Books I Love: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Magic, dragons, swordplay, bastard princes, ancient evils, and, of course, assassins – Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy has all of the elements of classic fantasy. That alone would be enough to make me love this series, but there’s so much more to these books. They tell the story of a bastard prince, raised in the shadows to be a weapon for the king – a spy and assassin to be employed against the enemies of the kingdom. It’s part coming of age, part fantasy epic, part tale of noble sacrifice and, throughout, a story of the challenges of noblesse oblige.
Hobb creates some of the best character’s I’ve read in fantasy novels, period. Three dimensional and utterly believable, you can feel the agony of every decision that Fitz and the others must make, the struggles between loyalty and duty, and the constant balancing act between self and country. Though I first read this book better than 20 years ago, I can still name every important protagonist and villain without having to think too hard about it, a fact alone that makes this book worth recommending.
If you’re a fan of classic fantasy tales, but want something that branches out a bit from the Tolkeinesque view, then this book, and the Farseer Series in general, is for you.