Kaion's Reviews > Assassin's Apprentice

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
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Mar 24, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy, unfinished
Read in March, 2010

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 growing up in the intense environment of court and his first mission as the king's assassin. It's not the most original premise, but Hobb revels in the details of the world's class divide and trade routes and political alliances. However, she forgets to tell us why we should *care* about any of this.

I'm sure the whole thing is some epic prequel to Fitz's story of some sort, but I want to hear *that* story, not the backlog. It's not unpleasant but after the fifth exposition dialogue of political machinations in which I was given no stake, I didn't really see a reason to continue reading. The main character simply meandered around in a seemingly unending training montage with nary a purpose in sight. I don't mind a slow buildup, but the ideas here, while artfully portrayed, were still very much in a generic-court-fantasy mold... giving me no incentive to stick around (no payoff to collect). Rating: 1 star
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Reading Progress

03/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-34 of 34) (34 new)

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message 1: by Savion (new)

Savion You didn't read the book did you..*_*


Kaion Savion wrote: "You didn't read the book did you..*_*"

I got roughly... half-way through.


Gregory Lynn And with that, I am greatly excited about the 37% of the book I have left.


Kirrus This is a slow starting book, and trilogy. This was Robin Hobb's first book as a feudal/medieval based-fantasy, and is a bit rough as it starts. I would say stick with it - it does get better in the latter half, and the trilogy itself is pretty decent, if you like this sort of fantasy-fiction.


Regina I encourage you to finish it. Its gooooooooood


Austin Williams bad review


Alex agreed, Dedealus


Nuno Vargas you should have finished the book!


message 9: by Kirrus (last edited May 29, 2012 05:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kirrus Those who keep commenting, I think Kaion gets it! You don't need to say any-more :)

Remember that not everyone likes every book, we all have different tastes, not liking it is perfectly valid.


Fiona Byrne Wow, you can't really give it a one until you've read the end in my opinion. The ending of that book blew me away. I can't wait to read all the rest. It kind of comes to a climax.


message 11: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny L. I actually find reviews like this helpful because it forces people who loved the book to try to explain why and I find that more enlightening then the 5star reviews.


Finnball Troll...


message 13: by Ricky (new) - added it

Ricky Wilson Heh, I couldn't agree more Manny. Also, many times the fact that a person could not finish a book gives valuable insight about a book as well. There have been plenty of movies that I walked out of, stopped watching, and didn't need to finish to be able to tell someone that movie sucked. Same thing goes for books I would think?


Nacron Generic? You might be very well spoken, or written as the case may be. However I would be hard pressed to find the works this book 'apes.' On the other hand I've seen the handiwork of many an intellectual snob pasted far and wide across the internet. Troll on generic snob, troll on.


message 15: by Jesse (new) - rated it 1 star

Jesse I have to agree with OP, but I read the first two and half of the third one before giving it up. I have to say it was painful. There was some decent attempts at world building, but they fell short for me. The characters were one dimensional, and I just never could bring myself to care about them. Lots of people love this series, but personally I found it boring and predictable.


message 16: by Dave (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dave I read the whole thing and enjoyed it for the most part. That's right, the whole ting. While I can understand your gripes and your rating, this book isn't really about plot-twists and world building; it's about character development and developing everything within the world through the eyes of the protagonist. Not bad for a first-person recounting if I do say so myself.


message 17: by Neil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Neil I just finished the book myself and was quite underwhelmed. Everyone sings it such high praises but it didn't really impress me. I have enough interest to continue but I'm hoping it gets better otherwise I'll feel like I wasted my time. I agree that the story doesn't really give you incentive to care about the politics, I found myself struggling to pay attention to it at times. But there were some really great moments that interested me as well. It's because of those moments I'll continue. I hope I don't regret it


message 18: by David (new) - added it

David Dapaah i love fantacy books so much that when i get hold of any i can't stop reading them. but this one cost me a great deal pain and time to to read it. the book is filled with so much of self pity, so more of boring stuffs and so much predictable event that i came to know how book 2 and 3 will be after reading the end of book 1 even before readin them.


Richard Lance Im 3/4 of the way through this and I'm struggling to get behind it.

With less than 100 pages left, the main character is bored and lonely and has nothing to do. Wow...


Tracy Glover I agree. The book was dull and ploddy with no heart in it. I didn't feel pulled into this world but rather bored by it. It ought to have felt compelling and mysterious but it never did. I don't understand the love for this book. It is completely overblown.


message 21: by Jesse (last edited Sep 07, 2015 07:08AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jesse Kaion wrote: "Savion wrote: "You didn't read the book did you..*_*"

I got roughly... half-way through."


Your not alone, I struggled through the first two and half of the third before giving up on these. No idea why people like them so much. This is only the second series that I have been unable to finish, so that should be a warning to any potential readers right there.


Heather Im glad im not alone. The story didnt seem to go anywhere. His training in various things bloomed then died. The writing os quite blunt and i just couldnt bond with it. I read this after reading patrick rothfuss and maybe i shouldnt have. Nowhere near the same level. I was thoughly dissapointed and.


message 23: by Eduardo® (new) - added it

Eduardo® Well... the only thing I can do is thank you guys, because I was REALLY going to buy it, and after reading ALL these arguments, I prefer not risk it...


message 24: by Natella (new) - added it

Natella No comment to this comment.... So bad....


message 25: by Natella (new) - added it

Natella No comment to this comment.... So bad....


Justin  hight You are the only one on the planet earth who thinks this


Caleb Miller I completely agree with this review and I read every word.


message 28: by Cadiva (last edited Jul 01, 2016 01:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cadiva While I appreciate not everyone will like the same things, I am surprised by this partial review, as you admit you didn't actually finish the novel.
The thing which surprises me particularly is the claim that Hobb's characters are one dimensional as, for me, she is actually one of the best writers of characters who live and breathe and come to life off the page in any genre.


Natacha You took the words out of my mouth.


Slawek Finally. After reading this review and comments I think I have made my peace with this book and decided not to finish it. I tried, I tried so hard. But I could not find anything in this book that I cared about in the slightest. I have never before been so distracted reading a book. I badly wanted to read it but almost each time I sat to it, 10-15 min later I find myself doing everything but reading.

I hoped it will get better with time but the comments here make it clear to me that I will not.

I am glad I am not the only one. I cannot believe this book is so highly rated. What is most telling is that over the many years, there is only a handful of books that I have not finished reading (this one will be one of those). The strange and at the same time infuriating thing is that this book is better than many I have read. However, it fail miserably at making me care about anything at all in this book. If a huge meteor would crash land on this continent and kill everyone I would not even blink.


message 31: by Anto (new)

Anto TU LIBRO MEN CANTA MUCHO


message 32: by Von (new) - rated it 3 stars

Von Agree with this review. After finishing this book I had no idea why its so highly rated. Wish I had stopped half way. The ending is not worth the effort.


message 33: by Dave (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dave I'm not saying this is the case, but sometimes when I read a book I just don't like it. Then when I come back and read it a year later I love it. Sometimes the opposite effect happens.

Maybe you guys just need to sit on this book for a while and come back to it.


Justin  hight I agree Dave.


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