Thursday, July 22, 2021

Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb
The Tawny Man #1


Title: Fool's Errand
Series: The Tawny Man #1
Author: Robin Hobb

For fifteen years FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him. But that is about to change when destiny seeks him once again. Prince Dutiful, the young heir to the Farseer throne, has vanished and FitzChivalry, possessed of magical skills both royal and profane, is the only one who can retrieve him in time for his betrothal ceremony--thus sparing the Six Duchies profound political embarrassment...or worse. But even Fitz does not suspect the web of treachery that awaits him or how his loyalties to his Queen, his partner, and those who share his magic will be tested to the breaking point.

What an amazing journey this is turning out to be!

In order to understand how happy I am after reading Fool's Errand, you have to be a fan of Fantasy. It could be Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or insert your favorite here. Just think more books in the world you adore are available.

I’m back with FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool. What a team!

The last time we saw FitzChivalry Farseer, he had saved the Six Duchies yet no one knows he did (well almost no one). For the last fifteen years, Fitz has been living like a hermit with Nighteyes and Hap. Hap was brought to Fitz by Staling when he was a child. Fitz has raised him as his adopted son. Fitz is hiding his identity and going by the name of Tom Badgerlock.

Now that Hap is becoming a man. He needs money to learn a trade. Fitz fears that is time for him to let him go. 

Then his past comes knocking. 

First, there is Chade who wants Fitz to come back to Buckkeep to teach Prince Dutiful the Skill. 

Then, The Fool returns from who knows where (haha we do know) and stays for a little while. 

Then a messenger from Queen Kettricken arrives asking Tom to come back to Buckkeep, his help is needed. When he arrives, he discovers that Prince Dutiful is gone. He has been taken and just before his betrothal ceremony! Fitz must find him before it's too late. Fitz, Nighteyes, the Fool, and Huntswoman Lauren will embark on this errand.

Between the Skill and the Wit, this is another magnificent piece of fantasy that Robin Hobb gives us.

Fitz is more mature and suffers less although I do feel like he has been used and coerced more times than he should.

I won’t lie, a certain part of the book made me ugly cry. #Devastated. I will say no more.

Starting the next one now.

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren


Title: The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 18th, 2021

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents--who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno--Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father's never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn't "father material" before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard...and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that's predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly's founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can't wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we'll pay you. Jess--who is barely making ends meet--is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the "Diamond" pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist--and the science behind a soulmate--than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When I think about romance, I’m happy that Christina Lauren can write them and write them well. 

This time, this pair has succeeded again in crafting interesting characters in Jess, River, Juno, and Fizzy. Furthermore, this one had a futuristic undertone by using something like GeneticAlly. 

The premise: With just a small sample of saliva, you can be successfully matched with your soulmate. Forget about the dating apps when DNAduo can tell you which relationship will have a favorable outcome.

Jess is a single mother who's doing the best she can for her daughter, Juno. Her grandparents are a big part of her life since her parents are not. Her father or better said, sperm donor was never in the picture and her mother was a junkie. Juno's father is also not in the picture. He bailed when she was pregnant without a backward glance. Juno's friend, Fizzy, wants Jess to start dating again but Jess is not sure she is ready. Then on a night when she is feeling down, she decides to submit her own sample. She is shocked when she learns they have found a match for her and the identity of this so-called match is even more astonishing.

For River Pena, the scientist behind the technology, learning that he has his own diamond match (98%) astounds him. If he was not the scientist who created it, he wouldn't believe it. A diamond match is almost unheard of and this could make his company become an instant success. Learning that Jess is his match flabbergasted him until he starts spending time with her and Juno.

I know I should mention how much I enjoyed The Soulmate Equation but I think I should say instead of how much I loved Fizzy and Juno in this one. Fizzy was everything someone should want in a friend to be and Juno simply put, was adorable. They made the story more believable and complemented Jess and River's storyline perfectly. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Gallery Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
The Liveship Traders #3


Title: Ship of Destiny
Series: The Liveship Traders #3
Author: Robin Hobb

As Bingtown slides toward disaster, clan matriarch Ronica Vestrit, branded a traitor, searches for a way to bring the city's inhabitants together against a momentous threat. Meanwhile, Althea Vestrit, unaware of what has befallen Bingtown and her family, continues her perilous quest to track down and recover her liveship, the "Vivacia, "from the ruthless pirate Kennit.

Bold though it is, Althea's scheme may be in vain. For her beloved "Vivacia "will face the most terrible confrontation of all as the secret of the liveships is revealed. It is a truth so shattering, it may destroy the "Vivacia "and all who love her, including Althea's nephew, whose life already hangs in the balance.

The conclusion of this trilogy was satisfying in all the ways that it counts!

I was happy to see that all the Vestrid women were strong in character. They did what had to be done, despite all being in different situations with different dangers. The same thing goes for Wintrow who became a man despite his young age and his little brother, Selden, who stood up when it was vital.
My favorite character development hands down has to be Malta. She evolved from someone I hated to becoming my favorite character (sorry, Althea but it's true). Malta went from an annoying little brat to a resourceful and interesting young woman who has been well-matched with Reyn.

The next best character development was Paragon. Through this book, we learned what truly happened to him and by who. Thanks to Amber in Ship of Destiny, he is comfortable in his own skin. Or should I say wood?

Tintaglia was a wonderful addition to the mix. I can see how she will change the future of the realm.

If I have to say what I disliked about this book, I would have to say it had to do with where the story went with Kennit. I felt it was a wasted use of an antihero. I'm also not sure I liked the new Vivacia but I guess it had to happen. 

I can't finish this review without making a stand. If you are an impatient reader (which I am) this series is not for you. The Realm of the Elderlings series is full of books that are long, detailed, and slow prosed. They are meant to be savored and unless you have been warned like I was (thank you hubby), you won't enjoy them.  You will think why are all these details important? Why does it matter? I would answer that the key is most of the time in the details. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Broken Prey by John Sandford
Lucas Davenport #16

Title: Broken Prey
Series: Lucas Davenport #16
Author: John Sandford
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: Published May 2, 2006

The first body is of a young woman, found on a Minneapolis riverbank, her throat cut, her body scourged and put on display. Whoever did this, Lucas Davenport knows, is pushed by brain chemistry. There is something wrong with him. This isn’t a bad love affair. 
The second body is found three weeks later, in a farmhouse six miles south. Same condition, same display—except this time it is a man. Nothing to link the two victims, nothing to indicate that the killings end here.
“This guy…” Lucas said. He took a deep breath, let it out as a sigh. “This guy is going to bust our chops.”

And soon he is going to do far, far worse than that…

Lucas is back!

This time he is after a real piece of work serial killer. Someone so evil that he doesn't care if what he tortures and kills is a man or a woman. 

The first body was of a woman. She was brutalized and displayed. Sloan, a homicide detective, and Lucas's friend is on the case. Unfortunately, as the days passed and no other lead becomes available, the case starts to become a cold one.

Then, three weeks later, a second killing occurs. Some DNA is found and this leads Lucas to a recently released inmate named Charlie Pope. Pope had been incarcerated in a hospital where 3 other inmates could have been advising him on how to perfect his crimes once he was free. The only problem Lucas has is that everyone who knew Pope thought of him as someone rather dumb. 

Lucas begins to question if there's a second killer involved?

Broken Prey was quite different from other books in this series as we are kept in the dark about the killer's identity. Things don't go as smoothly as in others novels since Lucas can't seem to catch a break. Also, he's missing his family since Weather and the kids are away in London. Worse, his friend Sloan is thinking of retiring. 

Through Broken Prey, the major point in levity comes from the list of songs Lucas is making. Lucas received a gift for iTunes and he's trying to create the best 100 rock song's playlist. The characters keep on advising Lucas on which songs to add or eliminate from his list. At the end of the book, the list is there and I can say, that I approved. Might need to add a few of the songs I don't currently have on my playlist and some Beatles too :)

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
The Liveship Traders #2

Title: The Mad Ship
Series: The Liveship Traders #2
Author: Robin Hobb

The Farseer trilogy continues the dramatic tale of piracy, serpents, love and magic. The Vestrit family's liveship, Vivacia, has been taken by the pirate king, Kennit. Held captive on board, Wintrow Vestrit finds himself competing with Kennit for Vivacia's love as the ship slowly acquires her own bloodlust. Leagues away, Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but she lives only to reclaim the Vivacia and with her friend, Brashen, she plans a dangerous rescue. Meanwhile in Bingtown, the fading fortunes of the Vestrit family lead Malta deeper into the magical secrets of the Rain Wild Traders. And just outside Bingtown, Amber dreams of relaunching Paragon, the mad liveship.

In the second breathtaking volume of Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy, a new tide of glory and terror sweeps forward the story of the Vestrit clan, their liveship Vivacia, and all who strive to possess her.

As the ancient tradition of Bingtown's Old Traders slowly erodes under the cold new order of a corrupt ruler, the Vestrits anxiously await the return of their liveship--a rare magic ship carved from sentient wizardwood, which bonds the ships mystically with those who sail them. And Althea Vestrit waits even more avidly, living only to reclaim the ship as her lost inheritance and captain her on the high seas. But the Vivacia has been seized by the ruthless pirate captain Kennit, who holds Althea's nephew and his father hostage.

Althea and her onetime sea mate Brashen resolve to liberate the liveship--but their plan may prove more dangerous than leaving the Vivacia in Kennit's ambitious grasp....

The second book in this trilogy has the Vestrit family members all over the place.

Althea is in the Ophelia and doing a good job at it but her thoughts are all about recovering her ship Vivacia. She dreams of being able to be back on her ship and sailing her. 

Ronica and Kefrria are trying to deal with the loss of their family fortune and keeping their house and holdings the best way they can.

Malta is still behaving like an obnoxious and selfish kid but as the story progresses, I can see hints of a different person emerging.

Wintrow is a captive onboard the Vivacia. He's shocked when he realizes that Kennit has started charming the ship and stirring her into piracy. He also starts believing that Kennit is not all bad.

Amber wants to protect Paragon from getting destroyed. She wants to buy him to avoid the liveship from being chopped into pieces.

Brashen finds himself close to piracy too until he hears that Vivacia has been taken by Kennit. He will go back home to alert the Vestrits of her capture. They all know that they will need help getting Vivacia back and Paragon might be the answer to their prayers.

The Mad Ship sets up a good foundation for the end of the trilogy. All the Vestrits are in danger one way or the other and Hobb never makes things easy for any of them. Although, not as hard as they were for Fitz. 

Great character development especially with Malta and an amazing woven and intricate world-building as always. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fang

Sunday, June 27, 2021

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Title: People We Meet on Vacation
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: May 11, 2021 

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

As a lover of Beach Read, I could not stop myself from requesting this book. 

Meet Poppy, the protagonist. When she was a teenager she was bullied and when she was old enough she never stopped running. She left Ohio not wanting to ever return except to see her parents. As an adult, she is daring, adventurous, humorous, and with a desire to travel all over the world. At first, during her college years at the cheapest way she could afford it and currently in a much more plush way thanks to her current job.

In college, she meets Alex. At first glance, they had nothing in common and they disregard each other without a backward glance.

The second time they meet, they are forced to take a car ride together and during their time alone they share many pieces of themselves and a friendship ensues.

Poppy has always wanted to travel the world and having a friend like Alex is a blessing. They start taking trips together every year. They call it their Summer Trip.

Their friendship is a good one despite the people who come into their lives. For Alex there is Sarah. A woman who is in and out of his life. While for Poppy, she has a few serious male candidates.

Then the Croatia trip happens. After it, they won't really see each other for two years until Poppy realizes she wants to fix things with Alex. A trip to Palm Springs might be the antidote she is looking for their dying friendship.

I like Poppy she was full of life but she also had her pretty big insecurities. Alex was the serious one. A book-lover (yay), khaki-wearing guy. He was ready to settle down in a small town and have a family.

There were some parts of this book that tugged at my heartstrings. During those, I found myself smiling or crying depending on the scenario.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Berkely via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
The Liveship Traders #1


Title: Ship of Magic
Series: The Liveship Traders #1
Author: Robin Hobb

Wizardwood, a sentient wood.The most precious commodity in the world.

Like many other legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds.

But how can one trade with the Rain Wilders, when only a liveship fashioned from wizardwood can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain River? Rare and valuable a liveship will quicken only when three members, from successive generations, have died on board. The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening as Althea Vestrit’s father is carried on deck in his death-throes. Althea waits for the ship that she loves more than anything else in the world to awaken. Only to discover that the Vivacia has been signed away in her father’s will to her brutal brother-in-law, Kyle Haven...

Others plot to win or steal a liveship. The Paragon, known by many as the Pariah, went mad, turned turtle, and drowned his crew. Now he lies blind, lonely, and broken on a deserted beach. But greedy men have designs to restore him, to sail the waters of the Rain Wild River once more.

After finishing The Assassin's Quest, I was ready to put a brake on the series and squeeze a few other audios before I resumed it. That thought lasted about 3 minutes before I dived back into the world of the Six Duchess and now Bingtown. 

At the core of the storyline, we have the Vestrit family. They own the ship Vivacia which is made of wizardwood. In order for Vivacia to quicken, three successive generations have to die on board the ship. 

Althea, the youngest daughter, dreams of inheriting the ship. She has a connection with it. Her father, Ephron Vestrit, knows it. However, her mother Ronica and sister, Keffria have other plans. They want Kyle Haven, her bother in law to take over the ship. 

During her marriage, Ronica had stayed behind taking care of the household and their holdings while Ephron left trip after trip onboard the Vivacia. She was the one who met with the Rain Wild Traders and kept her side of their bargain. One thing Ronica was clear on, was that Ephron didn't want to take his boat into the waters of the Rain River in order not to make their debt even a higher one with the Rain Wild people. 

Keffria has let her mother and her husband do what they thought was right. Yet, when Kyle was last back, she realized she might have made a mistake and now her family would suffer for it. 

Wintrow, Kyle's young son, only wants to continue on his journey to becoming a priest of Sa but his father wants him on the Vivacia instead.

Keffria's daughter, Malta, is a spoiled young girl who only thinks about being introduced at the ball, seeking the attention of young boys, and owning pretty things.

Brashen Trell, a man who is a good sailor who was part of the Vivacia crew until Kyle took it away from him. He is probably Althea's HEA.

Paragon, the Pariah. A Liveboat who went mad. He is blind and stuck on the beach. But for how long?

Amber, a newcomer to Bingtown with a special knack for handling and modifying wood.

Pirate Kennit, who would like to become the King of Pirates and his other desire is to capture a Liveship. He has luck on his side but maybe not all the time.

Of course, there are others that help with the characterization like Kennit's First Mate and the woman he cares for but won't admit it to himself.

Ship of Magic had the best ingredients to earn and keep my attention. A good storyline with credible characters despite the fantasy elements and the wish that I could meet them somehow and be able to help them. Although maybe not on a ship at sea on treacherous paths while serpents are following us and trying to eat us.

Yes, SoM's audio was long, a little more than thirty-five hours but worth it because now I know more of Bingtown and its dynamics. It made me laugh when they say the inhabitant of the north (Six Duchess) are all barbarians. I also have my suspicions about Amber. I do like Pirate Kennit as an anti-hero and I would like to see Paragon sailing again. I'm sure Malta will be in trouble and she will hopefully mature into someone who cares more for other things than jewels. So far, Wintrow and Althea have had the worst luck. 

I'm excited to see what happens next.

Cliffhanger: Yes

4/5 Fangs

Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy #3

Title: Assassin's Quest
Series: The Farseer Trilogy #3
Author: Robin Hobb

Fitz is about to discover the truth about the Fool's prophecy. Having been resurrected from his fatal tortures in Regal's dungeons, Fitz has once more foiled the Prince's attempts to be rid of him.

Now, restored to his own body, Fitz begins the painful, slow process of learning to be a man again. He must learn to cast off the wild ways of the wolf and return to the human world: a world beset evermore by the relentless Red Ships Raiders who are now free to plunder any coastal town they please. But more immediately, a world in which Fitz finds he is utterly alone.

Regal has stripped the kingdom of its riches and retired to the inland city of Tradeford. Of Verity, on his quest to find the legendary Elderlings, there has been no word; Molly, Kettricken and the Fool have all vanished.

Unless Fitz can find Verity and help him in his quest, the Six Duchies will perish and there will be no safe place to live.

Short of thirty-eight hours, this audio was exactly what I was expecting. I knew from a friend (ok ok, it was my husband) that the end of this book wouldn't be completely satisfying. So I was ready to be upset at poor Fitz's fate. Yet, when the ending happened, I was more impressed than anything else. What an amazing world Robin Hobb has created! I couldn't be anything but in awe of her writing. Her characters are so well crafted and developed that I was lost to her world. It also helped that I knew there was way more Fitz in other books and this was not the end of him and his troubles.

As the name of the book implies, our Fitz has a rude awakening after what happened at the end of the second book. Fitz is back, he is not a boy anymore and for a while, he wants to break free of his duty, he wants to seek revenge. He wants to run free like a wolf and do with his life as if it was his own to command. But was it truly a quest of self-discovery or was it Fate guiding him?

”No choice, no choice, no choice. Never any choice about anything. Fate had made me a killer, a liar, and a thief. And the harder I tried to avoid those roles, the more firmly I was pushed into them.”

In the end, Fitz does what he must. He must look for Verity and if that means searching for him in the most inhospitable places, he will do it but not without getting hurt but gaining knowledge and wisdom in the process. We also get some glimpses of Chade, Burrock, Molly, Nettle, and Patience thanks to the Skill.

Luckily, the last leg of his traveling is not done alone. The Fool, Kettricken, and Nighteyes are with him. Also, Starling, who was not a favorite of mine and I wasn't sure why she had to be there but having the other ones there and knowing that at least someone knew that Fitz was alive and what had happened to him made me happy. 

Even though, I've told you I thought Robin Hobb did an amazing job at creating this world, my huge issue with her is what she did to Fitz. It's almost as she enjoyed writing his misfortunes over and over again. This young man has suffered and lost so much! How much pain and suffering does the main character have to endure before he can be happy in the end? I guess the long answer to my question will be: 

Sixteen books.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Monday, June 7, 2021

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy #2

Title: Royal Assassin
Series: The Farseer Trilogy #2
Author: Robin Hobb

Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Royal Assassin begins just where Apprentice Assassin ended.

If you read the books you know what happened to Fitz. Suffice it to say, he didn't do so well on his first solo quest as an Assassin to help his King and King-in-Waiting, Verity. At least, the Six Duchies has gained a Queen-in-Waiting, Kettricken.

In the beginning, Fitz is not sure about himself. He was hurt during the events that happened a the end of book one and he's still recuperating. But Fitz must go back to Buckkeep not only because of his promise to his King but also because he wants to look for Molly, his friend.

When he gets to Buckkeep, King Shrewd is not himself. He looks sick. King-in-Waiting, Verity is trying to keep the raiders off the Six Duchies without much success. The one good piece of good news is that Molly is now working at Buckkeep. The bad news is that by him caring for her, he has painted a target on her back. 

Fitz does make a new connection with an animal, NightEyes who becomes one of my favorite characters in this book (Just like I loved Nosy and Smithy).

In Royal Assassin, nothing really good happens to Fitz. He has the bad luck of being a bastard and having Regal as an enemy. His life is nothing but dangerous situations and people trying to kill him.
Despite things not going well for him, I did enjoy this book and so many of the characters have become dear to me, including Kettricken, Verity, NightEyes, The Fool, Patience, Lacey, and Burrich.

The ending of this book is quite sad in a way.

Cliffhanger: Yes

4/5 Fangs

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy #1

Title: Assassin's Apprentice
Series: The Farseer Trilogy #1
Author: Robin Hobb

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

“When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool you end up looking like a moron instead.”

My husband told me I should listen to this series. 

Foolish me. I thought it was a trilogy. Once I was invested in Fitz's life, I realized there are 16 books in this world and that Fitz is still very much present in the last book!

So what's the Farseer Trilogy about?

The main character, Fitz is born a bastard. Before the age of six, Fitz can't recall anything including his mother. His first memory is of his mother's father  (can't really call him a grandfather since he didn't act like one) taking him to his father's Royal Guard. Prince Chivalry was not there but his stablemaster, Burrich was. 

For most people in the Six Duchies, it's shocking to learn that Prince Chivarly betrayed his wife since their marriage was one out of love than duty. Chivalry, who was King-in-Waiting, decides to exile with his wife, Patience without meeting Fitz. Chivalry's brother, Prince Verity becomes King-in-Waiting. 

At first, when Fitz arrives, he sleeps with the dogs and creates a bond with one of them, Nosy. He speaks very little and he runs free after helping in the stables until the day King Shrewd notices him when he was shy of his tenth birthday. The King promises Fitz to feed him, clothe him in exchange for him being sworn to the Farseer line. Furthermore, King Shrewd wants Fitz to learn to become an assassin, and later he wants him to learn to Skill.

“You need not eat any man’s leavings. I will keep you, and I will keep you well. If any man or woman ever seeks to turn you against me by offering you more than I do, then come to me, and tell me of the offer, and I shall meet it. You will never find me a stingy man, nor be able to cite ill use as a reason for treason against me. Do you believe me, boy?”

The Farseer line has been blessed with the Skill, a way of communicating (like telepathy) but it also can force its will into someone's mind without their knowledge. There is also the Wit which is not spoken of and only a few know and have. It's a way of communicating with animals and sharing their minds (mind link). To have that power is seeing as a perversion by some.

Fitz, without really wanting to, has many enemies, including Prince Regal who will stop at anything until he can see that Fitz is dead. Furthermore, the kingdom does have a common enemy, the Red-Ship Raiders who are responsible for the Forged ones: Men and women who after being taken by the raiders, are returned without a conscience. The Forged ones will murder and destroy everything in their path.

I was happy with this first book in the trilogy. Robin Hobb creates an amazing fantasy world full of intrigue, treachery, and unforgettable characters. It has a slow pace and very few moments of action but it does set a good base for books to come.

As soon as I finished the Assassin Apprentice, I started listening to the next one, Royal Assassin.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs