Throwback Thursday (May 24) – Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

My throwback for this week is….

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Last week, I talked about the book that introduced me to Science Fiction, so I thought it appropriate that this week, I should discuss the book that opened my eyes to the wonders of Fantasy. (And don’t worry, fantasy lovers. Assassin’s Apprentice will get the all-out detailed review treatment at some point in the future).

A good friend loaned me a well-worn paperback copy of Assassin’s Apprentice when I was complaining that I didn’t have anything good to read (a problem I don’t really have anymore…yay book blogging!) And I admit, the first time I attempted it, I wasn’t into it. I got a few chapters in, then put it down for a couple months. I figured it probably just wasn’t my thing.

But then, for some reason I don’t really recall, I decided to give it another shot. And the second time, I found this book completely riveting from the first chapter. I honestly don’t know what my problem was the first time.

Assassin’s Apprentice is the story of FitzChivalry, the illegitimate son of the King-in-Waiting. His father, unable to recognize him as a legitimate heir, turns him over to the stablekeeper to raise. But no sooner has young Fitz adjusted to a simple life in the stables, than he finds himself taken into the court of his grandfather, King Shrewd, and secretly apprenticed to the mysterious court assassin. And as Fitz hones his deadly skills for the good of the kingdom, he also struggles to control two powerful forms of magic battling inside him.

Assassin’s Apprentice kicks off Hobb’s Farseer trilogy, which is followed by the Liveship Traders trilogy and the Tawny Man trilogy (and there’s another series after that…the Rain Wild Chronicles…but it’s not nearly as good as the others, so I pretend it doesn’t exist). All of them take place in the same world and have some overlapping characters. Which is good, because these books contain some of the best characters I have ever read. Plus the world is vivid and tangible, the magic is believable, the stakes are incredibly high, and the twists and turns are captivating, riveting, and heartbreaking.

If you’re looking for a fabulous fantasy series, or you’ve never tried fantasy and would like to take it for a spin, this is the book for you.

This is a Blog Hop! Link up your own Throwback Thursday post below!

15 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday (May 24) – Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb

  1. I hadn’t heard of this series before. Fantasy is so hit or miss for me, honestly. I never know what I will or won’t like until I try it out. Like you, I never have trouble finding something to read, so this one will just have to go on my TBR list and hopefully one day I can try it out!
    Mandi Kaye recently posted..Throwback Thursday 5.24.12My Profile

    • The other problem with fantasy is it’s such a commitment ! So often it’s a long series full of long books (this one’s no exception), and don’t really feel like investing that much time on a series I’m only “eh” about.

      This one, in my opinion, is worth the time it takes to get through all 3 series (9 books). Especially rewarding is that while all 3 are fantastic, the last trilogy is the best. So it’s a very satisfying feel to get through the whole thing.

      I hope you manage to get around to it someday!
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..Throwback Thursday (May 24) – Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin HobbMy Profile

  2. Yay for the best book I ever randomly pulled off a used bookstore shelf! These are the kind of characters that become friends, the ones that you find yourself thinking about even months after you finished reading the books!

    • Glad you’re enjoying it! And I’m totally fine if you fudge the rules a bit. I just didn’t want everyone posting books that came out last year as “throwbacks,” since those are the books that probably have already gotten a lot of book blogger love. The goal of this meme (and I should probably say “my goal,” since I can’t speak for Mandi) is for people to be able to discover some great reads from the years before book blogging was a big thing 🙂

      Also, I forgive you your typos. I’ve already updated this post three times weeding out my own.
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..Throwback Thursday (May 24) – Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin HobbMy Profile

    • It’s very different from HP, obviously, in that it’s adult fantasy and not children’s, but the characters are amazing. Liveships, the trilogy in the middle, only has one overlapping character, then Tawny Man picks up with Fitz and the gang again. But I still highly recommend reading Liveships in the middle because it makes Tawny Man soooo much more enjoyable.

      I hope you like it!

  3. Ooh, Robin Hobb ~ she’s, like, classic! She reminds me so much of Robert Jordan. My husband gave me the Wheel of Time series (before I was really reading and blogging, too!) and I stalled the first time then tore through it a year later, too!!!

    Sadly, I haven’t read Hobb yet (I tend to leave the “thick” fantasies to my husband and since he won’t read woman authors – good grief, he’s such a guy…) but I KNOW from my good friends that she is an awesome writer and she’s epic!

    I’d love to compare her writing to GRRM someday…. Oh, to have the free time to take such a tangent!!
    Kristin Clifton recently posted..Throwback Thursday ~ Ill Wind by Rachel CaineMy Profile

    • See, and I haven’t read GRRM yet! I’ve got his books ready to read whenever I have a month or two to devote to a new fantasy series…but when does that ever happen in the life of a book blogger, right? I’m going to need to wedge them in somewhere, though, because there’s just nothing like a good epic fantasy.

      Also, don’t tell your husband Robin Hobb is a woman! Robin could be a guy’s name, right? My husband LOVES all 9 of these books. Nearly all of the characters are men.

      If you’ve never read Hobb, make sure to start with Farseer and not with Soldier Son. That series is okay, but Farseer is just soooo much better.
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..Feature & Follow #98 – Dream Cast of Under the Never SkyMy Profile

  4. Pingback: Throwback Thursday (July 26) – Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb | The Housework Can Wait

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