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Assassin's Apprentice

(The Farseer Trilogy #1)

by
4.15  ·  Rating details ·  208,906 ratings  ·  8,496 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 com
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Paperback, 392 pages
Published March 27th 2014 by Harper Voyager (first published May 1995)
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Vyne The Realm of the Elderlings is written in chronological order, so Thehonestowl is not entirely correct.

The Farseer Trilogy:
1)…more
The Realm of the Elderlings is written in chronological order, so Thehonestowl is not entirely correct.

The Farseer Trilogy:
1) Assassin's Apprentice
2) Royal Assassin
3) Assassin's Quest

Followed by the Liveship Traders Trilogy
1) Ship of Magic
2) Mad Ship
3) Ship of Destiny

Followed by The Tawny Man Trilogy
1) Fool's Errand
2) Golden Fool
3) Fool's Fate

Followed by The Rain Wilds Chronicles
1) Dragon Keeper
2) Dragon Haven
3) City of Dragons
4) Blood of Dragons

And finally, The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy
1) Fool's Assassin
2) Fool's Quest
3)...(less)
Amy
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  208,906 ratings  ·  8,496 reviews


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Mark Lawrence
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread this AGAIN because I am going to read all of the books up to date that are out!!! Hmmm.. guess I should show y'all my cool bookshelf of the books and some of my dragon figurines. Ah, maybe later 😘 Okay, well here it is...



These were the lessons in my assassin's primer. And more. Sleight of hand and the art of moving stealthily. Where to strike a man to render him unconscious. Where to strike a man so that he dies without crying out. Where to stab a man so that he dies without too much bl
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Petrik
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My journey into The Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb has finally begun and it’s off to a great start.

You can skip the next paragraph if you want to go straight to the review, this is just a long introduction that I need to make before writing my review.

It’s not an overstatement to say that The Realm of the Elderlings is hands down my biggest gamble of all time in the history of book buying; I bought it without using my brain, after all. You may call me shallow, my interest in this series sparked du
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Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”Most prisons are of our own making. A man makes his own freedom, too.”

So this was my first Robin Hobb and I’m positively surprised! =) I mean after reading all those raving reviews I already expected that “Assassin’s Apprentice” would be a good book, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the train of feels that occasionally hit me though. Well, truth be told, that’s actually a bold understatement.

For a book that started out so slowly there certainly were a lot of intense and awesome scenes that had me hoo
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A.
Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nerdy badasses
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Felicia
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
One of my all-time favorite series. I love it so much I have first edition hardbacks. Lovely, touching, dramatic. It has everything.
jessica
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
first and foremost, i need to praise robin hobb. with the literary world constantly fawning over the likes of george r.r. martin, brandon sanderson, patrick rothfuss, etc., it is so refreshing to read an epic/high fantasy written by a woman. you go, girl!

there is so much to love about this book. i will admit, this is a very foundational book. its quite slow, as there is a lot of page time dedicated to the development of characters and the building of the world in which they live. but
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
I feel so sorry for Fitzchivalry because he had such a rough start to life. The boy is despised for the simple fact that he exists. He is a royal bastard, and his dishonourable conception means that his father’s name is forever sullied; that much so that he was forced to abdicate the throne; thus, half the royal Farseer court already hates Fitz because he is, supposedly, the reason why the popular Prince had to retire from court life. Poor, poor, Fitz, he was hated from the very beginning.

He w
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Kaion
Mar 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, fantasy
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, Fitz recalls/>Assassin's
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James Tivendale
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This will just be a casual review as I know that the majority of fantasy fans on my friends list will have read/ at least know of this book.

This was an interesting reading experience for me. It only took me about 5 years to finish! I tried it 3 times and couldn’t get further than the 30% point. I attempted it in it’s paperback and audiobook form but to no avail. That being stated, I still knew it wasn’t a bad tale, so I put it back on the shelf for another time in 1, 5, 10, or 20 yea
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Samantha
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Bullet points for this review because although Robin Hobb likes to ramble on.. I do not.

A Summary of this book:
-- Fitz's life sucks
-- lots of winding and turning and taking an especially long time to get to the point
-- lots of predictable plots but not knowing exactly how we'd get there

While the writing is good, the story in this one is just ok. Nevertheless, I'm going to read on as planned because I'm reading this trilogy simply to get to her other trilogies. I do feel I'll get more and mo
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Samantha
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better the second time around!
Sean Gibson
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It hasn’t been that long since I cracked the virtual spine on a new fantasy series, but it has been a while since I began one that felt like this.

(Um, Sean? Can you maybe, I don’t know, define what “this” is, on account of the fact that empathetic internet is, as of yet, at least still a few years away?)

“This” is fully realized, well written and conceived, and faithful to some of the most tried and true fantasy tropes while simultaneously standing one very big one on its
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Melanie
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
What unexpected, and much needed, joy this book brought me! I know this is a fantasy favorite among so many people I trust, but I never expected it to be as perfect as it was! Fitz and his journey was an absolute joy to read about, and I cannot wait to continue on with this world. Like, I need the next book now.

This story is a slow burn, that's for sure, but learning about the main protagonist, Fitz, and his back story made the slow pace still really enjoyable. Fitz is a bastard of the king in
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘


07/19 : 1.99$ today on kindle! ← I never do that, but that's FITZ. Be serious.

Funny that I thought I would be able to objectively review this favorite of mine. SERIOUSLY? I was way too conceited. Because the truth is...



Why?

◘ Because I'm (way) too much involved in Fitz's story to analyze it. I mean, I could pretend, of course, but really? I found myself crying or being out of breath in anticipation so many times that I'm pretty sure my opinion is grandly biased.

Take this, for example : "And then my lessons with Galen began." Yeah, well, I cried at this. Crazy right?biased.
Take
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Dana Ilie
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dana by: Simona Vlad
Shelves: fantasy
Why has it taken me this long to read Robin Hobb? Truthfully, I am not quite sure. Fears aside, I took the plunge, and can assuredly say it was well worth the wait!
For the sake of clarity, I started with the first of the various series which make up the books set within the Realm of the Elderlings. This meant starting with Assassins Apprentice, the first installment in the Farseer Trilogy.
I have really fallen in love with Robin Hobb’s style of writing. It has so much substance and sophist
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Samir
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robin Hobb is an author which was on my radar for a long time and I was planning to read her books earlier but reading is a fickle and seductive mistress often taking us on an unplanned journeys and sometimes during those journeys we cross paths with people who manage to persuade us to follow their direction and just like that, I ended up in the Realms of the Elderlings, on a new adventure starting with the Assassin’s Apprentice.

This tale starts with our main character, Fitz (age 6), being brought to the
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Helen 2.0
Men cannot grieve as dogs do. But we grieve for many years.

Wow. This book really got under my skin.

At its core, Assassin's Apprentice is a story about loneliness - about a lonely boy, the bastard son of the former crown prince, growing up in a kingdom that does not want him. Fitz grows up among servants and soldiers in the king's palace, working in the shadow of his grandfather and uncles as a stableboy. Working with dogs, he discovers a talent for the Wit, a mental ability that allows him to sense beings ar
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Kat
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)
*Damian
*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)
*Damian
*Joshua
*Em
*Lee(first timer, wooot!)
*Erika, and I'm confident we'll catch up with...
*DayDreamer ;)

------------------------------------------------------
Original review: January 2011
Boy, if I had never found this book in a discount shop as a teen...

A few Hobb trilogies further along the way, this is where it all started. At first Assassin's Apprentice seems like your typical fantasy book. Yep, the unwanted orphan, seaside fortress, clandestine politics, a good dash of magic and adventure are all present. However, Hobb is something else.

To say that these books are pretty intense is an understatement. I will just mention that while engrossed in the last chapters of the second book and then book three of this series, I actually started missing my train station. Twice. And had to wait for at least half an hour in the dark dreary February weather to catch a train the other way. Considering I usually don't enjoy being late for dinner and having to turn to crappy coffee in Styrofoam cups for comfort.. seriously, that SAYS something.
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Warda
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Be your blood, boy, and ignore what anyone else thinks of you.”

I'm officially part of the Hobb fandom, hallelujah! This book was one of the most joyful slow-burners that I've read. Think 'The Name of the Wind.' It's about our precious Fitz, a bastard, who has been brought up by someone who used to work closely with his father. It is narrated by Fitz himself and we follow his life closely from childhood till his young teenage years.

The writing is quite simply, stunning. From page on
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Evgeny
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Probably the most depressing fantasy trilogy I read (and this includes Thomas Covenant). Recommended for when you are too cheerful and want to lower your mood in the hurry. The bad guys are bad with no redeeming qualities (and doing bad things just because they are bad). The good guys have all the bad luck imaginable - and then some; they also love acting out of character.

This is still entertaining read which kept me until the end.
Manisha
Actual review: 4.5

“Men cannot grieve as dogs do. But we grieve for many years.” 😢

A prologue of sorts of an adventure that is yet to come. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Full review to come.
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Assassin's Apprentice is the story of Fitz, who arrives at Buckkeep barely more than a child. He is branded early on as the bastard of Prince Chivalry Farseer, eldest & deceased son of King Shrewd Farseer. And so begins the slow & steady descent of our main character into a life fraught with hardship after hardship.

Which brings us around to one of my main struggles with this story. The first 80-85% of this book is a slow trudge through Fitz's childhood, exploring the many brutal ways i
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
After reading maybe a few too many YA fantasies, it was a breath of fresh air to delve into the world of Fitz, the assassin's apprentice. It was complex and layered, the way I like my fantasies and, I suppose, my reading generally (other than the brain-candy romance cravings, which tend to attack me randomly and without prior warning).

Fitz, the bastard son of the crown prince with a peasant woman, is taken from his mother as a six year old boy and dropped into the royal household. This novel fo
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Caz (littlebookowl)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Markus
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, fantasy
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? The artles/>Wearily
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Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net
_____________

I've had Robin Hobb on my list of authors I simply must read for a few years now, but haven't had the opportunity to get my hands on one of her books until this month. I'm actually kind of glad that I waited as long as I did, if I'm honest, because in a way I think finishing this book required a patience and maturity on my part that I probably would have lacked had I tried to accomplish reading it years ago when it first started calling to me.

Originally published in 1996, this
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Alex
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Assassin's Apprentice lives up to its title. It is about a boy name Fitz who learns to become an assassin. It is also much more than just killing people. It is about this young boy coming of age and finding out who he is.

First off, I thought this book would be a little bit different. I think I took the "Assassin" part to heart, and forgot the "Apprentice". You don't just jump into your trade until you really master something. Also, it was very dense in the beginning. Robin was really
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Will.J.R. Gwynne
My review of this AMAZING book is now on BookNest.

Assassin's Apprentice BookNest

“Very little worth knowing is taught by fear.”

I read Assassin's Apprentice late last year, and how amazing it is that I did. This is the book that introduced me to my now second favourite author of all time. I blitzed through three trilogies in this world in less than a month! That is testament to how obsessed I became.

Hobb's characters are just a pure masterclass. Each has such a rare depth, and every acti/>“Very
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Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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76,999 followers
** 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

Other books in the series

The Farseer Trilogy (3 books)
  • Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)
  • Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)
“When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool you end up looking like a moron instead.” 662 likes
“Don’t do what you can’t undo, until you’ve considered what you can’t do once you’ve done it.” 430 likes
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