Assassin’s Apprentice

Title: Assassin’s Apprentice
Author: Robin Hobb
Published: March 1996
Blurb: Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill–and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom

I did it.

I finally did it.

I’ve been collecting books by Robin Hobb for years. Anytime I could find them at a Half Price Books sale, I’d pick them up, because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about her work (and, let it be known that my excitement skyrocketed when I realized that Robin Hobb was a WOMAN and not the man I just foolishly assumed in middle school). I was confident I was going to fall in love with this author like everyone else had, so I needed to be prepared.

We all know where this one is going, right?

Yes, oh yes.


Literal years went by before I ever touched Assassin’s Apprentice. Do I berate myself for waiting so long? Of course I do. Was it everything I ever wanted it to be and as good as everyone else claimed? But of course it was. Will I wait so long to continue reading her works and repeat the mistakes of my youth? Oh, I bloody hope not.

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Assassin’s Apprentice, despite having never read it before, felt like coming home. I’ve been reading a lot of newly published fantasy recently and it’s been fantastic, to discover fresh worlds and plots. And it’s not to say that this story in and of itself isn’t unique, too. It is! But it did feel more like the classic fantasy I read growing up. Hell, even the book itself smelt old and glorious (and I seriously had a pause a few times just in close my eyes and inhale). It felt like I was a child again, not a care in the world, not a stress to be had, curling up in my bed with extra blankets and the classical radio station playing, my dog asleep on my feet as I slipped into another world. It’s a feeling I don’t always get when I’m reading and it’s a feeling I always miss, but I cling to it once I find it again.

I found it reading this.

It just made this story that much more enjoyable for me. And, despite this feeling–this nostalgia and familiarity I felt for book I’ve never even read, I was still able to be surprised, to be wowed, to be shocked. My heart broke exactly twice and both times, I thought I couldn’t handle it. The characters were incredible, the world believable and I just wanted to grab onto Fitz and hold him for dear life and tell him it’s all going to be okay.

Even if it prolly isn’t.

I’m glad I’ve finally read Hobb. My expectations were of the highest regard and they weren’t disappointed in the slightest, not by a long-shot. I’m even more ecstatic to continue reading her work, falling in love even harder and breaking even more.

5 stars
I rated this 5 out of 5 gems!!

Read on!post signature


14 thoughts on “Assassin’s Apprentice”

  1. Omg I clicked this so fast. XD I love Robin Hobb and couldn’t wait to see your opinions on it. The sense of ‘coming home’ is so true to my first reading of it as well. The characters and the setting all feel familiar and lived-in, but I was still utterly gripped by the story.

    Love the older cover you’ve got there. Mine’s quite a modern cover and minimalist, and I think belies how classic it feels.

    I’d also put off reading it for years — I think it was recommended to me as a teenager but I didn’t read it until my mid-twenties. I went through the series FAST though, as monstrously big as they are.

    Looking forward to when you post about the next one, whenever that may be. There is so much story ahead of you!

    1. AH, thank you! ❤ I'm so glad you enjoyed this review! And yes, exactly: gripped by the story sounds exactly right! And it just made me so excited that I have so much more to read and enjoy within this world, especially after hearing how much you've enjoyed them!!

      Oh, and I got them from a used bookstore, which is why I have the older cover. But I dunno, I kinda want to get the newer covers, one day? *shrugs*

      1. It’s actually part of a wider universe with her other books as well — THE RAIN WILDS series is one of my absolute favourites.

        As for covers, there’s GORGEOUS collector’s edition covers out for them now (or ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE at least) that I am coveting but in a ‘I hope one ends up in a used bookshop’ kind of way. XD

      2. Ah, YES! I *thought* that was the case, but I wasn’t 100% sure. That makes me even more excited!!

        I just saw that! It seriously IS gorgeous. Hahaha, I totally get what you mean!

    1. Thank you so much, Debjani! I hope you enjoy her work when you check it out, it’s pretty fantastic. I’m so excited to read the sequels. Oh gosh, THANK YOU. The art was done by Kat over at Novels and Waffles and I’m over the moon on how it turned out!

  2. I have read 3 latter books in the series about liveships (Arrrr!) but have never started the series from the beginning as I keep meaning to. It be official – this book is going on me 20 in 2020 reading list. Fantastic review. Arrrr!
    x The Captain

  3. I read this a year or two ago (before I started blogging) and enjoyed it, but wasn’t overly in love. That being said, I’ve heard from multiple people that ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE is the slowest and the payoff is worth it, so I want to reread it and try to get through the original trilogy in one go. I know this one is SO highly regarded by readers and writer’s alike – it first came on my radar from being mentioned by multiple fantasy writers on a panel talking about their inspirations, so I want to give this a fair shake!

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