Tuesday, 23 August 2016
REVIEW: Assassin's Apprentice
I haven't read a lot of fantasy in the last decade, so the fact I've read 12 of Robin Hobb's books in the last 5 years says a lot about how much I enjoy reading her work. The adventures of Fitz through three trilogies account for a big chunk of that reading.
Robin Hobb can write a first person story with rare skill. She shows you a world though Fitz's eyes and makes it matter, makes it vital. Some elements of Hobb's fantasy are fairly old school, but written with a modern style and a literary skill that one almost never used to see in fantasy and is still hard to find in the genre.
What Hobb does best, quite possibly better than every other fantasy writer, is build, develop, and breathe life into relationships. She writes great characters that you can believe in, but it's in interactions that they truly shine. The friendship between Fitz and the Fool is the heart of the two trilogies, and grows at a slow but steady pace through the books.
The rigid social structure and its constraints generate a lot of frustration for Fitz (and by extension for the readers). This drives much of the tension and plot. Some readers may find it too frustrating and may long for Fitz to break free of it, to drive his message home etc... but for me it was perfectly pitched for maximum effect.
I won't address the plot ... but it's good, and the mysterious attackers are chilling and intriguing. In short - go read this classic!
You can go 'like' my review on Goodreads if you like!