Posts Tagged ‘Robin Hobb’

Ship of Magic by Robin HobbThe Mad Ship by Robin Hobb begins where book one of the Liveship Trader’s trilogy, “Ship of Magic” left off. Althea Vestrit, daughter of the late captain Vestrit, continues on a personal journey to retake Vivacia, her stolen live-ship. Wintrow still resides aboard that ship, which is now over-taken by  pirates. Malta remains determined to find and save her father Kyle, whom was also was left aboard the Vivacia; Keffria is struggling to take control of the family; and as before, everything is essentially collapsing and crumbling around the once solid family. Though the hope that once existed for the Vestrit’s has been, for the most part, extinguished, the family unit still struggles to prevail and restore itself. This all, of course, leads to yet another lengthy series of drama, politics, live-ships, and yes, self discovery. This time, however, the fate of not only the Vestrit’s hang in the balance, but the whole of Bingtown itself.

To begin, I have to say that this novel was a mixed bag for me – and in many ways (and for several reasons), was quite a disappointment. Although Mad Ship began with a bang and had quite a compelling and engaging start, I felt that it all quickly tapered off into an abyss of repetition. Upon approaching around the midway mark, things became bogged down and heavy. The characters kept saying the same things over and over – the writing became redundant – the natural flow and evolution of the story, for me, came to a halt. There were times when Hobb would go on and on about a particular topic, stretching out what could have been said in two paragraphs into a few chapters. Because of the overall slowness of the plot and story, there were several occasions where continuing felt more like a duty, rather than an enjoyment.

Another issue I had, was the imbalance of time given to each character. Through-out the novel, chapters would switch between characters and their situations, giving the reader a lot to take in. This was great – until suddenly a character and their story would simply vanish. By the time the character was mentioned again (many chapters later), my interest level had dropped. This really killed the experience. Another fault, was the disjointed story. For instance, while the conclusion was actually quite interesting and enjoyable, it lacked a connection with the rest of the novel. Looking back at the majority of Mad Ship, the reading experience was quite strange. About three quarters of it was this long, drawn out soap opera (complete with bitter, whiny characters), and yet suddenly, there was this intriguing fantasy piece pasted in at the end. It was all a bit odd, and for me, the flow of the novel felt broken.

Finally, at least in the complaint department, was the lack of description. Though I admit, I am a sucker for lush, flowery, poetic writings that paint surreal and vivid pictures, I don’t really think that’s the issue here. As a person whom’ is familiar with Hobb’s work (and enjoy most of what I’ve read), I didn’t come in expecting floods of archaic depictions. Instead, I expected the comfortable, Hobb-esque styled writing that I’ve grown to enjoy. Unfortunately however, the further I progressed into the novel, the stronger my disappointment grew with the actual writing itself. For whatever reason, it seemed as though Hobb had acquired a severe case of “tell rather than show” when writing Mad Ship, and instead of describing the events – and describing the situation and surroundings – actually painting the picture – it was all very simplistic and dull. Person A did this; person B did that; this happened; that happened. I’m not sure what was going on here, but the style was so dry that I actually felt like falling asleep. Where was the artistic element?

Though my experience with Mad Ship, wasn’t nearly as positive as expected, I can’t say that all was a amiss. While I certainly didn’t enjoy the characters as much as I did with the Farseer trilogy, there was still a great deal of unexpected development – especially from characters I never really cared for from the previous installment. For instance, there was Malta, who’s evolution was both realistic and intriguing. Hobb did an excellent job transitioning her from little girl to young woman, and by the end of Mad Ship, I began to feel a sort of sympathy for her – one that I could never quite obtain because of her childish, bratty attitude.  Reyn (Malta’s destined husband), was also a pleasant surprise, as he began to show a new, more relateable side. Lastly, but certainly not least, was Kennit. Though he had already grown on me by the end of “Ship of Magic,” the growing continued through-out this entire novel, and strangely, Captain Kennit has gradually evolved into one of my favorite characters of the series thus far. His complex and conflicting personality was a refreshing element that added a much needed realism (and humanity, though a darker form) to the novel.

With that said (and I hate to say it), Mad Ship for me, was an overall disappointment. While there were a handful of moments, especially toward the end, there was far too much filler, and the slow moving plot made reading this 800 + page novel more of a chore than anything. From the disjointed story, to the lack of description, to the over-all lack of progression — Mad Ship failed to ever really pull me in. Though I truly consider myself to be a fan of Hobb, and will forever adore her Farseer trilogy, I plan to take a break from her later works to read something a bit lighter of heart — for there’s only so much one can take in the realm of misery and politics (at least for me). When going into a fantasy novel, I expect certain things — and in this case, almost none of those things were met.

Though Mad Ship for me was clear a disappointment, I can’t and won’t say that it should be avoided, especially if one has already connected with the characters. Besides, my opinion is just that, and in the grand scheme of things, we all know what they say about opinions! So, with that said, if you’ve read the first installment and enjoyed it — then by all means, continue on. The characters are still here; the idea is still in place; the live-ships and serpents are aplenty. But if you’re looking for the same heart, soul, and intrigue that graced the pages of “Ship of Magic,” then there’s a fair chance that you won’t find it here — at least to the same extent. Instead, you may find the same bleak, gray, slow moving world I discovered when delving into this tome sized novel. Overall, this experience wasn’t a positive one. I was expecting so much more, and Mad Ship simply failed to deliver.

(2 out of 5)


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Hey everyone.

I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still alive.  I haven’t been very active lately — I’ve been really busy.. but that’ll change soon enough.

I’m also currently in the process of reading “Mad Ship” (book #2 of the Liveship Traders Trilogy) by Robin Hobb. So far..it’s a bit sluggish..which is part of the reason I’m lacking new reviews..but I’m sticking with it and working my way through. It’s getting better..and I’m interested in where things are heading.

So there are more reviews coming, very soon!

With that said, I’ll end this with a picture of an adorable kitten.

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“Ship of Magic” by Robin Hobb is the first novel in the Liveship Traders –  a trilogy that follows the plight of the Vestrits, a family of Live Ship traders in the fictional city of Bingtown. The story begins slowly, progressively weaving a tale of the struggles a once solid family must face after the death of Captain Vestrit. After his passing upon the decks of his beloved Vivacia,  the ship has suddenly reached its completion and is “quickened” – or in other words, is brought to life. Here lays the real drama of the story, as upon hearing the Captains will, daughter Althea is stunned to discover that the Vivacia has not in fact been passed to her as once assumed – but to her arrogant and selfish brother-in-law, Kyle. Horrified for the Liveship and the fate of everyone on it, Althea sets out on a mission to regain what she had lost. Her Liveship. This then leads to an adventurous story of betrayal, death, politics, and a whole lot of drama.

Upon reading the description of “Ship of Magic,” I wasn’t exactly sold on the idea of a Liveship – a ship of which is indeed alive in almost all aspects.  This includes speaking, moving, thinking, etc. So in other words, it’s a talking ship. I’m not entirely sure why, but the idea itself was a bit of a turn off, as I assumed it would seem rather corny. Shortly after however, I began to ask myself, “why is that? I enjoy fairies and elves..and almost any other type of mythological creature, why not a talking ship? Surely if I can enjoy hobbits I can enjoy this? ”  After getting into the novel, and within just a few chapters, the idea of a Liveship became perfectly acceptable and the the ship itself became a fascinating character. That of course, I thought to myself after coming to this realization, is the magic of Robin Hobb. Not only does she have a true talent for creating characters, but she even has the power to turn a ship –  a boat made of wood into a relatable and interesting persona. That didn’t really surprise me.

As well as the Vivacia, each other character in this novel was unique and believable. From the determined Althea, daughter of captain Vestrit; to Wintrow son of Kyle who was sent away to live as a priest – all of their stories and situations drew me in and held my interest, at least for the most part. While I connected with each character by the end, and Hobb once again truly shined when it came to creating and developing real-life characters, I had a bit of trouble when it came to Captain Kennit – a pirate on a search for a live ship. For whatever reason, connecting with his character was difficult, and I often had  little desire to even read the chapters focused on him. His character and story simply didn’t interest me. Luckily however, once I hit the halfway mark his situation changed drastically, and I was able to fully grasp his role as a character. At this point, I began to enjoy him as much as the others. Out of all the characters however, I have to say that Wintrow was by far my favorite. Not only was his back-story interesting, but the conflict of being both a priest and a sailor was incredibly realistic, and I felt myself connected to his character on an emotional level.

Aside from the unique characters, I also enjoyed the story itself – but that isn’t to say it is without problems. The biggest issue for me was the pacing. For the first 300 or so pages, I was completely immersed within the story, and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. The family element alone had me – and the conflicts the characters were facing completely drew me in. However, over time it began to wear a bit thin, and I started to crave for more. In truth, I in no way expected a traditional slash em’ up type of fantasy from Hobb – I’m familiar enough with her work to know better – but at a certain point it all became a bit tiring. Though I will say, my experience was a bit strange. Nearly each time I had a chance to read more, I was excited to continue – but in many cases ended up feeling a sense of disappointment.  So in other words, this novel relied heavily on anticipation,  but it took a long time getting to where it was going. Once everything panned out it was well worth it, and as I reached the end I was completely glued to the pages, but there were definitely a handful of slow areas.

Overall, this was an interesting read. The plot was unique, the characters were incredibly realistic, and the story (while slow in areas) was well worth my time. Not only did I enjoy the route the story took, but the ending, much like her previous work, changed everything for the characters. After reaching the final page, I was completely impressed by how things turned out – and while it certainly didn’t end on a joyous note, I’m happy to report that it wasn’t nearly as depressing as her previous work in the Farseer Trilogy. I also found it quite interesting to look back at all the small decisions that the characters, and how they were affected by them. Everything in the end fit fit together, and every small detail that had happened created a sort of “perfect storm.”  All in all, “Ship of Magic” by Robin Hobb is a good start to a trilogy I’m looking forward to completing. While I can’t necessarily recommend this to just anyone – even fantasy fans in general, I can say that if you like personal drama along with great writing, or if you like ships,  you may enjoy this.  If you also enjoyed the Farseer Trilogy, then you’ll probably like this as well.  Just keep in mind however, that if you’re looking for something full of sword fighting action, you won’t find it here.

(3 and 1/2 out of 5)

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Yes, another video blog!  Everything that needs to be said is basically here..or at least, tried to be said. For some reason I’m losing my voice, and I had a hard time saying everything, haha :).

This is also the website I spoke of in the video: http://www.alibris.com .  Most people probably already know of it, but it’s new to me.

I hope everyone is well!

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As with the previous installments of the Farseer Trilogy, “Assassin’s Quest” starts where the previous closed – continuing where the chilling and explosive ending had once left us. King shrewd is dead, Verity has left Buck in an attempt to seek the help of the ancient elder-lings, and Fitz has once again been ravaged and left at death’s door. All seems lost, and with Regal now declared as king, things can only go from bad to worse. Amongst this, the FitzChivalry we once knew is now completely broken and gone — solely bonded as one with his wolf partner NightEyes. Yet, buried deep within his wolf – an act that was made as an attempt to avoid the pain of his physically brutalized body – his true existence and self lingers. Can he come out of it? Can he once again return to the man he was? Can things be set right..or is all hope lost? Thus’ begins the Assassin’s Quest.

Robin Hobb once again creates a deeply woven, character driven, emotionally charged novel – one that kept me up half the night on many occasions. From the continual development of her already established characters, to the new additions that weaved their way into the story as the plot progressed, Hobb once again shines when it comes to her creation and expansion of interesting characters. From a new wandering Minstrel – determined to find a song, to an old witty woman with a strange and compelling past – to Fitz, Chade, Molly, and the Fool, the characters and their interactions yet again remain as strong as ever.

Along with Hobb’s amazing talent of breathing life into her characters – her ability to continually put out engaging content throughout the pages of her stories once again fulfills my expectations – especially for an ending to a trilogy, as so many become bogged down and slow. While I have read a few comments stating that the beginning of this novel is a bit draggy, I myself found it, for the most part, otherwise – and in the end, I found “Assassin’s Quest” as a whole to be more engaging and intense than the previous.

Unlike the other novels of the Farseer Trilogy, which were primarily set in the city of Buck – the “Assassin’s Quest” is everywhere but there – which for me, was an added bonus, as another 800 or so pages set in Buckkeep could have become a bit tiresome. After the last installment I was in definite need of change, and with this one, I got it. While there is a lot of traveling, and at certain moments, there were slow areas which had me aching for other character involvement (as Fitz traveled alone for a time), as soon as it became a notice for me, the story and situation seemed to pick up – and soon enough new and interesting faces were introduced. And of course, with the new faces brought a lot of interesting aspects to the story — all of which kept me drawn to this book.

In fact, for me, some of the best moments came from these new faces. One character in specific struck me, and that was the old, witty woman named Kettle, whom along the way becomes one of Fitz’s new companions. Straight from her first appearance she adds much to this piece – humor, drama, emotion. There was one scene in particular that got me – one where Fitz attempts to help her with something that’s been troubling her for years – something that has imprisoned her emotionally into her own sort of hell. This particular scene had me glued to the pages, enthralled by both the situation and dialog. I found it to be quite emotionally engaging. Along with Kettle, we were also given the new character of Starling – a wandering minstrel on a mission to create a song that would be remembered for all time; what better way than to follow a witted bastard who is the center of so much plight?

Along with the change of scenery and the additions of great new characters, there were also several scenes which held a certain level of intensity that the previous books lacked – scenes that I had been dying for since the first novel. Throughout this entire trilogy, my biggest complaint has been the fact that these books are based on the life of assassin, yet little to no assassinations occur. Fitz learns the art, talks about the art, but never truly uses the art. In this novel, that changes, and once I hit chapter 9 (which I will say very little of), I was gripping the novel intensely and silently cheering Fitz on. Finally, just finally, there was a taste of vengeance. A vengeance the reader needed as much as the character.

While I truly enjoyed the majority of this novel, there were still some aspects that I didn’t like..and since this is a review, I will state them. For one, the drastic and some-what abrupt change in the Fool’s character had me a bit disappointed – as he became far too serious. He was, in my opinion, one of the few characters to bring a bit of humor to such bleak happenings, and for him to be drained of his sharp wit and humorous actions was a big down-side. It’s not to say I was against his character development, I wasn’t … and I felt the second installment progressed his character perfectly, but in some ways I felt that he was changed far too much in far too short of time (for the reader). Never-the-less, he was still enjoyable, and I still love the Fool, I simply felt a bit saddened by his sudden shift of personality.

Aside from the change of the Fool, there was also a point where I was simply fed up with the constant torture and abuse of Fitz. It was almost as if Hobb was obsessed with abusing her main character – to a point where it became slightly displeasing and disturbing. While most of the trilogy was quite dark and bleak, I was hoping for a bit of relief with this one. A bit of happiness..a bit of something other than pain for him. Unfortunately, little was to be seen. That makes me weary of checking out her other work so soon…as I do enjoy a break from such emotionally draining content.

And lastly, there was also the ending. While I’ve heard some say that it was terrible – and even go as far as saying it was the worst ending ever for a fantasy trilogy, I myself found it to be a mixed bag. On one hand, it wasn’t nearly as bad as some were saying, and in many ways went above my expectations – as I was prepared for something far more bleak and unfulfilling – however, it did seem a bit rushed – as if Hobb came to a point where she simply wanted to finish, and so she did. There was also a lack of description in this piece, especially towards the final few chapters. While the others endings were both intense and shocking, I found this one to be a bit anti-climatic – as the novel was so long, and so many things took place, by the time we finally got to the ending, it felt a bit disconnected and abrupt. Though I will say, it turned out better than I had expected, and while Fitz’s outcome was still, in many ways depressing, he came out in a far better light than I predicted. Though for his character, the feeling of bleakness that filled much of this series was still there.

With that said, I enjoyed “Assassin’s Quest,” and judging the trilogy as a whole, I can very confidently say that I was truly impressed. This series of novels bared very little disappointment — and while certain things could have been improved, and at times it was quite dark and depressing, I still closed the final chapter of the final book with a sense of awe. For it was truly an adventure – one that connected with me on an emotional level. From chapters to chapter, and from book to book, I became immensely engaged with the story and characters. Especially with Fitz, NightEyes, and The Fool – all of whom’ became quite special to me as far as characters go. I will surely remember them. So all in all, this is one trilogy that will stay with me for some time, and one that I can safely recommend to others. If you enjoy a good ol’ epic fantasy trilogy with deep, complex characters, unique elements, and good writing, I would suggest this to you. For it to me, is one of the best fantasy trilogies I’ve ever read.

(4 out of 5)

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Royal Assassin, the second novel in the Farseer trilogy, starts where the previous left off. FitzChivalry, assassin trained bastard for king Shrewd has survived the bloody attack which closed the Assassin’s apprentice — but just barely. He is now left crippled, plagued with seizures and weakness; Left battered and bitter. Despite  his own judgement and  filled with emotion, he soon returns to Buckkeep to fulfill his promise to the king — his pledge of service. Unfortunately for him, things back at home are worse than ever. The king is sick and ailing, the red ship raiders are plaguing the coast — leaving behind even more forged ones, and prince Regal, the royal son who executed the attack on Fitz is left unpunished, as if nothing had happened. Life in Buckeep is worse than before, and even more treachery is on it’s way. A treachery that could destroy everything FitzChivalry has grown to love and care about.

And this is where the novel begins — reviving everything the last book closed on — treason, assassins, danger, love, drama, and more. “Assassin’s Apprentice” is to say the least, as gripping as the last, and another read I could not put down. Everything good about the last novel was here — great characters, great development, and great story. Essentially, this is yet another amazing instalment — but that isn’t to say it’s perfect or problem free. This one had a few rough spots.

For me, I found a few areas to be a bit slow and plodding. There was a point in the book, where I almost pleaded to it that Fitz would finally get to use some of his Assassin skills. For a book about an assassin, there is little assassination. That’s not to say the plot suffered from it, it didn’t — it all made sense, Fitz was never really in a position to use these skills, but it didn’t stop me from wishing. I would have liked to see more stealth, carefully executed plans, etc. I would have liked to see him use the skills he had learned.  Most of the action in this novel that did happen (on Fitz part) was un-calculated and unintended. It seemed each instance, he got his way out of a situation by pure luck rather than skill. That was a bit disappointing. None the less, I can let it slide, as It all built up, and by the end it was well worth it.

There was another slight annoyance however, one that bothered me a bit. I won’t give anything away, but if you’d rather not read just a tiny, vague spoiler, skip this small paragraph. The incident with Rosemary, the Queen-in-Waiting’s little servant girl, was totally predictable. How could a trained assassin not figure this out? I assumed it the moment she entered into the novel — and if I could figure it out, I’d think that Fitz, Chade or the Queen-In-Waiting would caught on. None the less, they didn’t, and it all seemed a bit silly. Though in a way I can understand it, I would have thought that three relatively intelligent people, in a time of such danger would have been more careful.

..and those are my complaints, all fairly small. Now onto more good things..

The characters. Yes, the characters once again were simply brilliant. Robin Hobb doesn’t fail to shine in this aspect, and at this point, I can never see her ever doing so. All of the characters are so compelling, and interesting. I grew to have feelings for each one —  whether it was love, or hate, or worry, or something in between — I felt it, and that takes a special type of writer to do that. I’ve read so many novels where some (or even all) of the characters are so phony or bland, to the point where there’s no connection. This, like the previous novel, relied heavily on the characters personality and actions, and once again, it succeeded immensely..

Ah, and amongst the excellent characters, there was a new addition. A wolf, and perhaps one of my favorites of this series, Night-eyes!  Everything about him was great, from the way he was discovered — the intense moment of emotion and rage that lead Fitz right to his confining cage —  to the much needed relief he added to a novel that was so grim. It was simply brilliant, I was so happy to see Fitz once again restore an animal bond, one that this time, WASN’T broken.  All in all, this character added so much to this piece, and as always with Hobb, the dialog between them was simply amazing.

We also cannot forget the beloved fool, another stand-out, whom’ in my opinion, is a refreshingly complex and interesting character. Not only does his humor, quick-witted comments and actions grace many of the moments in “Assassin’s Quest,”  but there is a new deepness to the fool that is finally touched upon. A deepness that really gives us as readers a different view of him — a more human view — one that really expanded on his character, making him even more interesting and enjoyable. This, was great to see, but not unexpected. Again, I can’t refrain from praising Hobb for her amazing ability to bring her characters to life. She is truly gifted.

There is also a great deal of development in the relationship between Molly and Fitz. While it is the classic forbidden “this can never work’ relationship, it added a new evolved depth to Fitz as a main character, and truly revealed how in some ways he had grown up – yet in others he was still a child. Again, this was a nice thing to see — even if it brought out quite a bit of emotion and strife to a character I really grew to like and care about. From Burrich, to Chade – to the Queen-In-Waiting Kettricken (who really stood out in this novel as a very strong character), and to Molly, to Verity, and even to Patience, each of the characters continued to grow and evolve; This, as before, was a big highlight for me.

And lastly..

Much like the debut novel of the Farseer Trilogy, it all leads to a huge, climatic, impacting ending that changes everything. One that left me, quite honestly, stunned. I found the vivid description and deep emotional outpouring of the final scene to be both haunting and immensely saddening, A scene that will surely stay with me for some time — burnt into my mind. I was utterly chilled by the ending words – by the ending chapter – by the actions that were done, and by sorrow and despair it carried. By the end of the final chapter, I was literally gripping the novel intensely, completely lost in the storyline — and yes, even a bit teary eyed! It was perhaps, one of the most emotional ending I’ve ever read, and truthfully, it left me feeling emotionally drained and a bit depressed. It also left wishing for a happier resolve, a larger glimmer of hope. Sadly however, from my experience with this series, there usually isn’t one. It’s all so bleak. Luckily for me, the third book is already out, and I can start it right away to see how everything turns out – hopefully for the better!

All in all, “Royal Assassin” is yet another amazing novel in the Farseer trilogy. While it was at many times depressing, I found it to be a worth-while read – one where I’ve truly grown to care about many of the characters – yet at the same time grown to hate others. Robin Hobb’s ability to bring her characters to life is a true talent, and as stated previously in this review – the progressive development she works through them is an aspect of these novels that keeps me glued to each page. For whatever happens to the characters I love, I always want to know more – because in many ways, they seem so real to me. As if I truly know them. That is the magic of these books. With that said, I close this review and pick up the next in the Farseer trilogy, hoping to find some sort of relief and resolve. I suggest this to anyone who has read the first book in the series – continue on, it’s definitely worth it!

(4 and 1/2 out of 5)

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The Assassin’s Apprentice is book one of the Farseer Trilogy, which revolves around a young boy dubbed as Fitz. Fitz Farseer Chivalry is a boy of both bastard and royal blood — a boy whom’ is, from the beginning of the novel, thrown into a strange world and left to fend, in many ways (especially emotionally), on his own. A strange world that, for the most part, resides in and around Buckkeep — the place he is sent to when his father decides (partially because of his wife Lady Patience) to essentially disown him for being a bastard — a shame on the family. And this is when the story begins, and where the real plot soon forms and thickens. After years of growing up with stablemaster Burrich — and becoming comfortable with the job of raising and taking care of animals — Fitz is once again thrown into a strange new world — this time, a world of murder — for he is to be of use, taught the ways of the assassin.

When I first purchased this book several months back, I wasn’t sure what to the think or to expect. For one, it was written in first person, which seemed a bit odd to me for a fantasy piece. Secondly, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the story — I wasn’t completely sold by the description on the back of the book. Fortunately, all of those uncertainties were soon put to rest just after the first few chapters. For this read, to me, was truly engaging, straight away, and with each page the story continued to grow and prosper, until I was completely engulfed in the lives of the characters and the development of the story. This was a real page turner for many reasons..and stands right up there with the works of George R.R. Martin. Great, gripping, emotionally captivating — unique.

And while the story itself was a great and unique aspect of this novel, the characters were what truly shined for me — all of whom’ were original, complex, deep..different. Some I liked, some I was unsure..and some I simply hated. I also found that the first person perspective really added to the story — making it a bit more easier to connect with the main character Fitz. For Robin Hobb truly did a great job portraying his inner struggle and turmoil. There were so many times I felt for him, or related to him. I wished I could reach out to him, talk to him, befriend him. I also must add, I quite enjoyed the connection he had with animals — the unique bond he shared with the dogs and horses of the stables — the way he felt their emotion and thought — the way he could communicate with them as others could not. Several related scenes were both stunning and touching, and I can’t help but have the feeling that Hobb must have a unique connection with animals herself — for she wrote these scenes so wisely.

So in concluding this review, I’ll say this — “The Assassin’s Apprentice” is a captivating novel following the life of a young bastard who is to be trained as an assassin. It’s a unique, refreshing read..with brilliantly introduced and developed characters, a rich story, and a very intense climatic ending. After finishing the last page of this book, I immediately jumped into the next. Robin Hobb is a one of a kind writer with a special ability — one that I don’t see all too often. While she offers a lot in this great piece — drama, emotion, unique characters, and even a bit of humor, she also offers something completely different — something her own. Something that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go — something that makes the reader feel the writing, rather than simply read it. When writing this review, I tried to think of some sort of critique — some sort of negative, but I simply couldn’t. The closest thing I have is that some of it was a bit depressing — but that’s it. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a more realistic fantasy — a great fantasy that relies heavily on the lives of its characters.


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