Reveal: Assassin’s Apprentice, Book One of the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb comes in at Books & Beginnings XX. Robin Hobbs is my favorite author bar none. Although many rub elbows with her, I have not found another that can spin such a tale with her artistry. I don’t quite remember when I discovered these books. I put it at the end of the nineties but it might have been later.
I remember being a little skeptical due to the 1st person narrative and reviews comparing Assassin’s Apprentice to various Arthurian offerings. Five pages in and I was hooked. Hobb pulls off the epic 1st person effortlessly. Her characters are so rich, so dynamic that the reader can’t help but believe they are reading something historical although this is clearly another world.
The Farseer Trilogy follows the adventures of a royal bastard called Fitz which in this context is tantamount to simply calling the narrator, bastard. Fitz is trained as an assassin for his grandfather, the king after his own father abdicates due to the scandal of having made a bastard son.
Assassin’s Apprentice begins a fourteen book series. There are nine Fitz and the Fool books which are interspersed with five Rain Wilds Chronicles books. All fourteen volumes intersect brilliantly and bring to life a remarkable world. The Fool of these books is without a doubt one of my favorite characters of all time, so enigmatic, so beautifully done. It made me sad when last summer these adventures came to an end. I can’t wait to see if Robin Hobb revisits this world. She is the best.
Up Next: There is a darkness in me, in all of us I suspect, that sometimes requires an outlet so that it remains leashed. This author painfully knocks on the ugliest bits of human darkness in a way that no one else can. His voice is haunting. The next book devastated me, again reinforcing the power of art and words. Any of you recognize this one? Any familiar with this author will easily guess from this first two phrases from this novel.
I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville. One and only one.