Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

March 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

Farseer Trilogy: Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest
Rating: 4/5
Verdict: One of the must read for fantasy fans

How do you know you have stumbled onto something great? When you spend 7 hours reading, so you could know the whole story. And then you spend rest of the day just thinking about it.
This is what Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb did to me. Not in the beginning, mind you. It was good, of course. It was engaging, no doubt. But there was a slowness to it. Then I read next one in series. It’s end only meant that I pick up last one immediately and immerse myself in it. And by the end of it, you are a fan. Of the series. Of the Author.
While it has all the common fantasy elements – medieval world, Royalty, Court intrigue, Magic, loyalty, war, sibling rivalry; it still managed to be different. War is just backdrop to the story. Magic, just a tool. It’s characters in the series who shine out. It’s their story, told by the illegitimate child of prince. As a Hero, he’s not perfect. He stumbles and falls. He refuses to heed advice given by his mentors. But that’s what keeps you engaged. It’s the imperfectness of people that one identifies with. They are human and they make mistakes. Til the end. Of course, there are times when you want to yell at them about obvious stupid choices. And it’s only by the end, you realize how each of those choices developed those characters, gave them the strength to be what they should be. You feel their pain and the triumphs. This is what makes it such an interesting series.
Book begins with bastard child of king-to-be brought to the castle, which is ruled by one shrewd King (and that’s his name too). His kingdom includes 6 duchies which bicker amongst each other. On arrival of this child, his father abdicates his claim to the throne and leaves child in care of his stable master. This child catches eye of the king who decides to train him as an assassin like his own bastard brother. New king-in-waiting, his uncle, likes him but next heir in line of throne detests him. This child, apart from skill magic of farseer line also carries old blood magic known as wit. Wit allows him to bond to animals and skill lets him talk to his uncle using mind. This wit also causes people to mistrust him and even his death and eventual resurrection.
Throw in King’s murder by his own son, real king away on a quest and declared dead, war brought by enemy from far, lost love and you have a trilogy. Engaging read and somewhat dark. End was very much a surprise. And you should be reading the series to find out what it was.

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