Throwback Thursday: Farseer Trilogy

Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend Posts and Book BFF Posts on Thursdays as well, but the Larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to celebrate some of the reads we loved way back when...

Farseer Trilogy
By: Robin Hobb
Release Date: 1995-1997

Assassin’s Apprentice, book 1 of the Farseer Trilogy was published in the mid-90s, although I only discovered it in the last few years. This is epic fantasy, with kings and queens, magic and intrigue. The series follows the life of FitzChivalry Farseer, illegitimate son of the King-in-Waiting of the Six-Duchies. He is dumped at the castle by his maternal grandfather and is given into the care of his father's servant, Burrich. In the first book of the trilogy, we see Fitz grow from a small boy to a trained killer in service of his king and grandfather. Not all are happy to have Fitz at court, and his life is a dangerous one. In addition to this the land is under attack from raiders across the sea. The raiders take people as well as food and wealth. The fight against the raiders is a major part of the story and they are a formidable enemy. We're kept in suspense as to what they do to their prisoners right to the end of the final book and the reveal is worth the wait. 

As well as Fitz's personal story, there's the story of the Six-Duchies itself. The books are told in the first person and at the beginning of each chapter there's a small section that Fitz is writing on the history of the land and people. This serves as a clever exposition tool, introducing places, people and mythology without bogging down the story. 

 My favourite character by far is the Fool. I loved him, particularly in the later books. I shared his frustration with Fitz when he didn't understand what he was being told and didn't make the links that I had already made. A really well written character. 

 I love the world that Robin Hobb created in this book and have read all of the books set in the same world. As well as the Farseer Trilogy, there’s the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Tawny Man Trilogy. Some characters pass between the different series, and the events contained within have implications for each of the others. 

 Hobb has recently released a new book featuring Fitz and the Fool and it was so wonderful to revisit this series. 

 Robin Hobb is one of my favourite fantasy writers and the Farseer Trilogy is a master class in storytelling. If you haven’t read it, then I highly recommend it.

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 Chivalry 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, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

This is the sequel to the highly successful Assassin's Apprentice, which sees family betrayal, treachery and assassination in the six Duchies.

King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz—or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest—perhaps to death. Only Verity’s return—or the heir his princess carries—can save the Six Duchies.
But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him—currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was.