FitzChivalry is the bastard son of Prince Chivalry Farseer. An outcast in his own home, King Shrewd finally sees value in the young boy-to be trained as an assassin. As Fitz grows up, he learns he has an affinity for magic, and that his first mission as an assassin could help with the kingdom’s struggle against raiders.
Why this book?: My friend found this series a while ago, and begged me to start it along with her. I’m a huge fan of high fantasy, and this sounds right up my alley.
What I noticed immediately with this book was the point of view. It felt like someone was writing a book, telling a book, inside of this book being written. It was a little weird at first, but I quickly grew fond of it.
Dense writing isn’t always a bad thing
I was quickly charmed with the writing style, because I felt like I got to know the main character much faster. I knew what he was thinking all the time (past and present), which, at first, was new to me. I’m more used to third person omniscient, or at least limited, but this was completely different to me. With this more connectedness to FitzChivalry, however, there was less knowledge of the other characters, without seeing through Fitz’s eyes.
Eventually, you liked who he liked, and and you disliked who he disliked. It was different, having your emotions manipulated like that, but I didn’t notice it until I started writing this review, some time later.
More world-developing was included with the way this book was written, with little epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. Somehow, I found them interesting and thoughtful, never really irked or annoyed by the fact that the story was interrupted by this addition.
True hatred shines through
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this was the first book that truly made me loathe a character. It was so believable how Hobb portrayed all of the characters, keeping everything one-sided and aligned with Fitz’s opinions and what he knows.
With each character being pictured as how Fitz saw them, you understood his feelings toward them because all you knew was his feelings. It enhanced everything, made you follow Fitz and care for Fitz more and more, and care for those he cared for more and more, and hated those he hated.
While most of the book was really slow and building up to the finale, the ending made it all worth it. I wasn’t sure how I would like it with the slow build-up, especially with how it builds up throughout the entire trilogy, making one book faster than another.
Final Rating: ★★★★½☆
This is a very dense, very uniquely written fantasy novel that immediately caught my interest. I enjoyed all of the depth put into the characters, and seriously enjoyed being cut off from everyone else’s mind-it made me relate more and want to know more, if that makes sense.
Would I Recommend?
Do not read this unless you like those dense fantasy novels like A Games of Thrones or The Name of the Wind. If you like those books, I can pretty much guarantee liking this series.
Published: April 1st, 1995
Publisher: Del Rey
Page Count: 435
Genre: Fantasy (high/epic)
Synopsis: via Goodreads
Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill–and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.
As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.