What separates this book from all the rest??
I believe that Hobb is what I was looking for when reading Tolkien. Tolkien had such great stories to tell, however, I was lost in the lengthy descriptions of the surroundings. He painted too detailed a picture and I felt that it took away from his writing. Hobb had an approach that was similar and she described her world in just enough detail. I didn't feel lost. I felt I was right there. She also has a wonderful way of making you connect to her main character, Fitz. The character admits his shortcomings (and he does have them which is awesome) and he gets confused on what it is he thinks he should do. I rarely see this in characters and I felt it made Fitz come alive.
Assassin's Apprentice is your typical epic fantasy. It was everything I expected it to be in some sense but at the same time threw me around quite a bit. I believe this is the first epic fantasy I've read that is written by a female. I didn't feel this was a distinguishable fact that would relate to the greatness of this book. It was just something I noticed.
The story is about a boy named Fitz who is the illegitimate son of a prince. The story follows his growth into a young man, while he is trained to be an assassin for the king. I loved that this was a coming of age story. My heart went out to Fitz so many times, I just wanted to give the kid a hug and help him to fight his loneliness.
This book was great in politics. The magic system was barley touched on, but it was intriguing all the same. The author was able to paint the picture very well without being too wordy or getting too involved in descriptions. This book is told in the first person which normally I avoid. However, this book contained none of the shortcomings that I usually see from that perspective (whining, and a lack of seeing the other characters outside the main POV).
On a personal note, I was thrilled that the author used four (count them FOUR) references to tatting in this book. For those of you who don't know, tatting is a form of lace making typically using a shuttle or very large needle to make knots in your thread. I taught myself this craft a little over a year ago and I absolutely love it. However, it is not very highly known. Kudos to Robin Hobb! Here are some pics of my tatting if you're interested...
I am super excited to say that I've found a new fantasy world I'm ready to dive on into. I cannot wait to continue this story!