Title: The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest)
Author: Robin Hobb
ISBN: 9780007562251, 9780007552139, 9780006480112
Pages: 481, 761, 838
I have a confession to make. I have spent my entire month reading Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy. My June TBR was made with the best intentions – I had planned to follow it exactly, as they were all books that I really wanted to read … Then I started reading Assassin’s Apprentice.
I originally read the trilogy when I was about 14 and was distraught at the depressing nature of the books (there are very few happy endings for the protagonist, Fitz) but I couldn’t stop reading them either. Delving into the books over 10 years later, I found I enjoyed them just as much, if not more, than before. It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve managed to read a long trilogy in one go.
Robin Hobb’s talent as a writer is to create a magical world full of dragons and assassins that is so realistic it’s easy to forget it’s all fantasy. Her prose is straightforward and simple; it never calls attention to itself and, therefore, away from the story. She is easily one of my favourite fantasy authors of all time.
These three books ruined my sleep for the last month, I’d start reading at 10pm with the intention to stop an hour later and then the next time I’d look at the clock it would be 1am. This is not fun, especially when you need to get up for work the next day!
Now I am in the predicament of what to read next; do I ban myself from Robin Hobb to get through the books in my June TBR? or do I delve into her next trilogy? The wonderful (and traumatic) problems of a book geek!
The Assassin’s Apprentice: 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.
Royal Assasin: We are here Fitz, you and I, to change the future and the world…
Fitz dreams of Red-Ship Raiders sacking a coastal village, leaving not a single man, woman or child alive. Tortured by this terrible vision he returns to the Six Duchies court where all is far from well.
King Shrewd has been struck down by a mysterious illness and King-in-waiting, Verity, spends all his time attempting to conjure storms to confuse and destroy the Red-Ship Raiders. And when he leaves on an insane mission to seek out the mystical Elderings, Fitz is left alone and friendless but for the wolf Nighteyes and the King’s Fool with his cryptic prophesies.
Assassin’s Quest: Fitz is about to discover the truth about the Fool’s prophecy. Having been resurrected from his fatal tortures in Regal’s dungeons, Fitz has once more foiled Regal’s attempts to be rid of him.
Now, back in his own body, and after months of rehabilitation, Fitz begins the painful and slow process of learning the ways of a man again. Under the watchful eye of Burrich, old King Shrewd’s Stablemaster, Fitz must learn to cast off the wild but carefree ways of the wolf and enter once more the human world: a world beset ever more viciously by the relentless Red Ship Raiders who are now left free to plunder any coastal town they please. But more immediately, a world in which he finds he is utterly alone.
Regal has stripped the kingdom of its riches and retired to the inland city of Tradeford. Of Verity, on his quest to find the legendary Elderings, there has been no word; Molly, Kettricken and the Fool have all vanished.
Unless Fitz can find Verity and help him in his quest, the Six Duchies will perish and there will be no safe place to live.