Review: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb *Spoilers*

February 6, 2014 3.5 Stars, Book Review, Classic Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Epic Low Fantasy, Fantasy, paperback, prickly pear moody Hero, series, slice of life 2 ★★★½

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb *Spoilers* three-half-stars
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Series: Farseer Trilogy #1
on May 1995
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Buy at Amazon
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.

This is another book I am having a hard time reviewing. There is a lot I like about this book. Fitz is a very engrossing character and the magical skills that he has are extremely interesting. Hobb seems to focus mainly on character development in this book. The book revolves around Fitz and his growth (both physically and as a person) and it is not very action based. There is action in the book but the majority of it is so remote that the reader barely notices it (with some exceptions). I found myself in tears rather often at Fitz’s plight.

I did learn something while reading this book:
Unlike all other surnames with the prefix “Fitz”, Fitzpatrick is the only name of strictly Gaelic origin. When the Normans conquered England in 1066, they eventually migrated to Ireland. Hence, the prefix “Fitz” is a corruption of the French word “fils”, meaning son. In time, “Fitz” came to mean “bastard son”, as the Normans were regarded with great disdain by the local Gaels. A noteworthy “Fitz” name of true Norman origin is “Fitzroy” which derives from the French “fils de roi”, meaning bastard son of the king.”

Some spoiler related concerns I had:

1- Why is having a bastard child enough to make Chivalry denounce the throne but the Queen could have a bastard? I’ve never heard of a Prince doing that before.
2- Why is he called “Fitz” and ok with it?
3- The ending? I hate the ending. What kind of ending is that?
4- I really hate what happened to Verity’s wife’s brother! That was BS. How in the world could you stop a war from happening with that crap??

All in all, it’s a good book and I will read the remaining books in the series – one day. I’m hoping that the next book won’t be so sad or end so abruptly. I hate crying and this author seems to put her characters through the wringer.

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