Where ever I am that's where I'll be.
If you have not read Robin Hobb then listen to her tales.
This is not a mere fantasy tale this is an epic told through the eyes of the catalyst Fitz from boy hood to man hood in the service of his king.
This is the first of 3 books, Assassins Apprentice book 1 introduces our hero as he is thrust into a life of the royal court as the royal bastard of the prince who shall be king, be prepared if you love this book with each book the tale only gets better.
Robin Hobb tells the story with a wonderful subtlety that doesn't hit you over the head with sword and sorcery but explores it through the fragility and humanity of her characters.
I gave this book three stars because it was written well, and the main character was interesting. However, it moved so slow that I literally had to pause it for a few days to forget my boredom. Absolutely nothing happened of importance until the last hour or two, and what did happen was so laughably small that I wouldn't have believed it if someone told me about it. I love fantasy but regret spending a credit on this one. If you want good fantasy, try George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, or David Farland.
I'm a little embarrassed about how much I love Robin Hobb's books. They are so much fun! Adventure, romance, pirates, dragons, and lots of imagination. What more could you ask for. I wish Audible would get the Tawney Man series. Paul Boehmer is an excellent narrator -- much easier to listen to than Ann Flosnik (who does the Magic Ship and Rainwilds trilogies).
I always reserve a 5 star for fantasies such as A Song of Ice and Fire and most of the book in Wheel of Time. This was enjoyable and very different, I was hoping for something a bit more gritty and fantastic. I was tempted to move my rating up from a 3 to a 4 because I was happy that the author did something different, it wasn't the same old elemental magic, or sorcery (like Sword of Truth) The Author didn't pull Ideas out of his backside at the last minute(like Sword of Truth), but I felt robbed by the ending, and the narration was mediocre.
At first the narrator was a tad too much (a la Michael York). Between the writing and the reading... an air of pompousness arose. LOL. For whatever reason, I stayed a tad skeptical while striving to see if THE STORY was going to be to my liking. THEN, I began to wonder if this was going to become a soap opera sort of deal (a LOT of nastiness to make it "seem" like the writer understands people). Again: LOL. Not really. The soapy things actually SUPPORT the storyline. Go figure :) I agree with another reviewer: this is a fantasy story that has depths of realness to it (on many levels). Very interesting hints and teasings as to what the REAL story will tell (by the end of it all). Very cool beanies. I'm glad I stayed the course :) Now, ONTO BOOK II: the heroic myth continues.....(and btw, the narrator fits PERFECTLY). hehehe.
The writing is ok. The plot is ok. The characters are ok. It's just all around ok. Perhaps better for people looking for a young adult fiction without too much violence or complicated plotting. It's just no where near something like King's Dark Tower series or A Game Of Thrones. Oh well... I may just be old and jaded when it comes to fantasy stuff. It's really hard to find something new that I love.
I purchased this book part because of reviews comparing it to the Jordan WOT series. While the book is well written, it is heavy on detail and light on action. I kept listening thinking it was just about to become exciting, but it never quite happened. The narration was very good, which helped me to make it through this. If your thinking about purchasing this book, I recommend you thumb through a hard copy first.
1) Boring characters: I did not develop affection towards any of the characters and as a result, there was no one for me to cheer for or hate. All the characters, regardless of the level of character development, were boring in my opinion. And I honestly can't bring myself to love the main character because while he's not a BAD character, he's just not fascinating.
2) No quality female characters: The main cast is all male. The female characters that DO appear regularly are not only quite boring but a rather weak-willed, 2d, and uninteresting bunch. These female characters exist solely to be tolerated or manipulated or pitied. They not only lack the cunning of the male characters but they also lack ambition. The female characters that DO have ambition lack the intelligence to make anything come to fruition. The female characters that have academic intelligence lack the common sense to utilize their intelligence. Basically, they’re just boring and kind of stupid. I assumed it was a case of a male author having a hard time writing engaging female characters but boy was I surprised to discover the author is female.
3) I can touch your brain~: Ok, so the "magical power" of this fantasy setting is the ability of some to psychically probe the minds of others and to create links. Not the most original idea but who cares. What bothers me is the main character's annoying tendency to obsessively find dogs to psychically connect to. I get that he's lonely but the character's habit of touting dogs as the paragon of loyalty and friendship gets tiresome. He needs human friends.
4) SLOW PLOT: I'm nearly done with this volume and so far nothing much has happened. If I had more typing space I could sum up the story in 3 sentences.
Yes because it doesn't just let the character win every challenge that he is met with, so I feel like more people will connect with this over a novel where the main character always wins the day and is celebrated as the hero.
The main character's resolve.
Wow. Didn't see that coming!
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The story is kept my interest peaked and I happy to know there is more to come ..