Wendy's Reviews > Assassin's Apprentice

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
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's review
Mar 19, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009, e-book, fantasy

Five stars? Yes, I loved this book that much. I need now to find the rest of this trilogy so I can read the further adventures of the bastard son of Prince Chivalry of Buckkeep!

Why did I love it so? So many reasons. I haven't read much fantasy fiction in a really long time (since I no longer had access to my brother's numerous and groaning bookshelves), but I feel like this is the kind of book or series my brother would have pointed me to, as he did to the Belgariad by David Eddings and numerous others that I probably would never have picked up on my own.

The writing is tight, the prose gorgeous in places, the pacing appropriate to mood and events, the characters beautifully illuminated and rounded, the setting even moreso, and the worldbuilding absolutely stellar. Anyone setting out to create a fantasy universe could take notes from the careful detail in this world, which doesn't stop at the social structure, geography, economic activity, history, theology, and politics but delves into its rituals and beliefs, its magic and legends, its mores and ethics. All of this is done seamlessly, with characters in conversation or in conflict, illustrating similarities and differences between individuals, social groups, families, and nations. I had to just stop and admire, sometimes.

I am a sucker for a first-person narrator embarked on a path he doesn't fully understand, and this mostly nameless protagonist had me from the opening paragraph. His terrors and angers were mine, and so were his joys and sorrows. I rooted for him in all his struggles, rejoiced in his accomplishments, and felt his wounds, both physical and psychic.

I loved this book. I dearly hope the rest of the trilogy is of equal quality.

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