The first book of Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy, Assassin’s Apprentice, is an easy-to-read fantasy adventure with political intrigue and social insecurity with a nice dose of magic. Written in the first person as a memoir of an older Fitz looking back at his oldest memories and the beginnings of his career as an assassin. Although Hobb could have used the older Fitz to create a larger picture of what was going on, she instead kept the perspective exclusively on what was happening in his life as part of the larger picture.
The book covers a decade in young Fitz life and shows the social isolation of a bastard who caused his father’s exile and abdication. Young Fitz has an abundance of men to look up to throughout the 10 year period, who over the same period he either disappoints or learns to distrust. Fitz finds himself dealing with two types of magical abilities, one treasured and one frowned up, which both shape his young life and potentially the future. However at the end of the book, only one stage of Fitz’s journey is at an end and nothing really has been resolved save for the defeat of a court conspiracy.
Assassin’s Apprentice is not a standalone book, it is the first of a trilogy and ends with none of the threads introduced in anyway wrapped up. But that doesn’t takeaway from the enjoyable experience it is exploring the Six Duchies with young Fitz as he begins to create a place in the world for himself.