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Assassin’s Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1 | [Robin Hobb]

Assassin’s Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chilvary Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways.
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Publisher's Summary

The first volume in Robin Hobb’s internationally best-selling Farseer series.

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chilvary Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely.

Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribbing, courtly manners, and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

“Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers … what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.” (The Times)

“In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons” (George R. R. Martin)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (116 )
5 star
 (55)
4 star
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3 star
 (16)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (109 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.2 (109 )
5 star
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4 star
 (33)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Emma Prahran, Australia 06-21-14
    Emma Prahran, Australia 06-21-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fantastic listen"
    Any additional comments?

    The first of an excellent series. Well written with a great plot that will keep you wanting more. Paul Boehmer is an exceptional reader, bringing the characters and story to life. I very much enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noel Mount Gambier, Australia 09-21-13
    Noel Mount Gambier, Australia 09-21-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good"

    Good. But, not my thing. I don't know why but I struggled with this. It is a great story, and I am sure others will love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    12
    2
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    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engrossing"
    Where does Assassin’s Apprentice rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It rates right up at the top. It has become a favourite.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Apart from the main character Fitz I think Chade is my favourite because he is the one that needs the most unraveling. He is the Master Assassin the one character who has the most to unravel,.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Boehmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I enjoy this performance. The reading is very crisp and clear. I hate it when it is time to stop. Paul Boehmer really does bring the characters alive and takes you right into the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The moment when Fitz stabs King Shrewd's knife into Chade's hearth Defiantly.


    Any additional comments?

    Like I said this book has become a firm favourite, I've read it over and over. I love the court intrigue. The fast pace as the story unfolds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Perth, Australia 03-11-13
    Rick Perth, Australia 03-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    12
    9
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    1
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    Overall
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    "A fun fantasy romp, but don't expect too much"
    What made the experience of listening to Assassin’s Apprentice the most enjoyable?

    Good story, you care about the character


    Any additional comments?

    I did like the story overall, I liked and cared about the character and liked that he wasn't perfect and made mistakes on occasion. While its all very well to find out you're actually a prince (you find this out in the first paragraph, so its not a spoiler) its another to find that being a prince, and especially a bastard prince, is not all its cracked up to be. Everyone wants to use the hero for something, or dislikes him for reasons that have nothing to do with his own actions.

    The narrator's accent on some words jerked me out of the story on occasion. It's also written in the first person, which I don't usually like but as there is a lot of head stuff (both emotional, and magical/mind powers) happening I can see why it was chosen. The style is a bit dated, I think these days it would be edited so it was a tighter story and moved along a little quicker. As it is there are some slow parts that don't need to be slow and just drag the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cherie Bundanoon, Australia 12-24-12
    Cherie Bundanoon, Australia 12-24-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"
    If you could sum up Assassin’s Apprentice in three words, what would they be?

    The most amazing story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of it.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    Sometimes I did not like the voices he put to some of the characters, but the story took over.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Basically


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Cape Town, South Africa 09-19-12
    Richard Cape Town, South Africa 09-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    2
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    0
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    "An amazing story enough said"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes it is a great book and one i will listen to ove and over again. It is a masterpiece of fantasy writing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Assassin’s Apprentice?

    The killing of Smithy and the fight with the forged-lings .


    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He has a great command of his voice and portrays the story in interesting and detailed fashion.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    same as mentioned above....


    Any additional comments?

    A great book, unbelievably good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E New Zealand 09-15-12
    E New Zealand 09-15-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "assassin's apprentice appreciated"
    What made the experience of listening to Assassin’s Apprentice the most enjoyable?

    One of my favorite hard copy books and authors. I enjoy being able to listen to the story again while I work.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Fitz. I like following the development old this character throughout the book.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    Pace of reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No! I like to spin it out. Sometimes listen at night, but go to sleep and miss bits so have to go back and listen again.


    Any additional comments?

    Some times the change of voices for different characters gets annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Lucy Clarke
    London, UK
    10/11/12
    Overall
    "Great book but the narrator is all wrong!"

    I really love this book and the series. I was thrilled to see that an audio book was available. But I am disappointed because the narrator's voice is all wrong. Why on earth is the narrator an American doing an English accent? Surely just use an English narrator or an American accent instead? It's really starting to grate on me now and I'm only an hour in.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    2/7/13
    Overall
    "A good trilogy but..."

    I enjoyed the story very much and so had to listen to the other two books in the series. However, this was certainly in spite of rather than because of the narrator. I bought this book without listening to the sample audio and in some ways I wish I hadn't as it meant that I then spent around 84hrs listening to a very unconvincing English accent! As I say, after hearing the first book, I had to find out how the trilogy finished as I was engrossed in the story and characters but if the writing wasn't so good I definitely wouldn't have persevered with the narrator.

    If an English accent is required for the whole of a book, please let it be read by some English, not an American doing a bad impression, putting stress on the wrong syllables in words, it is very off-putting.

    But ff you don't mind the accent then I highly recommend this and the other two books in the series.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    Valencia, Spain
    9/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Both reader and author make this a long slog."

    The reader reads this the way I ate my vegetables when I was a child. With grim determination and very, very slowly. He delivers every line with a ponderous weight to it that makes it feel like the end of a scene or the end of a chapter. Its very disconcerting. I must say it’s a bit of a grim experience listening to fourteen hours of it.

    The story itself suffers from fantasy sickness. Never tell a story in 8 hours if you can make it stretch to 14. At one point the author makes his main character say ‘the ride to xxxx was tedious and long’ then spends the next forty mins of the talking book describing the ride!

    On the other hand there is good stuff in there and I’v bought the second book to see if I can hold on and get to the third and hopefully a resolution.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kieron
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    10/14/12
    Overall
    "great book - bad british accent"

    Love the book and have read it numerous times, but the narrator's British accent really grates on the ears - more like Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins than Renee Zellweiger's excellent british accent in Bridget Jones. Definitely recommend try before you buy this one, as I am sure some people will not notice anything wrong and will enjoy this book and narrator thoroughly.

    Having been a member for over a year now, I was very disappointed and I have been unable to listen to this book - having tried for over 30 minutes unsuccessfully. However, I have learned a valuable lesson - listen to the sample and don't trust that every narrator will be to your/one's taste.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Jai
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    9/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Do Not Purchase!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator is awful and it is questionable as to wether it is a real person or a computer program. The inflection in the voice is wrong for the sentence and there are unnecessary pauses in the middle of centences.

    This audiobook is detrimental to the author of the book as after listening to a few minutes It was so bad I had to turn it off. I've read the whole series and loved them, but I cant even listen to this.


    What was most disappointing about Robin Hobb’s story?

    Nothing


    How could the performance have been better?

    Change the narrator


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None, I wish i hadnt bought this audiobook as I cant listen to more than a few minutes of it.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Llanwrda, United Kingdom
    11/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story but narrator's pronunciation annoys"
    What did you like most about Assassin's Apprentice?

    This is a great story and I'll definitely listen to the remainder of the trilogy


    What didn’t you like about Paul Boehmer’s performance?

    His pronunciation is really annoying. As an example when talking about the dogs he pronounces "terrier" as "tair rear". This is one of many mispronunciations throughout the entire narration. This detracted from the story and took some getting used to.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Geekgirl
    Gloucester, United Kingdom
    10/31/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, compelling story, ruined by narrator"
    Would you listen to Assassin's Apprentice again? Why?

    No. The recording was simply excruiating to listen to; Paul Boehmer seems to take inspiration for his faux-English accent from Kenneth Williams and sees fit to give the Fool the voice of a comedy gnome. I'm not sure why Boehmer was cast to narrate the story of the young Fitz but it was a gross miscalculation on the part of the publisher and ruins any enjoyment of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Robin Hobb is one of the few fantasy writers who works with prose rather than stilted lurches from scene to scene, as most other fantasy writers seem to prefer.
    In this, she spins a yarn that stretches over kingdoms, species and generations, complete with folklore and her characterisation is second to none, with each having a unique voice within the text.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Boehmer’s performances?

    No.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ceredig
    United Kingdom
    9/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator is awful."
    What disappointed you about Assassin's Apprentice?

    Love the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies. Possibly my favourite books I've ever read and in my opinion Hobb's finest work. Have read both trilogies several times and wanted to be able to listen to them too, - but it has to be said the narration is awful. i will persevere because i love the books so much and sometimes you can get used to a narrators voice over time - but its really not good. All posh and prissy - not appropriate. My only solace is that i see the Tawny Man series has been done with a different narrator, and from the sample seems to be much better.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    8/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Assassin's Apprentice to be better than the print version?

    I don't know having not read the print version!


    What did you like best about this story?

    A well structured storyline and interesting characters, it left me wanting more and immediately downloaded the 2nd book in the series.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    Some previous reviewers were rather scathing about Paul Boehmer, and I almost did not download the book because of that. I am glad that I did as I actually enjoyed his narration. Ok so the accent may not be to all tastes, and the recording quality is not the best, but he gave a fragility to Fitz which suited the character, and a soft slightly melancholic tone which seemed to sit well with the feel of the book. Maybe listen to the sample first if you are unsure.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were a few moving moments, but I don't want to spoil them for anyone!


    Any additional comments?

    Give the narrator a chance, you may be surprised.
    Looking forward to the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joanne
    Stoke-0n-Trent, United Kingdom
    12/19/12
    Overall
    "When was this recorded?"

    I eventually got used to the voice but the quality of the recording I thought was poor. Overall I enjoyed it but a different narrator and better quality recording would have made the experience a whole lot better

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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