a Red-Ship raid? Or poison swirling and unfurling yellowly in a simple glass of water, poison I had handed someone, smiling all the while?...more
Kat  Hooper
I read THE FARSEER SAGA years ago and have since considered it one of my favorite fantasy epics. It’s one (along with THE LORD OF THE RINGS and MEMORY, SORROW AND THORN) that I often suggest to new fantasy readers. But after more than a decade of reading deeper and further into fantasy literature, I’ve often wondered how well this saga would now appeal to my more mature (I hope) palate. When Tantor Audio recently released THE FARSEER SAGA on audio, I was overjoyed and considered this to be my si...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
This is another one of those, how-can-you-call-yourself-a-fantasy-fan-and-not-read series. I really am sorry I waited this long because I loved it and can't wait for more...good thing there are 10 more and counting set in the Realm of the Elderlings.

That's not to say I loved it from the beginning, however. I had a bit of a hard time getting into Assassin's Apprentice, but that could also be the fact that I had a hard time with the narrator at first. By the end, I actually found it quite fitting...more
I find a lot of fantasy authors are in love with the internalized conceptions of their worlds. This can lead to great nuanced detail supporting imaginative storytelling... but the flipside can be a creation that fails to translate that vision to the actual page, to the audience.

Assassin's Apprentice illustrates this point fairly well. Robin Hobb has clearly lovingly created the world of the Six Duchies, and this love is echoed through the tale's device: born a bastard son to the king's heir, Fit...more
Sarah Keliher
Feb 25, 2010 Sarah Keliher rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people tired of bad fantasy
This series demonstrates what a truly gifted writer can do with the constraints and conventions of the fantasy genre. It has all the required elements - dragons, quests, magic, etc - but combined in a dark and unsettling way. Hobb's heroes, fated to attempt epic feats, falter and are left prematurely aged, scarred, and bitter; true love goes unrequited; her characters are morally and sexually ambiguous; and both dragons and magic are dirty, unglamorous, and hazardous to your health.

Though all o...more
And now, my extremely guilty pleasures. (The heat you feel radiating towards your face is actually me, white-hot with embarrassment)

Here's the truth: I used to crouch into subway corners, hunched over, pressed against the throng of rush hour bodies, lost in Robin Hobb's universe. I'd miss my stops.

I've read all of her Farseer trilogy, all of her Liveship books, all of her Tawny Man series. I broke my cardinal rule of sci-fi/fantasy reads and actually bought a 1st edition, hard cover of the las...more

A couple of months ago I discovered that Robin Hobb was continuing with this epic series and that The Fool's Assassin is going to be released in 2014. It was great to hear that other people were as pleased about the news as I was and thanks to Loederkoningin for setting up the Fitz & the Fool buddy group.

This is my third time of reading the series and I'm as excited reading it this time as I was the first time. I intended to read Assassin's Apprentice whilst reading another book, but after...more
April 2014: Re-reading preparation for Fool's Assassin release later this year. And yep... Still love it. 10,000,000 stars.

August 2011: I have now read this book three times. That’s right, three times! And you know the weird thing? I love it more each and every time I read it.

But there is a downfall to reading the series so often… I can’t separate the feelings I get from this book from the feelings I have for the series as a whole. A lot of the emotions I feel when I read this are triggered by...more
Apr 07, 2008 Leippya rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like political fantasy
Recommended to Leippya by: Kaitlynn Plinhe
Shelves: fantasy
This is a series I've been afraid to start for a long time, as I've seen people with tastes similar to mine get completely lost in these books. This didn't happen to me...... at first. I have several issues with the beginning of the book. The first is probably that the hero is so young at the beginning, so he is stup... I mean, naive, like all kids his age, but because as a reader we're smart enough AND we know the title of the book, we can see everything coming from a mile away. It's boring. Al...more
Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. I didn't care for this series at all. The bad guy is SO bad, stomping around twirling his virtual Snidely Whiplash mustache, sneering and jeering and (literally) kicking puppies, and yet the supposed "wise mentor" in the book keeps insisting mysteriously that there is more to him that meets the eye...well, guess what, there ISN'T, he's just as bad as he seems, and that pretty much saves you the trouble of reading the whole book right there.
For me, Robin Hobb was one of those authors I just had to get around reading. How can I call myself a fantasy fan without having read Robin Hobb?! So I had to get my act together, and now I'm just wondering why it took me this long.

I really enjoyed the start of this series. I can't really look at this as 'just a book' though, I've always looked at it as the start of a long series. But it introduced a lot of really enjoyable characters, a mental magic system that looks interesting (and had me scr...more
Holy shit.

Hopefully this review is coherent. I did just finish this amazing book and its hard to put thoughts in order when your mind has just been blown.

I great up fatherless and motherless in a court where all recognized me as a catalyst. And a catalyst I became.

Assassin's Apprentice is the story of a bastard son of the Prince, who is given up by his mother to be raised in Buckkeep. There he becomes known as Fitz, and discovers that he is able to link to animals, a talent called the Wit. It al...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±

As some may know, I'd read Ship of Magic in December of last year, and I wasn't that overly impressed with it. Based on that book, and some of Hobb's short stories I'd read, I was more than willing to pass over any of her other stuff.

But then Dawn literally forced me to read this book, and so I did. I was leery going in, as I expected it to be a long and generally unenjoyable slog, but since I was also assured time and again that Farseer was generally much better than the Liveship trilogy, I...more
David Sven
When 6 year old Fitz' peasant grandfather throws him back to the Royals who begot him he finds himself an inconvenience to the nobility of the Six Duchies. What do you do with the bastard son of a king in waiting? Too much royal blood to kill overtly and too dangerous to send away where treason may fester. But a bastard can be useful if held close and fashioned to be a king's man. A disposable weapon in the world of politics. A diplomat, an advisor, a spy, an assassin.
So Fitz begins his learning...more
Karen Field
First Review in February 2006:

First, a short blurb on the storyline (so skip to the next paragraph if you haven’t read the book, and don’t want it spoilt). Fitz is a royal bastard (as in born outside of wedlock). At age five his mother’s family deliver him to the royals and abandon him. The boy looks just like his King-in-Waiting father, but this doesn’t win Fitz any favours. His father, and his wife, abdicate and move away from the castle, leaving Fitz to be tended by the stable master. Over th...more
Jul 27, 2009 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Fantasy Book Club July 2009 Selection
Mike (the Paladin)
Please alloy me to digress a moment before I go into this book. My introduction to Robin Hobb's work was the Soldier's Son trilogy. I liked the first of that series...and detested what followed. The problem wasn't quality of writing but content of story. The thing was possibly among the most depressing books it's ever been my misfortune to come across. Still, I read in several reviews that I should not judge Hobb's body of work by that trilogy as it seemed only dyed in the wool Hobb fans liked i...more
Myke Cole
It took me way too long to get to this amazing book. Hobb does something very rarely seen in fantasy, gives us a story that isn't predicated on violence. Killing has its role, but it is background details subordinate to a larger and much more compelling story.

Hobb also steers clear of the typical stereotypes of violent professionals and gives us an assassin that those of us in arms-bearing trades can truly believe: a confused, anxious, decent and striving person who has chosen an occupation.

My review is taken from my website at

What a wonderful book. Robin Hobb is one of the best if not the best character author I have ever read. I really felt for the entire cast of characters. This story is very character driven but that is not to take away from the actual story as it is superb.

To call this a coming of age story is so cliche so I will call it an awakening story. A small boy comes from nothing and is thrust into a life he is not ready for. I don't want...more
Like some other readers I thought the begining and writing style was very slow. I wanted to give up and I did actually read another book a few chapters in. But I wanted to give it another chance. So many readers that I otherwise agree with not only like this series but love it. About half way through the writing became easier to read and the style charming. So I recommend sticking with it if at first you think you don't like it. I almost got rid of it and that would've been a mistake and I would...more
Athena (Shardbearer)
Won this on Goodreads First Read!

Buddy Read with Desinka, Gavin, Richard.

I finally finished!! Review to come soon...I liked it better than I expected.
As a child, when visiting my ancestral village, my favourite pastime was to relax on the river bed, while watching the river flow gently. The calmness of its flow used to settle the restlessness that my youth brought with it. However, the river ultimately meanders gently into the sea, which as we all know can be as turbulent as the river is calm. Also, the sea is definitely mightier than the river, both in terms of its size as well as in its capacity to awe the idle gazer.

Wondering why I am talk...more
I like this book a lot. It's almost 5-stars, but not quite. Just a hair below. So we can call it 4.5 stars, I suppose.

I love the way Hobb uses first person. When I was young, I hated reading first person narrative, but now I really enjoy it if it's done well. Hobb does that. Fitz's perspective is all we have, but in the scope of this story, that works best. It also helps to accentuate the relationships in Fitz's early life and his emotional ties to them. They're essential to his growth as a char...more
Damian Dubois
My memory is definitely not it once was which probably doesn't bode well for me as I'm soon to be only 38 years of age. Imagine how bad my power of recall will be when I hit the grand old age of 50? Although I can remember the basic plot of the Farseer Trilogy, much of the more finer details had slipped my mind, so much so that reading Assassin's Apprentice almost feels like reading a brand new book for me.

But oh, what a book this is! Absolutely brilliant stuff populated with one of Hobb's best...more

A slow burn but with beautiful prose that made it work. Fantastic characters, from Fitz to Verity to Burrich, and characters you love to hate, like Regal and his posse. Very emotional throughout, as Hobb is all about the character development. You feel everything that Fitz feels.

I didn't really plan on continuing this within my immediate next few books, but...I can't not.

Funny enough, I picked this because it was on the shorter-to-medium size and I (very very wrongly) imagined it would be...more
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** I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 st...more
More about Robin Hobb...
Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2) Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3) Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1) Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3) Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)

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“When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool you end up looking like a moron instead.” 368 likes
“Don’t do what you can’t undo, until you’ve considered what you can’t do once you’ve done it.” 137 likes
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