Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First Published: August 1995
Read from: February 04 to 19, 2014
Proving Assassins Can Also Be Nice Guys
The novel Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb was much different than the title led me to believe, as I probably never would have given it a try if I had judged this book by it’s title. However it’s very high ratings and the frequency with which fantasy discussions brought it up moved it to the top of my “to read” list. For a story about an Assassin’s Apprentice there is actually very little killing going on. Thinking this would focus on assassinations I had thought I would be turned off. Ironically, one of the few problems I had with this book was actually the LACK of action in places. But it is safe to say that the main character, and most of the characters as a whole, do not fall victim of the traditional stereotypes of the genre tropes. Over all I had mixed feelings about this book while reading it. Whenever I was not reading it I very much wanted to return to it’s world and find out what would happen next. The novel is written extremely well, especially the character development. But there were times I wanted to slap said characters (or the author) for making choices I wouldn’t have made. There were also times I felt the story stalled some. The ending of this story however pushed this novel from “I really like it, but…”, to “LOVED it”. Part of my love for this book is it has a LOT of dog “characters” and strong relationships between main characters and their dogs… I am a sucker when it comes to canine companions. Many of the most emotionally charged scenes in the story actually revolve around these dog characters. The mysterious “magical”, almost psychic powers of the “Wit” and the “Skill” in the story also piqued my interest. (Though I think I would have called them the “Wit” and the “Will” as that’s how I thought of them and I guess I have a childish love of alliteration.) The way these were slowly explored and developed (and I suspect there is more to reveal in the sequels) seemed spot on to me. In short, I would give Assassin’s Apprentice 4.5 out of 5 stars if I could rate something with half a point. Failing that it gets the full 5 stars from me.