An Epic Fantasy Series Review
Author: Robin HobbThe Farseer Trilogy is a unique blend of traditional fantasy with atypical characters and several very interesting magic systems. It is also one of the best-loved trilogies amongst fantasy fans.
Genre: Epic Fantasy, 13+
Series: Farseer: Books 1-3
Book Reviews of: Assassin's Apprentice - Royal Assassin - Assassin's Quest
This is the story of Fitz, the bastard son of King-in-Waiting Prince Chivalry. When, at the age of six, Fitz is left at the doorstep of the keep, his embarrassed father immediately abdicates his position as King-in-Waiting and goes off to live in the country. He leaves the boy's care to Burrich, Prince Chivalry's sworn man, and stable master. So begins a young boy's story. This series will be told from the sole POV of Fitz and the reader will literally live this tale through his eyes as he grows up and tries to find his place in the world.
There are many reasons why this series is so well loved. This is emotional, character driven fantasy at its best. You feel Fitz's loneliness, his frustration, his anger, and his guilt. When he succeeds you cheer, when he fails, you sympathize, and when he is just plain stupid, you find yourself yelling at the pages or wishing you could just shake some sense into him. The secondary characters, at times, come across just as well, everybody is flawed in some way, and the line between good and bad is blurred. In addition, it has one of my favorite types of magic systems. I have a soft spot for magic that allows for communication with animals. This is actually a very believable system too; it is not all-inclusive except when the Witted actually bonds with one animal, outside of that they can only sense basic emotions as a rule. Then we have the Skill, which is mind magic that works only humans. Fitz possesses the ability to use both, one openly (Skill is accepted magic) and Wit which is punishable by death if one is caught using it! Fun stuff.
Action/adventure lovers may be disappointed by this series. There are incidences of both but the focus is the development, trials and tribulations of Fitz and his companions. There is plenty of political intrigue, a war against an evil foe, a basic medieval type world and some cool twists and turns. The content is mild by most standards. Love scenes are not explicit, the violence that takes place is not too bad, there is rape but it is not described in detail, there is torture with some detail and as with any war, there is tragedy and death. I personally think it all fell within the boundaries of PG-13.
If you love traditional fantasy settings, emotionally driven characters, well thought out magic systems, dysfunctional families and books that will keep you up far into the night, you will love this series. If you want a closer look at what poor Fitz goes through, I recommend reading the individual reviews. This series sits on my reread shelf, has for many years and will for many years to come!
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