So I started this book in January and only just finished it in August! Not because it was bad but because I was reading my Mams first edition copy and was too afraid to take it out of the house! Robin Hobb is one of her favourite authors and she really wanted me to start reading the series. Especially the first one (because that is where you should start with a series) but also because she loved Fitz.
This also is not a YA book (for once) so just to keep that in mind if you are used to reading my reviews that are literally all YA!
So if you like fantasy and general court mischief then keep reading because this might just be the new book for you!
Assassin’s Apprentice is centred around a boy named Fitz who is the bastard son of the king in waiting. As a bastard, Fitz comes across certain complications within court life that lead to him becoming an Assassin’s Apprentice, who would have guessed it? However, in the kingdom in which Fitz lives is being attacked by raiders who have a weird power to ‘Forge’ people. These people become void of all human emotion and simply succumb to the basic human need for survival. And of course, our Fitz must serve his King and his Kingdom while also trying to have a normal life AND train as an assassin by night.
The first part I want to talk about is the descriptions through the whole book, they were fantastic. They were so detailed and direct that I felt like I had a literally walked the streets and through Buckkeep court because I knew the place so well. Everything was so vivid and I believe that is such an important part of fantasy writing because it makes the story easier to follow and the world easier to fall in love with. Not only can Robin Hobb make you feel like you’ve been to a place that doesn’t exist but her overall writing style in just amazing. It allows you to connect with the characters and especially Fitz. Fitz often feels certain emotions and certain ways that really allows the character to connect with the reader on a deeper level. I mentioned earlier that my Mam loved Fitz, well I do too.
So that brings us into the characters. One thing that really stood out to me about the characters within this story was the diversity. Not everybody is white and not everybody is a man. Yay! It was so refreshing to have female characters in stereotypical male roles and have nobody bat an eyelid. Also, my favourite thing about the female characters, they weren’t just there to be a romantic interest for Fitz. However, my favourite character (aside from Fitz) was The Fool. I can honestly say I have met a character like The Fool before in all my years of reading. The Fool is just ambiguous. It is the only way I can describe them and I love it. I need more of The Fool in my life and I really hope that they appear more throughout the series. Also Burrich has to get a special mention for just breaking my heart so many times.
Of course, one of the main parts that need to be mentioned is the plot. I thought it was excellent. It was entertaining and mysterious and really kept you wanting more. It was funny but it also made me cry and that is what I really love in a book. Not being made to cry, but actually being made to feel some emotion towards the characters and their world. I think Robin Hobb does just that with her writing, she really makes you connect and feel for her characters, even the animals that are involved.
Okay so now I’m going to get into some spoilery bits so if you haven’t read the book stop here and go read it now!
I actually don’t have a lot of spoilery bits to talk about because I feel like I was able to talk about everything I wanted without going into too much detail. BUT I feel like I really had to give a shoutout to Nosy. Not only did I get to cry once for his death… no… I got to cry TWICE for it. I feel like Nosy needed a special mention because I don’t think any character (man, woman or beast) has ever made that happen.
I loved the ending and I was not expecting it. The whole elaborate act of Fitz very openly poisoning the Prince only to be poisoned himself had me shocked. I wasn’t so shocked that Regal was behind it though just because it was Regal and he literally hates everybody that isn’t himself.
TLDR; I loved this book so so so so so much please read it. It is literally everything that is good with the fantasy genre in one book. Will I be reading the rest of the many books in the series? Yes ofc just let me finish some books from tbr first!