Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Read May 24th-June 13th, 2016
Reading this book taught me a lesson: Don’t judge a book by the synopsis.
I picked this book up as the first novel to be read in the Hobb-along-read-along and honestly, I didn’t expect much from it. The synopsis was terribly generic. The cover even more so. The two combined set a very low bar for me, and now after reading it, I know I judged it very unfairly going in. So for that, I’m sorry, and I’ll keep in mind my mistake the next time I see a book that looks or sounds generic and try to reserve judgement before giving it a chance.
So moving on from my admittedly awful judginess.
Assassin’s Apprentice is a story written from the perspective of the apprentice in question as he retells the story of his life. It starts when he was just a boy and continues through his youth. One of the things that surprised me was how quickly I became invested in the story. Robin Hobb’s writing just flows beautifully, and the characterizaton of the main and side characters quickly develop into distinct personalities and motivations. I felt like I knew who everyone was and what they wanted shortly after they were introduced, and it was nice not having flat characters that the author wanted the reader to like but gave no reason as to why poking around.
Another thing that I really liked was the magic systems. There were two of them, and what I found fascinating was that while they definitely played a part in the story, they weren’t the point of the story, if that makes sense. The main character wasn’t trying to become the strongest magician or whatever, and even at times, he would invoke the use of these magic systems and the reader wouldn’t even be fully aware of it right away. It was cool to see it snaked in there without being the main attraction.
The characters, male and female, were developed beautifully. And in reading this book, I noticed something that I really liked: until this book, I’ve seldom read an adult fantasy where upon introduction of a female character, her bosom or butt size wasn’t mentioned almost immediately. I have no idea what the chest sizes of the women in this book are, and I like it that way. (I think this idea popped into my head because while reading this, I was also reading George R.R. Martin, and the fact that he did that constantly irked me). Because of this (and because of this continuing in Royal Assassin, the second book) Robin Hobb has definitely become one of my new favorite authors. I loves her.
I honestly can’t come up with many negatives, aside from the synopsis and cover. The book was a wholly pleasant and engaging experience, and I’m glad I decided to read it. As I’ve said, I’m currently reading the second one, and afterwards I would like to read the rest of her works. Definitely a fan. Thumbs up. Go read it.
Rating: 5/5 stars