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Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)
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SERIES—List & Discussions > Realm of the Elderlings--Assassin's Apprentice: Finished reading (spoilers)

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message 1: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2393 comments Mod
This thread is for those who have finished reading Assassin's Apprentice. Spoilers ahead!


message 2: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2393 comments Mod
I finished my re-read today. It had been so many years since I read it the first time that I barely remembered any of it - I remembered a few characters but very few plot points. But my main memory was that it was fully absorbing and really well written, and I'm pleased that that opinion stands after so many years! I normally am not a fan of first-person narration, but mostly because it's not always that well done. Hobb is an expert at it.

I don't want to say too much about plot, because as I read I started to remember more and more about what happens in the next few books (I have read the first nine of the 16 books, though again it's been many years).


message 3: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 618 comments Mod
This series is a re-read for me. I welcome the chance to reacquaint myself with the overall story, and particularly with the earlier books.

This is a story of contrasts. The two magical systems, the prized Skill and the despised Wit, make for an interesting magical background. The servant leadership of the mountain people contrast with the self-serving scheming of Regal and his mother. The contrast in the way people treat the bastard Fitz compared to the legitimate but less able heirs.

I love Fitz. My heart breaks for the boy that came to live at the castle without even a name of his own. I learn the tools of the assassin’s trade along with him, and find that an assassin requires not only skill, but loyalty and judgement. And Fitz’s relationship with Molly is both complex and poignant. Very mature writing, Robin Hobb is a master!


message 4: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (last edited Jul 27, 2018 09:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3383 comments Mod
Finished my re-read on the plane a couple days ago. I, too, found that I remembered many of the characters but only a few of the plot points.

Fitz has such unique relationships with the few people with whom he connects--and those relationships always seem filled with as much (or more) sorrow as happiness.

I had forgotten that Nosy is the one who saves him from dying. (full circle...) His connection/link with Nosy and Smithy are so vital.

Burrich, with all his faults, is one of my favorite characters, along with Chade and the Fool.

Edited to add: I continue to be surprised at how much plot Robin Hobb is able to pack into this volume, and how many fascinating, layered characters she has created.


Lindsey | 403 comments Kathi wrote: "I had forgotten that Nosy is the one who saves him from dying. [...]

Burrich, with all his faults, is one of my favorite characters, along with Chade and the Fool."


Nosy <3

Burrich grew on me as the story progressed. My favorite thing about this series is Hobb's deftness at portraying how our perspective changes with age and experience. Fitz's view on Burrich is a great example and it morphed him into one of my favorites as well.

Chade on the other hand... well, we'll get there. ;-) I do love that Hobb writes all these characters with their own stories and motivations that often don't align well with Fitz's needs. It's messy and I love that.


Anthony (albinokid) | 52 comments Hi all, new here, and pleased to find folks who value the depth and brilliance of these books. I had completely missed having any knowledge of them until I started looking at all sorts of lists of the best fantasy series etc.

I’m astonished at how much Hobb is able to balance melancholy and hope, and how richly she weaves relationships. Nothing comes easily to anyone in this story, and that makes everything that much more resonant. I was surprisingly moved more than once.


DivaDiane | 188 comments I totally agree with Anthony, that one of the strengths of Hobbs’ writing and these stories in particular is the relationships she weaves and the characters’ growth (or lack of growth). The story is great, but it moves you on a much deeper level because of the people she creates.

This is my 3rd time reading it and now that I’ve read the final book in the series, I’m noticing how many seeds Hobbs planted right here in the very first one. They may seem insignificant now, but knowing the whole story, they jump out at you.


message 8: by Lindsey (last edited Aug 18, 2018 06:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lindsey | 403 comments Diane wrote: "This is my 3rd time reading it and now that I’ve read the final book in the series, I’m noticing how many seeds Hobbs planted right here in the very first one. They may seem insignificant now, but knowing the whole story, they jump out at you. "

I finally managed to start my re-read and I'm noticing that as well. Not that there's big *hint hint* *nudge nudge* foreshadowing but rather it reads like a recollection actually would, written by a person who knows the whole story from beginning to present day. The consistency in worldbuilding is very impressive.

It's fun to re-read because I'm getting different impressions this time. I remember Fitz's young childhood taking up significantly more of the book, and yet here's teenage Fitz on his first mission by page 140. I also feel much more sympathetic to Burrich this time around. He's not really very old at all and has had his loyalty rewarded by tremendous burdens. I thought he was too harsh the first time I read this one but I see it very differently 8 years later. I'm also finding that Fitz's later characterizations of Verity are coloring my expectations for this one. I hadn't remembered Verity as quite so... adequate.


Wastrel | 40 comments I think one of the best things about the cycle as a whole (so far!) is the way that Tawny Man forces you to reexamine your attitudes to Farseer - things that seem unjust in Farseer come to make sense, things that seem fitting come to seem perverse, and all the characters gain a new dimension, not just because we see more of them, but because as Fitz's perspective ages, we age with it. Farseer isn't just about a teenager, it's also to a considerable extent narrated by someone sympathetic to the teenage point of view - but in Tawny Man, we see the same things, the same people, from the point of view of an adult, a paternal figure.

It's not always comfortable - like many people, I hated the end of Fool's Fate the first time around, because it seemed to betray the original trilogy. But when I re-read both series, I realised that the original trilogy deserved it! It created a sense of how its world was meant to be, but that sense was misleading, drawn from a limited perspective. In the same way, many people hate the end of Assassin's Fate, because the books to that point had given them one sense of how the world was meant to be - but a sense that was in its own way misleading, and when you read through from the beginning, you see how naturally the entire story unfolds from its beginnings.
It reminds me of the end of the Liveship trilogy, where something that shocks a lot of readers, and infuriates some - but that's absolutely inevitable when you re-read the books with clear eyes.

[hope I've been vague enough to tantalise rather than spoil!]


DivaDiane | 188 comments Absolutely, Wastrel! That’s why these books are so imminently rereadable!


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