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Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)
by Robin Hobb

3 of 5 stars false
Read from February 18 to 28, 2013
My experience with Robin Hobb up till now has not been good. I first read the Soldier’s Son Trilogy, which I found nearly painful to read. The main character obsessed over his weight so much he felt like a girl, and was always depressed and nothing much seemed to happen. Admittedly, it’s been a few years, so I might be oversimplifying, but I remember I did not enjoy it much. Then I read the first book of the Tawny Man series, which is a sequel to this series, although I didn’t realize it. So I had no idea what was going on, and it moved really slow. So I came to this book with trepidation, but still, I had heard that Robin Hobb was such a great author, she had to have something good. I started reading it, and found it was a better experience than I feared.
The good
It was down to earth, not over the top like so much literature now. The world felt well realized, and the main character was far from overpowered.
The magic was interesting because so little was known about it. Fitz sensing animals was nothing special, but it was interesting that we don’t know if he will go crazy like others who had the same ability. As for the Skill, still don’t know much about it, but it does appear a lot subtler than most magic.
The villain wasn’t overpowered either. No one is in complete control, but everyone is struggling to get some sort of power and keep it.
The bad
Having royalty with names like Shrewd, Regal, Chivalry, and then having to act out that attribute, was a little strange and out of place.
The main character felt more like a blank boy than someone with a real personality. He get depressed easily and ended up doing nothing for a while.
He was supposed to be training to be an assassin, but this is not believable at all. The only people he kills are soulless beings, and when given a real assignment, he can’t do it. Sure, there should be moral questions, but Fitz never remotely seemed like he could ever be a real assassin. I knew he wouldn’t kill his target at the end, so there was no surprise there.
The pacing was slow. Not as big a problem as some of the other books of hers, but I was in no hurry to finish it. There wasn’t much suspense or anything to look forward to. I’m not even sure I feel compelled to read the next ones in the series. We’ll see.
Overall, a solid book, but nothing really amazing in my opinion. Good in comparison to the other Robin Hobb books I have read.

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