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♦ Genres ~ Here you will find some of the best "Traditional Fantasy" which includes epic fantasy, high fantasy, sword and sorcery, alternate history, plus a few science fantasy genres. I only review entire fantasy series and only once they are complete and the finished set is on the market. For more info please read my About and Policies page.

♦ Navigation ~ If you are here looking for a great Fantasy Series that you can enjoy from start to finish, a good place to begin is with the 46 Fantasy Series Summaries. For an individual book or author, try Search, the Sitemap or the Review Index. If you are interested in SFF interviews, articles, lists, news and single reviews, you can find those on my other blog: Old Bat's Belfry.

Thank you for stopping by and I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay here!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (Series Summary)

Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb - UK Cover
The Complete Farseer Trilogy: Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin's QuestFarseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
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♥ Mini Review ♥
The 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.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy: Book 1)

By Robin Hobb



Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.

As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.*Blurb source Spectra*
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Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobbs

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 055357339X
| ISBN-13: 9780553573398
| Publisher: Spectra (March 1, 1996)
| Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
| Read an Excerpt (Not a direct link, link is on the page.)
| Cover art by Michael Whelan
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
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Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)



♥ Mini Review ♥
At the age of six, a young boy is dropped off at Buckkeep. With no knowledge of his own name the child is given the title of Fitz, meaning simply "bastard." The King sees him as a tool, his father sees him as a mistake, his half brother Regal sees him as a threat, his other half brother treats him with absentminded kindness while his father's stableman, who is given the job of raising Fitz, sees him as an obligation to the master he worships.

This is the world where young Fitz has to learn to survive, a world where he is by turns, ignored, barely tolerated, or openly hated. This existence will continue until one day King Shrewd will see something that nobody else has considered. Give a lonely boy a touch of affection, a recognition of his existence, a place as the "king's man" and you will not only have a loyal servant for life but get rid of a potential threat in the process.

So begins Fitz's training as a royal assassin and leads to his training in "Skill" the ability to touch, and sometimes influence, other minds. In addition, this young boy must endeavor to hide his other magical talent, one that allows him to communicate and in some instances, bond with animals. While "Skill" is an accepted form of magic, "Wit" or the ability to commune with animals is not. It is claimed that one who does this too often will become a beast himself. Therefore, life for poor Fitz is nothing but one trial after another. Assassin's Apprentice is his story.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy: Book 2)

By Robin Hobb



Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and returns to the court where he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life. With the King near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened. Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns. In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands--and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.*Blurb source Spectra*
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Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

| Genre: Epic Fantasy, 13+
| ISBN-10: 0553573411
| ISBN-13: 9780553573411
| Publisher: Spectra (February 3, 1997)
| Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
| Cover art by Michael Whelan
| Source: Personal copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 5 Stars
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Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)



♥ Mini Review ♥
Once again, you live the story from within the mind of Fitz. You feel his frustration as he stands by helplessly while his friends, his mentors and his kingdom all fall apart. Not only that, but every time he attempts to make a move on his own, it turns out to be a bad idea. Fitz is not the only one feeling the strain, there are several great women in this tale who who have problems of their own.

Queen Kettricken, Lady Patience, Lacey, and Molly all appear to be the ones with the most backbone, and yet, even they are frustrated at every turn. Actually, frustration would be the word that describes this story best. All of the "good" people are relatively helpless and all of the "bad" people hold the winning hands.

There is treachery and betrayal around every corner, the spies are in turn being spied upon, the assassins are being stalked by other assassins, no secret is safe, and everybody has at least one secret. The one with the most secrets of them all is Fool. He (or is it she?) adds a deeper element of mystery and intrigue to the story. Combined, it all makes for a wild emotional ride.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy: Book 3)

By Robin Hobb



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....

*Blurb source Spectra
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Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb

| Genre: Epic Fantasy, 13+
| ISBN-10: 0553565699
| ISBN-13: 978-0553565690
| Publisher: Spectra (January 5, 1998)
| Mass Market Paperback: 757 pages 
| Cover art by Michael Whelan
| Source: Personal copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 5 Stars
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Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)



♥ Mini Review ♥
This book starts slow then ends really fast. Fitz is his lovable conflicted self. This poor guy is pulled in 12 different directions, all at once. It is a wonder that he retains any sanity. However, this is what makes this book, and the ones preceding it, so popular. Robin Hobb has created in Fitz a very real person and by keeping the POV squarely in his head, you get to live the story through his eyes. This means you get to experience every ounce of angst, conflict, quilt, indecision, and recrimination this poor guy goes through. This story goes beyond being character driven; it is better described as emotionally character driven.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks (Series Summary)

Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
Night Angel OmnibusNight Angel Trilogy - Buy Ebook from Hatchette Group - The Perfect Shadow: A Night Angel NovellaThe Perfect Shadow
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♥ Mini Review ♥
This series is about assassins, prostitutes, thieves and an insane king. It is about rape, murder, betrayal, and dark magic. This series is also about the power of love, friendship, trust and loyalty and how even those things can be found in the darkest underbelly of a society. It is about impossible choices where the line between right and wrong is blurred and no choice is without painful consequences. Basically, it is about people and their incredible ability to persevere against impossible odds.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Way of the Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy: Book 1)

By Brent Weeks



The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets.

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death. *Blurb source* Orbit
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The Way of the Shadows by Brent Weeks

| ISBN-10: 0316033677
| ISBN-13: 9780316033671
| Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Epic Fantasy
| Design by Peter Cotton, Illustration by Calvin Chu
| Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
| Publisher: Orbit (October 1, 2008)
| Source: Author/Publisher
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 5 Stars

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The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1)


♥ Mini Review ♥
Azoth is always afraid. As an orphan living in the Warrens, survival depends on belonging to a guild (think gang) and the guild leaders are cruel, amoral, and abusive. They think nothing of using beatings, mutilation, rape, and sodomy to maintain control. However, Azoth has a plan. After seeing Durzo Blint, the city's foremost wetboy (magic wielding assassin) in action, he decides that he must apprentice to the only fearless man he has ever seen, regardless of the cost.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shadow's Edge (Night Angel Trilogy: Book 2)

By Brent Weeks



Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin’s life.

The Godking’s successful coup has left Kylar’s master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over: new city, new friends, and new profession. But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit? *Blurb source* Orbit
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Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks

| ISBN-10: 0316033650
| ISBN-13: 9780316033657
| Genre: Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery
| Design by Peter Cotton, Illustration by Calvin Chu
| Publisher: Orbit (November 1, 2008)
| Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
| Source: Author/Publisher
| Rating: 5 Stars
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Shadow's Edge (Night Angel, #2)



♥ Mini Review ♥
I am not going to discuss the story itself here. There are other reviews out here if you want that type of information. The reason I am not going to do this is that it would be nearly impossible without giving spoilers that might ruin your enjoyment of book one. Instead, I am just going to stick to what I liked (or did not like) about the book.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy: Book 3)

By Brent Weeks



The perfect killer has no conscience, just objectives.

Logan Gyre is king of Cenaria, a country under siege, with a threadbare army and little hope. He has one chance — a desperate gamble, but one that could destroy his kingdom.

In the north, the new Godking has a plan. If it comes to fruition, no one will have the power to stop him.

Kylar Stern has no choice. To save his friends - and perhaps his enemies - he must accomplish the impossible: assassinate a goddess.*Blurb source* Orbit
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Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks

| ISBN-10: 0316033669
| ISBN-13: 9780316033664
| Publisher: Orbit (December 1, 2008)
| Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Epic Fantasy
| Design by Peter Cotton, Illustration by Calvin Chu
| Mass Market Paperback: 720 pages
| Source: Author/Publisher
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 5 Stars

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Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #3)



♥ Mini Review ♥
Wow! I am almost speechless. I did not believe that the series could possibly get any better. I was wrong. The depth of emotions this story explores - and evokes - is incredible. The weave of the story is a work of art. Yes, I am gushing, I admit it, I am blown away.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (Series Summary)


Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set (Mistborn, The Hero of Ages, and The Well of Ascension)
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♥ Mini Review ♥
There are three main characters in this adventure. Vin is a child of the streets, abandoned by her brother, fighting to survive as a member of a brutal street gang. Elend is a prince, privileged, spoiled, rebellious, he is a scholar with lots of book sense but little practical experience. Kelsier is a thief, assassin, rebel, magic wielder, and eternal optimist; he is determined to destroy the oppressive and evil Lord Ruler. These three unlikely heroes must join together to bring down a government that has ruled and oppressed for 1000 years and somehow kill a "God" in the process.

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