I read this ~2 yrs ago and enjoyed it. coming back, as an adult, I really appreciated the levels of nuance.
To be fair, the ending is a bit abrupt and doesn't empower the protagonist to the extent one might like, but that is straining at gnats.
Fitz Chivalry is perhaps the most memorable character written of in current fantasy epics. Robin Hobb is one of the most detailed, developed story crafters in today's marketplace. The story of Fitz and the Fool, along with Night Eyes is not to be missed.
The narrator is eloquent and subtle, a good fit for the story.
With a slow start, it became a fantastic story with a sympathetic and interesting main character and a fun cast of supporting characters. The narrator was good, but not great. He didn't bring the story to life as well as he could have done, but it was an enjoyable listen regardless.
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You should give Assassin's Apprentice a try if you are at all interested in this series, author, or genre. I was nearly turned away by other critical reviews online and would have missed this gem if not for the advice of a good friend. The story is well-written fantasy, on par with Game of Thrones or The Name of the Wind. It focuses on character and rewards the patient reader. Anyone with an open mind who likes epic adventure is quite likely to find something they can enjoy in Robin Hobb's work. If you like the first one, the trilogy stands well on its own and there's a lot more as well.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
This was actually a pretty good fantasy story right up till the end, where it appears the author wrote herself into hole and came up with a really lame way to get out of it. I was really looking forward to the next book in this series until I got the end. However the next to books in the series do get better.
Hi, I'm a university honors graduate w/ military background. I hope my reviews help u decide if a book is right 4U or not. Happy listening!
This review is tricky for me. I have listened to the whole trilogy & I truly have a very mixed reaction. I'll start by cautioning that I am a very descriminating reader & what bothers me about this story (meaning the trilogy, not just this book) may not bother everyone-especially younger listeners (teens to twenty-somethings), but I have read some other reviews & clearly, there are others who feel the same as I do.
Hobb has great story and character development here, as usual (I recommend "The Soldier's Son" Trilogy-no such complaints there) & I give the 1st book (this review) the highest marks because she only just begins some bad habbits here, they get tougher to handle the more you get sucked into the story (books 2 & 3)...and you will get sucked onto the story if you start!
This is the beginning of a very intriguing, multi-faceted saga in a complex & well thought-out fantasy world, with a large cast of very interesting characters, some you'll love & some you'll hate! While it is a classic "good vs. evil" story, it has a good bit of mystery as to who, and even what, the bad guys actually are. And the fight is not only against a frightening enemy threatening from the shores, but there's a growing, hidden threat from within...
My criticisms are better stated in the next section, but to summarize, at critical junctions in the story, the main characters just do not act in accordance with what one would expect from someone in their position, so that a good portion of the trouble they get into is actually a result of this inexplicable decision NOT to exercise the power they already have?! The fact that this horrible trouble that plagues them for the next 2 books was at one time, totally avoidable, just really bothers me. Also, our main character Fitz spends far too much time feeling sorry for himself. It's OK to have moments of self-pitty, but this guy almost never feels anything else. He had a hard life, and he goes through a lot, but after a certain point, self-pitty becomes his default position & it's just too much. Why can't our hero have a positive attitude & look on the bright side sometimes???
Although this was a very entertaining story, it also had me literally yelling at it out of shear frustration.
First, there's no reason for the author to make the hero so self-pittying. It gets really bad at times. Rather than rising to the challenge in a manner the audience can respect, all too often he has an attitude of pure self pitty.Second, I do wish I could have changed the story in some key places to make it better. I imagined a better overall storyline outcome, but that's not to say this isn't enjoyable. For me personally, I just know I had imagined something better as I was making my way through this. I am glad I read this though, because I couldn't have created such a vivid & complex fantasy world as Hobb has here. This is a great start to a story, with an intriguing & dangerous mystery foe-but then your hero characters start making horrible choices, which frankly make no sense. They act as though their backs are against the wall when in fact they are in absolute power. Over & over, bad choices lead to worse cicumstances. Also, books 2 & 3 especially are just too lengthy for no real reason. The same story can be covered in a much shorter time.
Compared to other recent "listens", you do get a lot of good entertainment value for 1 credit per book. Someone who is less critical (whether by nature or by youth) may thoroughly enjoy this magical world which truly does capture young love, royal intrigue, adventure, and takes you on an epic journey you won't be able to stop once you begin.
Paul Boehmer's perfomance is flawless throughout the trilogy. Truly enjoyable. I'd say he's one of the best I've heard. I'm an American, and I find his British accent so enjoyable. He has incredible vocal range such that his several female, and numerous male charachters are so believable, you almost forget this is just one man doing the job! He not only tackles characters of both genders and of all ages, but differing regional accents as well. A five-star narrator!
I would recommend the trilogy, but with some reservations because the author unfortunately drags the story out much longer than it should be. This is not so much a factor in book 1 (this book) as it is in the other two. Overall, I'd say that while I had my issues with it, this is a story that I'm glad I listened to. I enjoyed most of it, but I can't stop wishing I'd co-authored it because I know exactly how I'd have shortened & perfected it.
Old Bear likes the honey
This is among my absolute favorite audiobooks!
Although there are a lot of memorable moments in this book, I would argue the climax is the most exhilarating and memorable moment (particularly the prince's words from afar to our protagonist).
This is a fantastic book filled with memorable scenes. I think my favorite scene is again the climax.
This book resonates with me because I can think back on my own childhood and have the experiences of our protagonist remind me of my own experiences. The scene that sticks out to me at the moment of this writing is the awkward scene between Fitz and Molly seated together on the shore.... I've been there Fitz! I feel for you!
A fantastic audiobook! A perfect story that is very well read. If you like fantasy, it doesn't get much better than this! I can't wait to listen to the next one! (after my obligatory return to Pratchett - I read a Discworld novel every other book to cleanse my palate as the richest sorbet!)