Saturday, September 13, 2014

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb *****

Fitz, slang for bastard, in the bastard son of King-in-waiting Chivalry. As a young boy he is brought to the palace, but rather than this being a turn for the better, his father first abdicates and dies under suspicious circumstances. The question of his father's death is not resolved in this first volume of the Farseer Trilogy.

Fitz is trained in the Skill, power used by the ruler and defenders of the Six Duchies to communicate with each other, and, more powerfully, to enter the minds of enemies to enter confusion, doubt, fear, and misunderstanding. For example, when the Red-Ships attack, Verity, now King-in-waiting, Skills the ships' captains to cause the ships to crash against the rocks. Unfortunately, Fitz's training is a failure.

The Red-Ships terrorize the coastal cities of the Six Duchies by Forging captives. Forged captives are stripped of their humanity and all ability to empathize with others or even care about anything beyond their own animal desires. Families of forged victims consider that death of loved ones might be preferable.

In the midst of the battle between the Six Duchies and the Red-Ships, there is intrigue around new alliances, succession, and a marriage of alliance, while Fitz struggle to discover his fate and destiny.

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb is written by one of today's best fantasy writers. It has well-developed characters, and an intricately constructed world. Highly recommended to any fantasy reader.

I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway on June 2, 2014. I received my copy on July 30, 2014.

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