Title: Assassin's Apprentice
Author: Robin Hobb Genre: Fantasy
"We are here, Fitz, you and I, to change the future and the world..." - The Fool
This is one of those books that tells the story from a first-person perspective - in the sense that, you put yourself in the protagonist's shoes, share the lightning sting of a sword, smell the lingering scent of his loved one, wince at the soreness and bruises from his torment, feel the effects of poison as it cruises swiftly down your veins. And boy, do you really feel for him.
Fitz Chivalry Farseer, who, as his name implies, is the illegitimate son of King-in-Waiting Prince Chivalry. Brought to the royal lands of Buckkeep at a young age, Fitz is immediately placed into the trusty hands of Stablemaster Burrich, who takes to grooming Fitz into a fine young man - making not much difference as to how he grooms his horses and hounds. However, a chance meeting with King Shrewd led to Fitz's new-found life in Buckkeep - learning herbs and poisons, stealth and vigilance, and 'conveniently doing away' with a handful of people who would become a threat to the Six Duchies - in short, Fitz is a King's assassin, at only the age of sixteen. Meanwhile, the Red Ship Raiders continue to terrorise the Six Duchies and turn their victims into Forged ones - inhuman and ruthless savages, void of emotions and memories of their loved ones that wreak havoc and turn against their families, intent on only their day-to-day survival.
There may be no dark elves or flying dragons in this book; still, magic comes in the form of the Skill - the ability of a selected few to communicate and influence each other through the mind (think of it as telepathy if you will, but it is well and truly not the same) and the Wit - which is regarded as wicked beast-magic and shunned by many.
Hobb weaves her words effortlessly, giving elaborate descriptions of places and people, which may either tire or keep you awake with its intricate details. She would take you right into the swirling depths of the Skill and the savage battles involving Forged ones. The names of characters from the royal household denotes the traits they will or have already possessed - Prince Verity, Lady Patience, Queen Desire, to name but a few.
It was very difficult for me to put this book down as soon as I started reading it - the little twists, betrayals and new developments simply keep you going. To top it off, this book is only part one of the Farseer Trilogy, preceding the second and third book, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest, and you would find yourself bent on getting the other two books, to which, you would eventually do so. However, fret not, because your gold pieces will not go to waste. Strizzt # 1:34 PM