“The Farseer Trilogy” by Robin Hobb

Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ☆☆☆☆ ½

Assassin’s Apprentice (Book 1)

Royal Assassin (Book 2)

Assassin’s Quest (Book 3)

Synopsis:  In the land of the Six Duchies, a young boy is being brought to the castle of King Shrewd.  The bastard child of King-in-Waiting Chivalry, FitzChivalry Farseer (Fitz is an old, quite literal term meaning “son of”) begins his journey.  After Fitz’s arrival, Prince Chivalry abdicates his claim on the throne in shame for siring a bastard and retreats to a private estate far away, leaving second brother Prince Verity first in line for the throne.

After spending the bulk of his childhood being raised by Chivalry’s man, Burrich, in the stables of Buckkeep (the castle of the Six Duchies), King Shrewd decides to educate him… and use him.  For King Shrewd has his own bastard brother, and he is Shrewd’s most loyal assassin.  It is the destiny of FitzChivalry to learn the trade, for country and King.

Over time, the youngest prince, Prince Regal, grows weary of wealth without power.  He is incredibly jealous of his brother, Prince Verity, and wants the throne for his own.  Fitz is also a threat to Regal, as he is the son of FitzChivalry, bastard or not.  He is of royal blood. Regal’s desire for the power of the throne threatens to overtake him.

Meanwhile, the Six Duchies are suffering from a terrible plague on their land.  Pirates from another land, the Outislands, are raiding the shores of the Six Duchies, leaving nothing but destruction in their wake.  Within this destruction comes a new threat – Forging.  Those who are not murdered outright in these raids are “forged”, a process that removes their emotions completely, leaving them unable to feel anything for anyone.  A form of zombification, they are left with only their base needs, and they only add to the wave of terror.

The shores are being raided, the royal family is playing a deadly game for power, and FitzChivalry may be the only one who can save them all.

Opinion: What a book series! I was so enthralled with the life of Fitz from the beginning!

While there were so many plot lines happening all at once and intertwining with each other, the story truly was, in summary, the Adventures of FitzChivalry Farseer.  It was if a camera focused just on Fitz, and you just followed him around for the many years the book spans.  And it was amazing!

The best part of this series is the magic.  There are two types, the Skill and the Wit.  They are relatively the same power – telepathy and the ability to control others minds (think Professor X from X-Men).  However, the Skill is the ability to do this with other human beings. The Wit is a telepathic connection with an animal.  The Skill is very rare, tending to only run through the royal family blood line, and those who possess it are considered highly sought after and respected.

The Wit, however, is something that is considered by many as an abomination – something that needs to be eradicated from society.  It is evil, distasteful, and disgusting.  Most people feel a sense of revulsion for those who practice the Wit.  Fitz has both.

It is Fitz’s main Wit companion through this series, grey wolf “Nighteves”, that will stick with me far beyond this series, and is one of the main reasons I would like to continue reading on with the other trilogies written by Robin Hobb. (The Liveship Traders Trilogy, The Tawny Man trilogy, the Rain Wilds trilogy, and the Fitz and the Fool trilogy).   It is Nighteyes’ declarations of how “We are pack” that will stay with me forever.

It is also the character of the Fool that captured my attention, and then my heart.  The Fool is not human. He is a colorless, androgynous, seer of the future.  Serving the Farseer royal line, the Fool is always there with a witty quip or two.

I cannot recommend this series highly enough.  While some may find it slow-paced, that was not something I really considered while reading it.  But, I also think it is probably all in how you see the book.  If you see it as a story that needs to play out, then it might run slow for you. If you see it as the Continuing Adventures of FitzChivalry, you won’t be disappointed.  I cannot wait to continue on with the series. I want to know what Fitz is doing today!

Goodreads Link: “The Farseer Trilogy” by Robin Hobb

Amazon.com Link: “The Farseer Trilogy” by Robin Hobb