The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb is the first of the Farseer fantasy trilogy and boy is it a disappointment. This book is so pathetic that I didn’t have the stomach to complete the entire book. I’ve debated for a short while on whether I should post a review on a book that I haven’t completely 100% completed but finally decided to go with it anyway. Lately, I’ve been let down by Amazon’s review system because I’ve been yet again suckered into purchasing a product which has a lot of rave reviews only to find it the complete opposite. As with so many other books or movies, Assassin’s Apprentice definitely had a big potential for an epic fantasy novel and series. Instead, we are left in disappointment by the author because well, not a whole lot happens. You can blame me for being a quitter and not sticking with it but if the first book is such a dread to read, I really don’t care about the rest. “As a royal bastard in the household of King Shrewd, a boy called “Fitz” spends his early years in the king’s stables. When the magic in his blood marks him for destiny, he begins receiving secret instruction, by order of the king, in the art of assassination, a calling that places him in the midst of a nest of intrigue and arcane maneuverings. Firmly grounded in the trappings of high fantasy, Hobb’s first novel features a protagonist whose coming of age revolves around the discovery of the meaning of loyalty and trust.”
WARNING: I’ve only managed to complete around 60% of the book before giving up. Continuing on would have been a hazard to my own health and sanity.
After reading that plot outline above, you can’t help but think to yourself that you’ll be in for one heck of a ride. Come on, assassinations in a fantasy world? Many readers crave for something like this to happen to look into the secret world of assassins and what are the means and requirements to be one. Well, you’re not going to get it with Assassin’s Apprentice. In fact, after completing 60% of the book, I’m not even sure what you’re getting except a whiny little boy who obediently follows around an old man.
Whenever writing a book, I’m guessing one of the most important focuses an author must attribute to is character development. I can even forgive a semi-weak storyline if the book includes strong and well developed characters. Sadly, this book has neither. Yes you read right, neither. There is honestly not one single likable or interesting character in this book. Everyone is a bore and dull. Conversations are boring and uninspired. The second big sin being committed by this book is the awfully slow pace set by the author. Setting a slow pace is not a sin if something even remotely interesting happens behind the scenes, for example, characters scheming and plotting the demise of others. Do you get that here? Nope. There are so many useless pages wasted on telling things that are of absolute no importance to the main story or goal. You would think a book being called the ‘Assassin’s Apprentice’ would detail the intricate work and trials a man/boy has to go through in order to efficiently do his or her job. Once again, you’re not going to get that here.
I felt that the author spent more time telling us of things that didn’t need to be told rather than the things that should have. The best example of this is of the author going into details about the journey of both Chade and Fitz when traveling together. Nothing exciting happens. Do you really want to read about horseback riding and how tiresome it can be? Because you’re going to get a lot of those. The one thing I, along with probably a lot of other disappointed readers, is wanting the author to go into details of Fitz’s training. The author only tells us that he completes each and every task assigned to him by Chade in the beginning but doesn’t explain how he actually accomplishes them. I hate it and I mean I totally hate it with a passion when authors do this.
The story itself is very depressing. Again, I don’t find nothing wrong with that but it is a problem when the main protagonist doesn’t do crap about it to at least try and change the outcome. This is one of the main reason in my opinion why readers like myself can’t root for him. Maybe it’s a little too early for Fitz to do anything (he is only a child) but keep obeying. However, I’ve had enough of this book and don’t care to read anything else that has to do with the Farseer trilogy.
I literally laughed out loud when a reviewer mentioned that he should have gotten a hint of this boring book just by its cover. An old man, a young boy and a dog all looking confused and out of place. Life is too short for me to waste my time and money on horrible books such as the Assassin’s Apprentice. This review sounds like a rant and nothing more. I agree because it is. I really can’t think of one good thing to say about this abomination of a book. If you want to read an awesome fantasy trilogy on assassins, please heed my recommendation and take a look at The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks.
Now please excuse me while I grab my lighter and set this book on fire. It’s not even worthy of it being recycled, resold or given away.