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
“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)
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.
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.
It rates right up at the top. It has become a favourite.
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,.
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.
The moment when Fitz stabs King Shrewd's knife into Chade's hearth Defiantly.
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.
Good story, you care about the character
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.
The most amazing story.
All of it.
Sometimes I did not like the voices he put to some of the characters, but the story took over.
Yes it is a great book and one i will listen to ove and over again. It is a masterpiece of fantasy writing.
The killing of Smithy and the fight with the forged-lings .
He has a great command of his voice and portrays the story in interesting and detailed fashion.
same as mentioned above....
A great book, unbelievably good.
One of my favorite hard copy books and authors. I enjoy being able to listen to the story again while I work.
Fitz. I like following the development old this character throughout the book.
Pace of reading.
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.
Some times the change of voices for different characters gets annoying.
"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.
"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.
"Great story but narrator's pronunciation annoys"
This is a great story and I'll definitely listen to the remainder of the trilogy
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.
I don't know having not read the print version!
A well structured storyline and interesting characters, it left me wanting more and immediately downloaded the 2nd book in the series.
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.
There were a few moving moments, but I don't want to spoil them for anyone!
Give the narrator a chance, you may be surprised.
Looking forward to the next book.
"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.
"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.
"Outstanding story well read, a great purchase"
Assassin's Apprentice is a book I had read three times before I purchased this audiobook - it's a story you'll often hark back to and want to revisit. The audiobook lived up to the written version. This books is very re-readable and you'll find you spot things the second or third time through the series whose significance you missed the first time round.
I enjoyed finding out about the skill and its uses, The way the story is told is outstanding - Hobb knows how to share the few little details that paint a vivid picture.
The skill training section is particularly memorable.
"Do Not Purchase!"
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.
Change the narrator
None, I wish i hadnt bought this audiobook as I cant listen to more than a few minutes of it.
"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
"Wonderful, compelling story, ruined by narrator"
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.
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.
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