Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1)

Synopsis:
The bastard son of a prince gets training in the art of deception, eavesdropping, and murder, while failing to master the royal Skill, a sort of telepathy that is the Six Duchies chief weapon against the Red Ship Raiders, who harry the coast leaving only zombies in their wake.

Review:
This is my second read of Assassin’s Apprentice, and it’s been an odd experience. Actually, I listened to the audiobook version, and while I enjoyed the narrator’s performance I was disappointed to find Robin Hobb’s prose to be a little clunkier than I remembered. I got a little tired of “rueful” smiles and people replying “mildly.” The story felt lighter than I remember, too, though I could see the seeds planted for the threads I know the later story will encompass. It was thrilling to see mention of the Rain Wilds, given how largely they figure in later books. I am hoping the rest in the series hold up better.

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