My Rating: 5/5
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb was a lot darker than I thought it would be! By that I mean the reader is rarely given a break from heartbreak and/or sorrow. It’s an incredible first entry to a fantasy trilogy.
FitzChivalry (Fitz) is a wonderful character
We begin Assassin’s Apprentice when he is six years old, where he is given, by his paternal grandfather, away to his father’s men as they can’t afford to look after him anymore.
There is a lot in this book about Fitz not feeling a sense of belonging – he feels lost and is trying to find a place for himself in this world. Perhaps that is why he agrees to become the assassin’s apprentice.
The plot of the book is not what I was expecting
I was expecting Arthurian-style fantasy, with swords and battles and assassins everywhere. It was nothing like that.
This is a beautifully crafted novel with a plot that drags Fitz along with it. This works in this book – rather than being character-driven – as it mirrors Fitz’s inability to control what happens to him.
It adds to his vulnerability. I hope to see, in future books, Fitz grow and begin to drive the story of Assassin’s Apprentice himself.
The cast of characters is brilliant
Shrewd, Verity, and Regal are all very odd family members, all with motivations and quirks of their own. Chade is the assassin you would expect, if a little more secretive. Galen is terrifying. Burrich is one of my favourites.
There are many more, and they all feel real through Fitz’s eyes.
The magic system is a little confusing…
…but that’s because no one wants to talk about one side of it much, if at all! The Skill is used to share thoughts and strength with others, and The Wit allows telepathy with animals.
The Wit is distrusted which I found interesting – I want to know the history behind that distrust, and I hope we will find out eventually.
Overall, I really loved Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb and I wish I’d gotten to it sooner!