Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 392
Release Date: May 1995

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. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.


So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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I can’t believe it has taken me this long to read a Robin Hobb novel. I’m glad to have popped that cherry and to begin my year of Robin Hobb. My goal is to read one Robin Hobb novel a month in 2021.

Assassin’s Apprentice is a slow burn story. Hobb takes her time situating readers in the world and with the main character, Fitz. This slow beginning is the reason I rate the novel four stars. The slowness allows readers to develop a deep empathy for Fitz are he tries to find his place in the world as the bastard to the king in waiting. Though, it does feel stilted at times as Hobb Finds her footing.

The ending of the novel is fast pace as everything crumbles and Fitz is forced to make a decision. I enjoyed the ending immensely and am excited to see where the story goes as Hobb opens up her world.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that relates to the bigger picture of this world. I’m talking specifically about the fool. The food reminds me a lot of Hoid from Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. There’s something mysterious about him and he certainly knows more than he’s letting on.

Hobb balances introducing her characters, the plot of this first novel, and the introduction of the big bad very well. There are hints and clues for what’s to come in the series and cannot wait to dive into the sequel.

Overall, Assassin’s Apprentice is a phenomenal start to a fantasy trilogy that will leave you clamoring for more. It’s also one of those novels where the more you think of it after you’ve finished, the more you find yourself enjoying it. On to the next!

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Have you read Assassin’s Apprentice? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb

  1. I’m halfway through this one at the moment and loving it, but now I’m really excited for that ending. I also cannot unsee the resemblance between the Fool and Hoid, so I’ve had to remind myself I’m not reading Cosmere 😄

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