By: Robin Hob
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
The first volume in Robin Hobb’s internationally best-selling Farseer series.
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chilvary Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely.
Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribbing, courtly manners, and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.
©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Assassin’s Apprentice is the first book in the Farseer Trilogy, the first series out of five that encompassed Robin Hobb’s The Realm of the Elderlings series. 16 books, a novella and a few short stories. It is one hell of a commitment (more so then the dark tower!). I have not read them all (yet), but I think Joe has (kudos joe).
Assassins apprentice can be considered a foundation novel, an introduction to characters that play pivotal roles within the whole Elderlings series. When I first read this book (yes read) I thought that Hobb’s writing style was a little slow, with not much action. I thought this was to fully emerge the reader into the world she has created. On this I was wrong, her style of writing continues like this through many of her books. For me this is not a negative.
There is a warm feeling of comfort in Hobbs words, like being wrapped in a blanket on a cold evening. Her writing is just nice, maybe nice was a little bit mean, her prose can be beautiful. Mostly I get a feeling of nice contentment as I listen to her words.
I really enjoying being taken to the world Hobb creates, its simple but beautiful. There are two types of magic, the Wit and the Skill, both are very easy to understand.
Just because I use the word simple and easy to describe Hobb’s world, do not think that this means the stories and characters lack depth, this is just wrong. Hobb has a great Skill (see what I did?) in creating fully fleshed out characters and story lines. This book will make you want to listen to the next…. IF! And it’s a big IF…. You can get past ……
The narrator uses a fake British accent for the whole of this book. Paul Boehmer (the narrator) is American, I have listened to samples of other audiobooks he has narrated, his usual reading voice is fine, and would have been better.
I eventually got used to the voice of the narrator but that should ring alarm bells. Having to get used to the narrator’s voice is a major flaw in any audiobook.
Boehmer’s reading style is also slightly jarring. He reads quite slow, I can deal with that, but the way he delivers the sentences with so much stress at the end. Combined with a slightly to long pause at the end of each sentience, making it sound like the end of a chapter.
The recording quality was also poor in my opinion. Such a shame as I really enjoyed Hobb’s story.
“Don’t do what you can’t undo, until you’ve considered what you can’t do once you’ve done it.”
This is a great book, I love it, but the narrator! I really hope that they redo the narration at some point, as the story is exceptionally good, and I so want the audiobook to be the same.
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