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Saturday , 18 April 2015 , 10 : 55 PM
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb Reviewed by Adrian Collins I have just been inside the imagination of a literary genius. Robin Hobb's debut novel, Assassin's Apprentice, is a thoroughly enjoyable story about a royal bastard named Fitz put to use by his family, and trying to survive and find happiness. Fitz is an outcast by none of his own doing. He's a bastard. His father, Chivalry, abdicates to escape him. He's been born with the Wit - an ability to mind meld with animals; a skill that is shunned by the nobility as an abomination - which puts him off side with Burrich, his only chance at a father figure. Other members of his family have the Skill - a way to meld minds with other humans - a far better accepted form of magic all but restricted to royalty. One of his uncles, Regal, despises his very existence, as do most who considered themselves Chivalry's or his wife's Patience's loyal subjects. Only Burrich puts up with him, reluctantly taking Fitz under his wing, though the man is constantly torn between his own agony at the loss of his lord, Chivalry, and a fatherly want to look after a young boy abandoned by all. King Shrewd (all nobility are supposedly named after a character trait they have) decides that it's better the devil you know than to put up with a royal bastard-led uprising down the track, he decides to train Fitz as an assassin to bind the boy's loyalty to the crown of the Six Duchies. Fitz's world is opened to not just the sword and dagger, but to a wide range of reasons a king may need for an assassin - an illness to take a noble who may influence another at court out of the picture for a month, an injured horse to...