Nicholas 's Reviews > Assassin's Apprentice

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
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Jan 02, 12

bookshelves: audio-books, fantasy
Read from December 24, 2011 to January 02, 2012

I waffled a lot on this rating. I'm sure there are books I rated higher that i liked less. However, it did not aspire to be much. So, at the start of this review, two stars feels a bit low, but three seems too high. What the book is, IMHO, is a solid entry in the world of genre fiction. Hobb writes a nice little fantasy adventure with some clever and well written twists on the standard genre plot. First off, it isn't all about violence and heroism and our hero isn't granted deux-ex-machina powers. Second, the ways our hero finds to solve challenges mirror actual character traits that people would be better off adapting. Social influence and consideration of others plays a larger role in Hobb's story, which is much, much better than another tale of a chosen hero who is really good at hitting other people on the head.

The protagonist does some nice growing up as the story progresses, as do some of the other main characters. The villains do tend to fall into pat stereotypes and the tribe of virtuous savages are a bit too virtuous, but for all that there is a hint of self awareness and a hint of real humanity in the characters. Not much more than a hint, but it does make for a nice change from either the standard ridiculous good/evil roles or the currently popular dark anti-hero tales that everyone seems to be writing today.

I like it, but it doesn't really hold a candle to the best genre fair (Guy G. Kay) or quite reach the level of the middling stuff that has a bit more depth to it (Abercrombie, Rothfuss).

Still, I have queued up the sequel in my audible list and that says something. So, as I think about the first Farseer book, I'm moved to up my rating of it to three stars. I'm glad I read it and will continue reading her work.
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Reading Progress

12/24/2011 "I picked this up w/ an Audible credit. I like to have a brainless fantasy novel to listen to while I do the dishes. I've been reading a lot better stuff recently, but this kind of fluff gives the brain a bit of a break."

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