Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1)
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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.
Praise for Robin Hobb and Assassin’s Apprentice
“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin
“A gleaming debut in the crowded field of epic fantasies . . . a delightful take on the powers and politics behind the throne.”—Publishers Weekly
“This is the kind of book you fall into, and start reading slower as you get to the end, because you don’t want it to be over.”—Steven Brust
silent and contained, in my accustomed place, and met every eye that was lifted to mine. That, I think, was why no one spoke a word to me. They were forced to take their places around me. They did not speak to each other, either. And we waited. The sun came up, and even cleared the wall around the tower, and still Galen had not come. But they kept their places and waited and so I did likewise. Finally I heard his halting steps upon the stairs. When he emerged, he blinked in the sun's pale
rose from the cottages, no boats rode in the harbor. I knew my road would take me right through it. I did not relish the idea, but the warm thread of Smithy's life tugged me on. I lifted my head to the scuff of feet against stone. Only the reflexes of Hod's long training saved me. I came about, staff at the ready, and swept around me in a defensive circle that cracked the jaw of the one that was behind me. The others fell back. Three others. All Forged, empty as stone. The one I had struck was
discovery and crews who braved terrible storms and of foolish captains who took down their ships with all hands. I learned many of the traditional ones by heart, but the tales I loved best came not from the professional storytellers but from the sailors themselves. These were not the tales told at the hearths for all to hear, but the warnings and tidings passed from crew to crew as the men shared a bottle of brandy or a loaf of yellow pollen bread. They spoke of catches they'd made, nets full to
glanced at me over his shoulder, puzzled. “Seems a bit of a waste of time to me. Hands will see to your mount, won't he? You need to bathe and dress if you're to be on time for dinner. Charim? Have you water for him?” The serving man straightened from arranging Verity's garments on the bed. “Right away, sir. And I'll lay out his clothes as well.” In the space of the next hour, my place in the world seemed to shift topsy-turvy. I had known this was coming. Both Burrich and Chade had tried to
lapped a bit, and then curled up, exhausted. She picked him up and cradled him in her arms, her head bent over his. “There's something I want from you,” I began. “Anything.” She spoke into his fur. “Ask, and it's yours.” “First, stop giving him your food. Give him only red meat and boiled grain for a while. And for a dog that size, no more than you can cup in your hand. And don't carry him everywhere. Make him run about, to give him some muscle and wear down his nails. And wash him. He smells