Regular price: $27.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

With unforgettable characters, a sweeping backdrop, and passionate storytelling, this is a fantasy debut to rival that of Robert Jordan. Filled with adventure and bloodshed, pageantry and piracy, mystery and menace, Assassin's Apprentice is the story of a royal house and the young man who is destined to chart its course through tempests of change. Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal household by his father's gruff stableman. An outcast whose existence has forced his father to abdicate his claim on the throne, Fitz is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in the young man's blood is a heritage of magic, the talent called the Skill, as well as another, even more mysterious ability.

As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts and leave behind the zombie-like husks of the townspeople to prowl the countryside, Fitz is growing toward manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission, a mission that poses as much a threat to himself as it does for his target---for Fitz is a threat to the throne...but he may also be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

©1999 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“Intriguing, controlled, and remarkably assured...at once satisfyingly self-contained yet leaving plenty of scope for future extensions and embellishments.” ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,646
  • 4 Stars
    2,298
  • 3 Stars
    816
  • 2 Stars
    199
  • 1 Stars
    106

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,336
  • 4 Stars
    1,846
  • 3 Stars
    600
  • 2 Stars
    126
  • 1 Stars
    76

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,231
  • 4 Stars
    1,817
  • 3 Stars
    701
  • 2 Stars
    170
  • 1 Stars
    99
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't tell my wife

Don't tell my wife, but I have a crush on Robin Hobb. She is by far my favorite fantasy writer. I read this book several years ago and loved it. When Audible put it on sale, I could not resist

This is a coming of age story and a world building book. The book starts when Fitz is only six years old. At the time he has no name. His mother never named the bastard of a royal prince. We are witness to and feel for the main character Fitz, like in most RH books, he is missed understood by almost everyone, but not as misunderstood as he thinks. RH builds characters better then anyone, so if you like character driven stories read any Robin Hobb book. This book also has some good dog characters.

I would suggest though, that you start with the "Liveship Traders" trilogy. It is by far the best, has lots more magic and Dragons. I usually don't care for a whole lot of magic, but no one is as imaginative as RH and the world she builds in Liveship Traders is unmatched.

It would be great if Audible could come out with Robin Hobb's earlier books that she wrote as Megan Lindholm. I would buy all of them Audible.

44 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I'm going to be suffering from withdraw for the next 2 months while I wait for the next book in this series to come out in audio... I've been looking for a good series to start with this author, but the only one audible has had in the past is the Soldier Son series and by all reports it isn't her best work. After reading this I think it likely I will pick that series up anyway, since even this author's sub-par work is still likely to be quite good.

This book is not heavy on fight scenes, and the main character isn't even that good in a face-to-face fight when it happens. Indeed, for an assassin he manages to kill and wound very few people, and is generally quite nice and likable. The thing that makes this story so excellent is it's world-building and attention to detail, and its ability to build and sustain tension. The plot moves from point to point and as one tension eases, another takes up the slack, drawing you constantly onward and never producing a dull moment. The characters are so well done that I can think of real people who have less personality. I can see how the lack of action might deter some people, but if you enjoy detailed world-building and excellent writing, this is a book you are sure to enjoy.

Another person mentioned the "Night Angel" series, which I have personally read and enjoyed - this however, is the EXACT opposite take on a fantasy assassin series in every way I can think of (and is written far better). Also, I don't know what it is about this reader and assassin books, but he is well suited to it.

59 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

I don't know what to say about this book. It was not fast paced nor very exciting most of the time. The setting was pretty typical of the fantasy genre and the world building wasn't the greatest that I've read. This book feels like a set up to a trilogy where we are learning the background story of a few chars. It's essentially a story about a bastard boy, his mentors, and his dogs.

So why the 5 stars? I just loved this book. I was invested in the chars and cared about what happened to them. The friendships and bonds felt so real. The one downside is the one dimensional aspect of the "evil" characters. I was able to get past this easily, though because the story itself is strong. This is one of the books where you just enjoy the journey the author puts in front of you. I downloaded the second book within seconds of finishing this. Not because of some contrived cliffhanger but because I just couldn't wait to see where the story would take me.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 12-18-11

Well written, but too slow for me

You might love this book if you like lots of character development and dialogue. I thought I liked character development, but after this book, I guess I realize that I don't.

This book was well written in my opinion. The story was good and the characters were believable. The world was developed. But for me, there was not enough tension in the plot. The character development was not enough to hold my interest. I was interested enough to keep listening, but I will not get the second book.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • ORANGE PARK, FLORIDA, United States
  • 03-12-13

Kept waiting for something to happen

Any additional comments?

The story ideas and concepts in the book where interesting and fun, and my imagination started going crazy with possibilities when they were introduced. The author never seemed to bring all the pieces together to make the story engaging enough. Many of the main characters were easy to forget and I felt a sense of relief the book was over instead of a longing to know more about what will happen next in their life.

The reading of the book is very well done. I found the voice, accent, energy, and pacing to be very pleasant.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

This was the saddest most boring piece of fantasy ever. I understand when it was written but still no excuse. Fitz might be the worst “hero” ever. Story had no depth. The bad guys were threatening at all. I could not even figure out what was the point of the story other than to talk about a pathetic bastard. I can’t believe there are more of these books. Please don’t waste your time reading this. Read a dictionary or anything else.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • chris
  • Kelowna, BC, Canada
  • 12-01-12

Diary of a Wimpy Assassin

I ended up buying all three books, and I enjoyed them, but it was really hard to like this hero. He is not much of an assassin. The only assassinations he does are by poisoning and those are mostly zombies, and he feels guilty about it. He kills in self defense and feels guilty about it. He doesn't take out the really bad people, even though everyone knows they are the really bad people and he would have saved thousands of lives and endless suffering if he had poisoned them too, because of some promise he made... but mostly because it would end the story too soon.

He has magic ability he doesn't want to use and doubts himself constantly and really hates himself... but ends up saving the kingdom anyway... and gets little credit for it. He spends a large chunk of the third book on a useless quest, and all the while he is thinking (and I was thinking) this is a bad idea. And it was.

Conan he is not. He is more like Conan's half-witted baby sister.

Despite all that, the plot was good, the world was rich, and the narration was very good. There is magic and herbology and animal kinship woven in here. I enjoyed it overall. I just wish the main character had more backbone.

43 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I hate this book

The writing is very good, but I think that makes me hate this book even more. The world is introduced and has lots of interesting points and intriguing world building, but it feels like that's all dumped in the trash as the main characters plod around and despite their magic powers that make them all knowing and proclaimed training and skill act like idiots about everything. The "villian" is pathetic but essentially wins the day at every turn just because it's convenient that bad things happen and no one has the power to stop it.

I wanted to like this book because I got excited about such high ratings and thought I'd found a new author to listen to but I just can't. I finished this book and am half way through the second because I was hoping it would get better, but I'm considering just not finishing it. "Oh we know the bad guy is bad but even though we're assassins and princes we can't do a single thing to stop anything la la la".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

An enormous let down.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The book is very, very slow in character development and the plot is almost inconsequential. A long, dull book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I feel bad returning a book to audible

so bad I had to give it back it was the story not the narrator

2 of 2 people found this review helpful