Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb was fantastic.  It is the first book in the Farseer Trilogy and it is in the  Epic Fantasy genre.  It is also the first book of the world where all her books take place, something I did not know when I discovered her in 2015whi.

The book open with a little boy being unceremoniously dumped off at the watch gate of the king’s castle.  As the life he has always known walks away, what fate awaits him behind the walls of the king’s castle?  When the book concludes, that same young boy is now in his late teens and is no longer the misplaced child no one wants or loves.

What happens to bring about the change?  How does the boy without a name, literally the man who dropped him off called him Boy, gain not just a name but a royal name at that?  What is the secret behind his unique connection to animals and who is the mysterious Lady Thyme and how will she change a young man’s life?  These are all questions to be answered.

The world building is subtle and beautiful.  If you’ve read her stories out of order like me, there will be places quite familiar.  But those familiar places are mentioned not visited in this book.  The continuity of world immediately grabs the reader and says, you know this world you are welcome here.  There is nothing overtly magical and fantastical in this book.  There are hints of it, the underpinning of magic is there but it isn’t overt.  What is overt is the politics of reign and the gamesmanship that goes not behind the throne. 

It is a story about coming of age without all the teenage angst and woe is me dialogue.  Instead, it is the story of a young man growing up and becoming someone he can be proud of even when the cards are stacked against him.

Five out of five stars for simply beautiful writing and storytelling.  The next two books are on the shelf waiting me to dive into them and lose myself in the world.

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