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Assassin’s Apprentice Audiobook

Assassin’s Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1

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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

4.3 (330 )
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4.3 (303 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ratna Northam, Australia 03-01-15
    ratna Northam, Australia 03-01-15 Member Since 2014

    Not a literary buff but enjoy classics to Neal Stephenson,Diana Gabaldon, John Irving, Haruki Marukami. Make me think. Apprec. your reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Robin hobb did u pick this narrator?"

    Read a hard copy some years ago-wonderful rich enchanting. But I really hope robin hobb rethinks the narrator....grating, classist and way to refined and constricted to create the variation in voices this story deserved😢

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-18-17
    08-18-17
    ratings
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    "Too much narration in my opinion. But still great!"

    Too much narration in my opinion. But still great!
    Could have used more trouble also. And more character interactions at the start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lola 04-27-17
    Lola 04-27-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, disappointing performance."

    It actually took me a while to be brave enough to purchase this book. Many friends have recommended me Robin Hobb's work but when I listened to the samples I just didn't think I could bear the narration.
    I normally prefer books narrated with a British presenter, but as this book is written in a first person style the performance is spoken in a horrible upper-class English accent. H's are dropped ehverywhhere (!). Which is a shame because most of the other characters in this book are performed quite well and that's actually what makes the book ok to listen to.
    The story is solid. A growing-up up story for the most part about a boy making his way in court as a royal bastard. And a few little adventures with a bit of court intrigue at the end. You can tell the author is just setting the scene for what's to come.
    It's well written and the characters are multi-dimensional and interesting. Overall I enjoyed it - yes would have been better with a different narrator but it didn't completely ruin it for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Atle 04-02-17
    Atle 04-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "Good story and narrator"

    Liked the story, finished the book rather quickly. People seem to complain about the narrator, but I cant say that I agree. At some points every now and then he seems to not pause when it seems he should've, but other than that I find his narration good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mateusz Drachal 10-24-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    8
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    Performance
    Story
    "Dull at the beginning better towards the end"

    This book was quite boring for the first half but still a good piece of writing. When compared to other books from the genre the action unfolds slowly. A good book for long nights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    "brilliant"

    An engrossing story even though Hobb likes to torture her protagonist. This is the start of a fantastic series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annique Smith 06-24-16 Member Since 2016

    Book nerd

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    "Excellent "

    I loved the story and the narrator. I can't wait to listen to the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noel Mount Gambier, Australia 09-21-13
    Noel Mount Gambier, Australia 09-21-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Meret 06-25-13
    Meret 06-25-13 Member Since 2017
    ratings
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    8
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    "Mit Abstand meine Lieblingsgeschichte"

    Auch beim erneuten Hören immer wieder eine bittersüsse Freude in die Welt von Fitz einzutauchen. Der Erzähler haucht den Charakteren einfühlsam Leben ein.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rod Baxter 05-03-13
    Rod Baxter 05-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
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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.

    30 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Charlie Recneps
    United Kingdom
    7/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb return to an old friend"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Assassin's Apprentice to be better than the print version?

    It has been so long since I read it I can't remember.......it is a very different experience having it read to you. I would judge the audiobook as superb as it enables multi tasking, but nothing beats that first visit to an unknown land with a book in your hands.


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

    Robin Hobb writes uniformly. That is, she doesn't build a story to a dramatic conclusion like Gemmell but instead weaves a rich tapestry of characters and background and often places unremarkable heroes and heroines in there to make the best they can. She's a master at it and I love her work, but it means that picking a moment out from this book is difficult as I don't feel it has peaks and troughs, just a consistent pace and depth.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    I thought for the most part he read well, and his English accent was not as Dick Van Dyke as some complain. He does have some really weird ways of saying certain words though which jolted me out of the fantasy. It's sausages not sawsages, dog not dorg and passage not parsage for example. People walking nearby when his mispronunciation of the English language made me shout out in frustration must have thought I was mad :)


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    If you read the print version and want someone else to read it to you again so you can get on with something else at the same time, get this book. If you are a fan of Robin Hobb and haven't read this trilogy yet, get this book. The narrators strange pronunciation isn't so bad that it put me off buying the next two.

    4 of 4 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.

    13 of 15 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.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    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.

    10 of 12 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

    7 of 9 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.


    12 of 16 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.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • matt
    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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • RocKtheCasbaH
    Middlesbrough, UK
    8/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story but please get the narration redone"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A great story and the start of a fantastic series by an established and very talented author.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Fitz, obviously ;)


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was dreadful. Please do not attempt an English accent if you are not a natural UK English speaker. This isn't a movie or TV, it's a 15 hour audio book, it simply doesn't work forcing a terrible plumbish accent down our ears for that length of time - simply terrible. I've since googled the narrator and can see he's American and also very accomplished and his natural voice would have been a great improvement. Whomever directed him to put on that awful accent for the whole book was seriously misguided. The challenge for me is whether I can grin and bear it for another two books until the narrator changes? I hope they get them redone, this trilogy is worth more than this and it shouldn't be a case of persevering - I know it's a great story, I'd like to enjoy it please and Robin Hobb's work certainly deserves better.


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

    Numerous


    Any additional comments?

    I'm revisiting an old favourite with this series but this time in audiobook format. I bought them in print years ago and loved them and thought, given the time that's passed, it's time for another go but this time through the headphones. The story is still great (and fully recommended) but that narrator with the terrible accent? He's killing it for me. If you are not from the UK don't try to force a U.K. english accent for 14-15 hours, that's just ridiculous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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