Thursday, 31 October 2013

Assassins Apprentice- Robin Hobb Review

Oh my gosh, another review? So soon after the last? I'm getting light headed with all this reading going on. 

So during summer Katie and I found a magical shop of wonder- a book shop where all books cost only £1.00 each. So we went on a quest to this shop to see what wonders it might contain. I was very sceptical- I was pretty certain that it must just contain books that I would never read, I mean there's no way wonderland can exist like 15 minutes away form where I live- that would be madness. But sure enough as we stepped into this shop I could see paradise. Okay I'll stop but seriously the shelves were double stacked, and there was a bit of every genre I'm interested in which is fab. 

I was remarkably restrained and only bought 5 books, 3 of which were the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. It has taken be forever to get through the first book, but that's through no fault of the book, and just because I went back to Uni and became very busy, and partly because I can never read high fantasy as quickly as other genres. 

"Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom"

I really enjoyed the story, I don't read a lot of high fantasy just because of how long they take me to get through them, and I found this to be a lot easier to read that the game of thrones series. I thought the book managed to cover Fitz' whole childhood without you feeling like she skipped over too much or kept too much detail in. That said the book does focus on character development and not on action so if you don't like that you probably won't like this. 

This might seem like a weird problem but usually when I get busy and put a book down for a really long time, when I pick it up again I've forgotten a lot of the characters and can't keep track of everyone. I didn't have this problem here. I thought there was a good balance between building up the environment and not having too many people to keep track of. Not only that but the characters themselves are all very intriguing , I want to know why Burrich is so set against using Wit (sharing conciousness with animals) and what happened to make him hate it so much. I really liked the fool and Verity. I'd like to learn more about the majority of the characters so I shall definitely be continuing the series after a break.

I think many people might be put off a little bit by the fact that the book is named assassins apprentice but there isn't actually a lot of killing in this first book, it is more of a coming of age tale than anything else. I quite like this myself, I think if there had been a lot of killing from the start and no background we would never be able to sympathise with or understand the character. As it stands we are able to see how he comes to become an assassin and not hate him.  

We only get a  relatively small glimpse into this big world Robin has built but I imagine we will see a lot more of the world  in the following two books.

Overall I give this book 4 stars. 

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