Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: Assasin's Apprentice or Ass App

The Farseer: Assassin's Apprentice
The Sword and Laser August 2012 pick.
By Robin Hobb
Link to Goodreads here

First thoughts (based solely on the cover and reading the back): Good God, what have I gotten myself into?

The story got going for me after the first chapter. I have read enough fantasy at this point to know that the first chapter reads like this:

 "In a mystical place this character you do not know yet and this character you have not met yet warned for many years that this town which you don't yet (but you saw on the map in the front!) has the problem of the _______(insert name of creature or magical power that you have no idea what it means yet). "
Then you get a history, and THEN the story finally gets going. Really, I should just skip first chapters in fantasy books.

Sorry, I got sidetracked.
Anyhoo, this book rocked and here is a short VERY SPOILERY list of why I believe this to be true:

1. Boy himself is an great character. I was especially impressed with the fact that he looked to earn the respect of those he respected and what he went through with training with Galen....whoo boy. I loved this kid.

2. The animals. Hobb has a way of really nailing the behavior of animals and pointing out what is so human about them and what is not.

3. The women in this book were great. Patience, the Princess, and especially Molly. All of them were multidimensional and very interesting.

4. The Fool. How cool is he?

5. Chade and Lady Thyme (ha ha!) I loved that part.

6. The Red Raiders are truly frightening and great villains.

7. Overall, what I took from this book was the sense of finding where you belong and about putting yourself in everything you do: Don't just be an assassin. Be the BEST assassin with a cool hidden room in a tall tower and hang out with a super cool weasel. 

Some problems I had (and they are very minor):
1. I am having a hard time understanding why the Wit is not a Skill. And I don't understand why the Wit has a bad stigma around it. Wouldn't it be super useful?
2. I now have to read the next book to find out what happened to many of the story lines.
3. The Fool, more attention needs to be given to the Fool. Although, after having just read Tigana not two months ago, the Fool had been a totally gut wrenching plot twist and now I kind of nervous.
4. How lucky is Boy?  No seriously. Boy lucks out about a hundred times in this story. I want to see him do something on his own. Someone or something is always saving him or showing up at the last minute. Even the dog had to drag him out of the hot spring to save his life.

I really enjoyed this and am super glad it was chosen. I would never have picked it up on my own.

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