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Re: Assassin's Apprentice

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  • mightylyssa@yahoo.com
    I m happy Assassin s Apprentice was chosen as the BOTM as well. It s probably not a book I would have picked up through browsing at the store. Now I feel
    Message 1 of 24 , May 1, 2001
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      I'm happy Assassin's Apprentice was chosen as the BOTM as well. It's
      probably not a book I would have picked up through browsing at the
      store. Now I feel that strong urge to finish the series.

      Fitz is a strong, likeable character as the first person narrative
      demands. He has the strong values we would expect. Though he places
      duty at the top, he searches for avenues that will satisfy both his
      duty and his feel for what is just and right.

      I would say, however, that at times his thinking process seemed off.
      When he was young, his thoughts/actions seemed appropriate for a
      child of above average intelligence soaking everything up. Later,
      however, he seemed to bristle at things seemingly benign and let
      potentially grave actions wash past him.

      Not that Fitz did a lot of bristling. I understand he is prone to
      keeping his emotions in check and concealed, both from the odd nature
      of his childhood and his profession. But the story is first person,
      which should at least give us a wider glimpse. We did see despair
      and bitterness, but very little passion.

      I hope in the coming books that we'll begin to see the other facets
      of Fitz' humanity. I'd particularly like to see a pursuit of Molly
      or *some* romantic interest. He's closer to the dogs than to women,
      which is creepy.

      As to the dogs, I love animals and those in particular. Hobb's
      passages describing the dogs' feelings effectively made me laugh and
      cry. The triumphant return of Nosy and his appropriate mention of
      honor at the end were wonderful. From the preview at the end, it
      seems Fitz takes a wolf pup. That should be fun too.

      The supporting cast was great, though I would like to see more
      emotion there too. Perhaps because it's through Fitz' eyes that
      everyone's passion seems muted, or perhaps it's because of the palace
      setting. True, Molly, Kerry and the other beggar children in the
      town were more outgoing. I remember particular points where both
      Burrich and Verity struggled with opportunities to embrace Fitz and
      let their barriers down but, for their reasons, they did not.

      Burrich was artfully done. I felt the same as Fitz did until, like
      Fitz, my eyes were opened. I lived through the majority of the book
      thinking, "Well, Burrich is kind to Fitz and wants to help him, but
      he did kill that innocent dog." When Burrich was incredulous that
      Fitz would believe such a thing, I felt ashamed as well.

      Verity suffered from not being as fleshed out as most of the other
      main characters, but he began coming around in the end. I hope to
      understand more of him in the next book.

      Galen was appropriately hateful. The part where Burrich thrashed him
      was so sweet I had to set the book aside, close my eyes, and
      visualize in *detail* what it must have been like. <evil grin>

      The ending was nice too. In a book with "assassin" in the title and
      filled with court intrigue, you expected some twists and double
      twists at the end. Not as clever as it could have been, but more
      than clever enough to be satisfactory.

      I sincerely hope Regal breaks his short leash in the coming books as
      I still want to see him get his.

      Overall, thumbs WAY up.
    • gatewayhm@t-online.de
      Hi everybody, I must say that I was totally captivated by the book right at the beginning. I was lucky in that my husband was away for a week, and I could get
      Message 2 of 24 , May 1, 2001
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        Hi everybody,

        I must say that I was totally captivated by the book right at the beginning. I
        was lucky in that my husband was away for a week, and I could get the book read
        pretty fast! :) Anyways, I loved the way she writes, how she puts a lot of
        feelings into the character and totally pulls you into the story, making you
        want to turn the page to find out what happens next.

        I found the story very novel, I loved the idea of bonding with animals. I
        really felt with Fitz, I thought Robin portrayed his feelings while he was
        growing up very well.

        I couldn't stop with the first book but went on to read all three. The pace of
        the first two was quite fast, which I liked, as it was always exciting. The
        third slowed down abit, and I felt like Robin wanted to fill pages, or the
        exasperation of Fitz's wrong choices was part of the suspense...:)

        Anyways, a wonderful read, and it's certainly on my list to reread.

        Valerie.
      • Sidharam Drevekenin
        Well, about the first person narrative it was... Interesting... I think that s the most I can say about it. It minded me of an old story-teller telling a story
        Message 3 of 24 , May 2, 2001
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          Well, about the first person narrative it was... Interesting... I think
          that's the most I can say about it.
          It minded me of an old story-teller telling a story by the fire, or more
          of an old person telling of his life before he dies (like one of the
          introductions to one of the chapters mentioned... Something about the
          drug going through his blood and wishing he could consult just one more
          time with Chade before he died, for old times sake... Brought a tear to
          my eye.)
          My problem with it was the certainty, however. He almost commited
          suicide twice (I think) in the book... And was almost killed some more
          times... It made it too clear for me that he wasn't going to die and
          kind of threw me off the ambiance of the book... But that's probably
          just my perverce perception.

          Just an interesting question. There was one instance in the book where
          there was a symbol I couldn't quite interpret. The dagger.
          I could basically figure out that it was a seal on the pact King Shrewd
          made with FitzChivalry: never to question his loyalty again. But I'm
          sure there was something more to it. After all he took a knife from the
          King's dinner table and stuck it into Chade's fire-place, where it lies
          'till this very day (obviously many many years later)... Did anyone else
          manage to crack this one up?

          All in all though, I loved the book very much. It's a wonderful and
          unique piece of literature which was (for me) only slightly overshadowed
          by A Song of Ice and Fire which I read just before. :)


          Yours, Sidharam.

          --
          "Like private parts are we to the Gods - they play with us for their
          sport!"
          ---Lord Melchett, Black Adder II.
        • Lysander
          ... overshadowed ... That, my friend, is the curse of George Martin! Fortunatly he is up next, but he certainly does make other authors pale in comparison.
          Message 4 of 24 , May 2, 2001
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            --- In Fantasy_Books@y..., Sidharam Drevekenin <hurak@a...> wrote:

            >
            > All in all though, I loved the book very much. It's a wonderful and
            > unique piece of literature which was (for me) only slightly
            overshadowed
            > by A Song of Ice and Fire which I read just before. :)

            That, my friend, is the curse of George Martin! Fortunatly he is up
            next, but he certainly does make other authors pale in comparison.
          • Tim Andrews
            ... and will ... picture and ... slow ... I thought it was a great book! Really enjoyed it... I don t think it was slow at all initially ... annoyed at ...
            Message 5 of 24 , May 4, 2001
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              --- In Fantasy_Books@y..., peta smith <petas@o...> wrote:
              >
              > Well, I'm glad this book was chosen as BOM as I really enjoyed it
              and will
              > continue on with the series. I like books which paint a good
              picture and
              > move along at a fairly fast pace (altho I thought it was a little
              slow
              > initially).

              I thought it was a great book! Really enjoyed it... I don't think it
              was slow at all initially



              > Fitz is a likable character although I have found myself getting
              annoyed at
              > some of his choices.

              Such as what?

              I still wonder why he never sought out his mother -
              > but maybe he will in one of the next books.

              I always assumed that he didn't have the opportunity to
              I found the first person
              > narrative a little strange at first because I am not really used to
              it.

              Same. However, I think that it worked really well in this case.

              >
              > My favourite part in the book was when Burrich fought and beat
              Galen - very
              > satisfying.

              Perhaps not my favourite moment, but I did like it quite a bit. Not
              sure what my fav moment would be

              >
              > The most confusing part I thought was at the beginning of Chapter
              7 when
              > there was an introductory section on Queen Desire's Death and then
              it went
              > on to talk about Burrich cutting Fitz's hair for mourning etc and
              half a
              > page later it clicked that they were mourning Chivalry's death from
              the
              > chapter before.

              Didn't confuse me... I always just read the introduction with the
              knowlege that it had nothing to do with the rest of the chapter
              usually :)

              >
              > Should we have a poll on favourite characters - it's hard for me to
              choose
              > between Burrich and the Fool.

              Tough question. I don't know if I would choose either of those
              though...

              Tim
            • peta smith
              ... Such as when he goes to assassinate Rurisk, and knows that Regal has lied about so many things but still ends up reporting conversations verbatim to him.
              Message 6 of 24 , May 4, 2001
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                >
                >
                >> Fitz is a likable character although I have found myself getting
                >annoyed at
                >> some of his choices.
                >
                >Such as what?

                Such as when he goes to assassinate Rurisk, and knows that Regal has lied
                about so many things but still ends up reporting conversations verbatim to
                him.

                Peta
              • Lysander
                The four people who said AA was only decent (7) in its rating poll (takhisis, ship10, snark, & CelticDragon369)- I m curious- what did you not really like
                Message 7 of 24 , May 16, 2001
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                  The four people who said AA was only "decent" (7) in its rating poll
                  (takhisis, ship10, snark, & CelticDragon369)- I'm curious- what did
                  you not really like about it, and what books would you give a 9 or a
                  10?

                  -dan
                • CelticDragon369@aol.com
                  In a message dated 05/16/2001 3:20:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Hmmm, it s been quite a while since I last read AA, so I dont remember exactly why I didnt
                  Message 8 of 24 , May 16, 2001
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                    In a message dated 05/16/2001 3:20:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                    dandean@... writes:
                    > The four people who said AA was only "decent" (7) in its rating poll
                    > (takhisis, ship10, snark, & CelticDragon369)- I'm curious- what did
                    > you not really like about it, and what books would you give a 9 or a
                    > 10?
                    >
                    > -dan
                    >

                    Hmmm, it's been quite a while since I last read AA, so I dont remember
                    exactly why I didnt like it, but I do remember not being totally captivated
                    by it. Prompted by the above question, I quickly scanned through the book
                    again, and I think that my dissatisfaction is not necessarily directed at
                    this individual book, but at the series in whole. First, I dont much like
                    first person point of view; you only get to hear the story from one person,
                    and as a result the setting, plot, and other characters are never as well
                    developed as in other POVs. Also, while I like Chade a bit, I really dont
                    care all that much for Fitz, and his relationship with Molly annoyed me
                    (especially later). It want a bad read, and I found it to be a decent, or
                    perhaps a little better, book, but it wasnt one that I would stay up all
                    night reading. I did enjoy the book, but I can honestly only give it a "7".
                    As for the books I would give a "9" or "10", well, lessee.....of the top
                    of my head: the first few books of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series,
                    all three of George RR Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series, Rand Miller's
                    "Myst" series, CS Friedman's "Coldfire" trilogy, Katherine Kerr's "Deverry"
                    series, Garth Nix's "Sabriel", and Tad William's "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn"
                    series....there may be a few others, but these are the ones that immediately
                    came to mind.

                    ~Luna
                    "I wouldnt call it *stealing*...more a tribute to the beauty of dragons..."
                    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                    AIM: DragonLady255
                    CelticDragon369
                    ICQ: 116016333
                    www.livejournal.com/~dragonlady255
                    www.geocities.com/dragonlady255/home.html
                    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • peta smith
                    ... Dan, Regarding the poll, I thought Assassin s Apprentice was better than Good ... but it wasn t Amazing . Can you include a boring Very Good next time
                    Message 9 of 24 , May 16, 2001
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                      At 19:19 16/05/01 -0000, you wrote:
                      >The four people who said AA was only "decent" (7) in its rating poll
                      >(takhisis, ship10, snark, & CelticDragon369)- I'm curious- what did
                      >you not really like about it, and what books would you give a 9 or a
                      >10?
                      >
                      >-dan
                      >

                      Dan,

                      Regarding the poll, I thought Assassin's Apprentice was better than "Good"
                      ... but it wasn't "Amazing". Can you include a boring "Very Good" next time
                      you do a poll?

                      Peta
                    • Lysander
                      ... than Good ... next time ... Thats the problem with things like this... no one s ever happy with the # of choices. People always want in betweens , like
                      Message 10 of 24 , May 17, 2001
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                        --- In Fantasy_Books@y..., peta smith <petas@o...> wrote:
                        > Regarding the poll, I thought Assassin's Apprentice was better
                        than "Good"
                        > ... but it wasn't "Amazing". Can you include a boring "Very Good"
                        next time
                        > you do a poll?
                        >
                        > Peta

                        Thats the problem with things like this... no one's ever happy with
                        the # of choices. People always want "in betweens", like on
                        Amazon.com everyone wants 1/2 stars.

                        Next time, I'll just go 1-10, with 10 being best and 1 being worst
                        without any other descriptions, and everyone can make up their own
                        catagories. heh heh
                      • peta smith
                        ... Peta
                        Message 11 of 24 , May 17, 2001
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                          At 12:57 17/05/01 -0000, you wrote:
                          >--- In Fantasy_Books@y..., peta smith <petas@o...> wrote:
                          >> Regarding the poll, I thought Assassin's Apprentice was better
                          >than "Good"
                          >> ... but it wasn't "Amazing". Can you include a boring "Very Good"
                          >next time
                          >> you do a poll?
                          >>
                          >> Peta
                          >
                          >
                          >Next time, I'll just go 1-10, with 10 being best and 1 being worst
                          >without any other descriptions, and everyone can make up their own
                          >catagories. heh heh
                          >

                          >That'd be fine! I would've given AA an 8.

                          Peta
                          >
                          >
                        • Carrie Badorek
                          ... Even though I am not one of the four who voted, I think I will reply anyway. I didn t partake of teh book of the month thing b/c I read Farseer a couple of
                          Message 12 of 24 , May 17, 2001
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                            > The four people who said AA was only "decent" (7) in its rating poll
                            > (takhisis, ship10, snark, & CelticDragon369)- I'm curious- what did
                            > you not really like about it, and what books would you give a 9 or a
                            > 10?

                            Even though I am not one of the four who voted, I think I will reply anyway.
                            I didn't partake of teh book of the month thing b/c I read Farseer a couple
                            of years ago and had no desire to delve myself in a long re-read.

                            I would easily rate the whole trilogy as only decent, or maybe even less.
                            It had some positives (equal rights, interesting magical system, Chade) but
                            I was just completely bored by the book. I generally do not care for first
                            person narration in my complex fantasy series since it means I dn't get to
                            see all the plotting behind the scenes. Some authors can do the first
                            person narration very well, but in this series it just didn't work for me.
                            I also was put off by the very bleak nature of the series. I know not every
                            story can have a happy ending, but this story didn't even have a happy
                            beginning or middle to compensate. There was just zero happiness. The
                            second book in the series was able to keep my interest, but the third just
                            seemed to drag on and on and on like some out of control traffic pile up on
                            a busy freeway. I only kept reading b/c a friend promised me that something
                            extraordinary would happen, but he lied! Nothing great happened. Bah.

                            So what books do I like? Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb is one of my faves.
                            A friend talked me into trying it, much against my will, but I adore the
                            series. It is in third person, thus we get to see all different aspects of
                            the plot. There are some very strong female characters, which is a major
                            plus in any book. The book is not happy, but it is not nearly as depressing
                            as Farseer. And, to top it all off, it made Farseer worth reading b/c there
                            is an intersting little twist relating to Farseer.

                            My other fave series is Empire by Feist and Wurts. Also a Harry Potter fan.
                            I've enjoyed many book by Robin McKinely, but not all of them. Love Jan
                            Siegal, enjoy Roger Zelzany. I have all my books packed away in preparation
                            for moving so I can't even come up with any other titles. I know there are a
                            lot more though! Actually, I just got into fantasy about three years ago,
                            so it seems like I have started a lot of duds and not found as many gems as
                            I would have hoped for.

                            Carrie Badorek
                            Read fantasy? Visit www.fantasyfreaks.org
                          • David Whitbeck
                            ... I m waiting for paperback release of the last volume. Then I ll read all three volumes at once. I m tired of waiting endlessly for the next volume in a
                            Message 13 of 24 , May 17, 2001
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                              >> The four people who said AA was only "decent" (7) in its rating poll
                              >> (takhisis, ship10, snark, & CelticDragon369)- I'm curious- what did
                              >> you not really like about it, and what books would you give a 9 or a
                              >> 10?

                              >So what books do I like? Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb is one of my faves.


                              I'm waiting for paperback release of the last volume. Then I'll read all
                              three volumes at once. I'm tired of waiting endlessly for the next volume
                              in a series. And I rarely go for hardcover. The exception is Robert
                              Jordan because I want to see the ending and won't wait for paperback
                              releases. One other exception: I couldn't wait for Sea of Shining Light to
                              release in paperback, I've already waited two years! I'm not crazy mind
                              you: these fantasy novels are more worth the wait then say the second Star
                              Wars Trilogy.

                              David
                            • Carrie Badorek
                              ... faves. ... I must really like this series b/c I bought the hardcover from the UK when it came out last year (I live in the US). Actually, I think
                              Message 14 of 24 , May 17, 2001
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                                > >So what books do I like? Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb is one of my
                                faves.

                                > I'm waiting for paperback release of the last volume. >


                                I must really like this series b/c I bought the hardcover from the UK when
                                it came out last year (I live in the US). Actually, I think according to my
                                credit card it worked out cheaper with the exhange rate than if I would have
                                waited for the US hardcover. I could be wrong about that though.

                                Carrie
                                Read fantasy? visit www.fantasyfreaks.org
                              • polaino@artic.net
                                ... I don t belong to those people, but I m apparently the only one who didn t bother to finish it. (I forgot to vote, too - I only now corrected my mistake) I
                                Message 15 of 24 , May 17, 2001
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                                  --- In Fantasy_Books@y..., "Lysander" <dandean@o...> wrote:
                                  > The four people who said AA was only "decent" (7) in its rating poll
                                  > (takhisis, ship10, snark, & CelticDragon369)- I'm curious- what did
                                  > you not really like about it, and what books would you give a 9 or a
                                  > 10?

                                  I don't belong to those people, but I'm apparently the only one who
                                  didn't bother to finish it. (I forgot to vote, too - I only
                                  now corrected my mistake)
                                  I tried to read the book last summer. Now I didn't have time to pick
                                  it up again, but I didn't really want too, either. It might have to do
                                  with that I tried started to read it in Finnish, or just that I don't
                                  like mr Hobb's style, I don't know which one, but I found the book too
                                  boring to continue reading. I never got in to the world somehow. Maybe
                                  I'll try again someday, if I find a cheap paperback edition in
                                  English. Anyway, AA is one of the few books I haven't bothered to
                                  finish.

                                  Aino

                                  > -dan
                                • Zavia Tiplady
                                  ... Just one correction - It s Miss Hobbs. ... Have you tried the Liveship Traders. It is written in 3rd person and I liked it (I also liked the Farseer
                                  Message 16 of 24 , May 18, 2001
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                                    > I don't belong to those people, but I'm apparently the only one who
                                    > didn't bother to finish it. (I forgot to vote, too - I only
                                    > now corrected my mistake)
                                    > I tried to read the book last summer. Now I didn't have time to pick
                                    > it up again, but I didn't really want too, either. It might have to do
                                    > with that I tried started to read it in Finnish, or just that I don't
                                    > like mr Hobb's style

                                    Just one correction - It's Miss Hobbs.

                                    >, I don't know which one, but I found the book too
                                    > boring to continue reading. I never got in to the world somehow. Maybe
                                    > I'll try again someday, if I find a cheap paperback edition in
                                    > English. Anyway, AA is one of the few books I haven't bothered to
                                    > finish.

                                    Have you tried the Liveship Traders. It is written in 3rd person and I liked
                                    it (I also liked the Farseer Trilogy).

                                    Zavia.

                                    P.S For anyone who has read the Liveship Traders and the Farseer Trilogy
                                    have you picked the common character. Remember spoilers if you have.
                                  • David Whitbeck
                                    ... What do you have against first person narrative? It s more subtle then just blatantly describing all necessary details. I like when you see characters
                                    Message 17 of 24 , May 18, 2001
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                                      >> I don't belong to those people, but I'm apparently the only one who
                                      >> didn't bother to finish it. (I forgot to vote, too - I only
                                      >> now corrected my mistake)
                                      >> I tried to read the book last summer. Now I didn't have time to pick
                                      >> it up again, but I didn't really want too, either. It might have to do
                                      >> with that I tried started to read it in Finnish, or just that I don't
                                      >> like mr Hobb's style
                                      >
                                      >Just one correction - It's Miss Hobbs.
                                      >
                                      >>, I don't know which one, but I found the book too
                                      >> boring to continue reading. I never got in to the world somehow. Maybe
                                      >> I'll try again someday, if I find a cheap paperback edition in
                                      >> English. Anyway, AA is one of the few books I haven't bothered to
                                      >> finish.
                                      >
                                      >Have you tried the Liveship Traders. It is written in 3rd person and I liked
                                      >it (I also liked the Farseer Trilogy).
                                      >
                                      >Zavia.


                                      What do you have against first person narrative? It's more subtle then
                                      just blatantly describing all necessary details. I like when you see
                                      characters through somebody else's eyes. And you have to think "is my
                                      perception of the character true, or is it being distorted by what the main
                                      character perceives?" First person narrative is also more personal. I
                                      think the mystery of what the other characters are thinking makes a novel
                                      much more interesting and closer to how we ourselves perceive reality.
                                      That distancing effect actually brings us closer to the novel.

                                      David




                                      "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."
                                    • polaino@artic.net
                                      ... Oops. Here we see what happens when you write something on a ten minutes long break, thinking in Finnish, and trying to write English. ... Maybe ... I
                                      Message 18 of 24 , May 21, 2001
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                                        > Just one correction - It's Miss Hobbs.

                                        Oops. Here we see what happens when you write something on a ten
                                        minutes long break, thinking in Finnish, and trying to write English.

                                        > >, I don't know which one, but I found the book too
                                        > > boring to continue reading. I never got in to the world somehow.
                                        Maybe
                                        > > I'll try again someday, if I find a cheap paperback edition in
                                        > > English. Anyway, AA is one of the few books I haven't bothered to
                                        > > finish.
                                        >
                                        > Have you tried the Liveship Traders. It is written in 3rd person and
                                        I liked
                                        > it (I also liked the Farseer Trilogy).

                                        I've heard that it's good, but thanks to the Farseer, I haven't picked
                                        it up yet. It's on my to be read list, though.

                                        Aino

                                        > Zavia.
                                        >
                                        > P.S For anyone who has read the Liveship Traders and the Farseer
                                        Trilogy
                                        > have you picked the common character. Remember spoilers if you have.
                                      • polaino@artic.net
                                        ... then ... see ... my ... the main ... I ... novel ... reality. ... I don t have anything against first person narrative in general. There are places where
                                        Message 19 of 24 , May 21, 2001
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                                          > What do you have against first person narrative? It's more subtle
                                          then
                                          > just blatantly describing all necessary details. I like when you
                                          see
                                          > characters through somebody else's eyes. And you have to think "is
                                          my
                                          > perception of the character true, or is it being distorted by what
                                          the main
                                          > character perceives?" First person narrative is also more personal.
                                          I
                                          > think the mystery of what the other characters are thinking makes a
                                          novel
                                          > much more interesting and closer to how we ourselves perceive
                                          reality.
                                          > That distancing effect actually brings us closer to the novel.

                                          I don't have anything against first person narrative in general. There
                                          are places where it works, but there also are places where it doesn't.
                                          I once tried to read RA Salvatore's first series, the one where Drizzt
                                          is young, and I found his comments at the end of the chapters both
                                          stupid and annoying. That doesn't really prove anything, though, since
                                          I find all of Salvatore's books stupid and annoying. They're the only
                                          series I've ever quit reading after working my way through 5½ books of
                                          the six that then existed. I realised that I didn't want to know what
                                          would happen.

                                          Aino

                                          > David
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."
                                        • David Whitbeck
                                          ... I guess I ll have to avoid Salvatore! David Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
                                          Message 20 of 24 , May 21, 2001
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                                            >I don't have anything against first person narrative in general. There
                                            >are places where it works, but there also are places where it doesn't.
                                            >I once tried to read RA Salvatore's first series, the one where Drizzt
                                            >is young, and I found his comments at the end of the chapters both
                                            >stupid and annoying. That doesn't really prove anything, though, since
                                            >I find all of Salvatore's books stupid and annoying. They're the only
                                            >series I've ever quit reading after working my way through 5½ books of
                                            >the six that then existed. I realised that I didn't want to know what
                                            >would happen.
                                            >
                                            >Aino
                                            >


                                            I guess I'll have to avoid Salvatore!

                                            David




                                            "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."
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