There are a lot of fantasy series to choose from and only so many hours in the day for reading. So, sometimes you have to make hard choices. I’ve seen Robin Hobb’s name around for a while and saw that Assassin’s Apprentice was the start of everything. I knew that at some point I would read it but I just never made it a priority. Then, one day, I was browsing bookdepository.com (as one does) and saw this beautiful UK cover. It was a done deal before I could click “add to cart”.
While the world-building isn’t quite as lush as with some other fantasy series (Sanderson’s Mistborn, Jemisin’s Broken Earth, etc.), it is still a great start for book one. The plot and pacing are well done. But it is the characters that make this a 5-star read. Well, one character – Fitz. We meet him as a young boy who is brought to his father’s house by his maternal grandfather. You see, Fitz is a bastard and the grandfather feels it is time for the father, who never knew him, to care for him. Problem is that the father is not in residence. And, yeah, he’s the king in waiting. Over the next 392 pages, we follow Fitz on his journey. He is used, abused and has major self esteem issues. Because he’s a young and inexperienced boy he doesn’t know who to trust and makes assumptions that hurt him. Through it all we fall in love with his character.
I cannot wait to read books 2 and 3 to see more of Fitz and his story.