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Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  133,630 Ratings  ·  4,590 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.
Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 1996 by Voyager (first published April 1st 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) Assassin's Apprentice
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
Amy I think it highly depends on their reading level. It starts out a little slow (like the first 150 pages) so I think the average 12 year old may…moreI think it highly depends on their reading level. It starts out a little slow (like the first 150 pages) so I think the average 12 year old may actually lose interest before the story picks up. The first book in this series has some violence, but is otherwise appropriate for a pre-teen. (Unless you don't like the word "bastard" and that particular concept...the main character happens to be the bastard child of the late prince). The second book, however, may be less appropriate. It is more violent and has rape, sex, and the zombie-like men ("Forged") eating a little girl while still alive. As a mom I would be okay with my son reading the first book, but not the second. The series as a whole may be something you would want to take into consideration.(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
10th out of 2,572 books — 18,567 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 1,447 books — 8,465 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Lawrence
Feb 02, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 22, 2008 Anni 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.
Jan 21, 2009 Felicia rated it it was amazing
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.
Bookworm Sean
Jan 03, 2016 Bookworm Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, robin-hobb
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
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 ;)

Mar 30, 2010 Kaion rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, unfinshed
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
Aug 26, 2014 Markus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2014, buddy-reads
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?
Kat  Hooper
Apr 11, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it it was amazing
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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

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...


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? Hey,
Apr 02, 2012 seak rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2012
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
else fine
Feb 25, 2010 else fine rated it it was amazing
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
helen the bookowl
Feb 16, 2016 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story about Fitz who is the King's bastard. This first book in the Farseer Trilogy is an introduction to Fitz and his worries, life and struggles, but it is also the introduction to an amazing fantasy world that is going to expand beautifully in the upcoming books and series.
What stood out to me the most about this book was Fitz and his development as well as the dogs. I can't say too much more without spoiling anything, but the animals and their destiny in this novel were espec
Amy (shoutame)
Feb 23, 2016 Amy (shoutame) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
What a fun read! I had heard so many great things about Robin Hobb and this didn't disappoint.

We follow the story of a young man named Fitz who is the bastard-born son of one of the royal family in a place known as the Six Duchies. As the title suggests Fitz becomes an assassin's apprentice and slowly begins to weave himself into the on-goings of the royal folk where he lives. What will Fitz have to endure? Will he make it as an assassin? You'll have to read to find out :)

I thought this was a re
Apr 30, 2016 Denisse rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adult Fantasy Lovers
Recommended to Denisse by: All my GR crazy fantasy lovers friends
Shelves: crushes
4.5 A beautiful world with interesting magic. Hobb develops her plot very slowly but with strong determination. It is an introductory book, lots of world and character development, which might be the reason why the ending is a bit generic or usual if you are an active fantasy reader. But it works with its twists and betrayals; it is just not as original as all the development leading to it. With a very unique and bittersweet loneliness aura, the book gives birth to a bastard trained to be an ass ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Vilda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All the Fantasy lovers out there!
"'Only that you'd be wise to eat lightly, or not at all, of any food you do not prepare yourself.'
'At all the feasts and festivities that will be there?'
'No. Only at the ones you wish to survive.'"

Can I just say that I completely understand why people love this series so much? If this is only the first book--and I'm assuming the sequels get even better as the series continues--then I'm sure it's going to be quite a favorite of mine as well. I'm already in love with this world and so many of it

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
Jan 31, 2007 bp rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 17, 2007 Lorena rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Lindsey Rey
Dec 22, 2014 Lindsey Rey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2014
[4.5 Stars]

So excited to read the sequel!!!
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
After reading maybe a few too many YA fantasies recently, 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.

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 follows Fitz from his childhood, rejected by many and ignored by almost all others, to about age fif
Aug 31, 2014 Kaora rated it it was amazing
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
Franco  Santos
Nov 01, 2015 Franco Santos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robin-hobb
Me encantó este libro. No le tenía muchas expectativas; siempre lo veía en las librerías pero ni se me pasaba por la cabeza comprarlo. Un día me lo compré por impulso.

Tengo muy buenos impulsos...

La historia me hizo acordar a Martin, Sanderson y a mi querido Rothfuss. Es amena, rápida, no tiene tanto diálogo como otros libros, sin embargo, a mí no se me hizo pesado como a muchos.

Cuando crees tener una idea y decides que es cierta, sin pruebas, te ciegas a otras posibilidades. Tenlas todas en c
I've been meaning to read this series for yearrrrrrs, and I finally got around to it. It was . . . not what I was expecting!

I mean, right away it's pretty hard not to notice it's in first person POV, which is still incredibly rare in epic fantasy, and I think dangerous because it's so hard to pull off. But I quickly adapted to it, and think it works well here. I still think a nice third person POV lends a storyteller quality that works absurdly well with epic fantasy, and it could have worked b
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
Apr 07, 2008 Leippya rated it really liked it
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
Anthony Ryan
Oct 05, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing
There are few fantasy works that can lay claim to the kind of game changing impact on an entire genre that greeted the publication of Robin Hobb's now classic first volume in the Farseer Trilogy. The use of first person narration adds greatly to the sense of place and allows for a remarkable connection with Fitz and his many trials and tribulations as acknowledged bastard and secret assassin to the royal Farseer line. Rich in intrigue, friendship and tragedy this really shouldn't be missed by an ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, moving, and wonderfully composed... I am late to the Hobb party but damn.. that was simply amazing.
David Sven
Aug 02, 2012 David Sven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Dec 21, 2012 Hanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Estuve debatiendo entre un 4.5 y 5.5, pero finalmente me decidí por un 4.5 Bien merecido.

El principio de este libro me resultó confuso. Ajustarme a este nuevo ambiente me costó varios capítulos, pero cuando fui comprendiendo lo que pasaba todo cobró sentido. En este caso nos encontramos con un niño bastardo, hijo del príncipe Hidalgo, apodado Traspié. Un niño con poca comunicación, temeroso y fácil de controlar. El blanco perfecto para la sociedad de la corte.

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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...

Other Books in the Series

Farseer Trilogy (3 books)
  • Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)
  • Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)

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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.” 490 likes
“Don’t do what you can’t undo, until you’ve considered what you can’t do once you’ve done it.” 232 likes
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