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Publisher's Summary

The first volume in Robin Hobb’s internationally best-selling Farseer series.
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chilvary Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely.
Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribbing, courtly manners, and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.
©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Critic Reviews

“Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers … what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.” ( The Times)
“In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons” (George R. R. Martin)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By ratna on 03-01-15

Robin hobb did u pick this narrator?

Read a hard copy some years ago-wonderful rich enchanting. But I really hope robin hobb rethinks the narrator....grating, classist and way to refined and constricted to create the variation in voices this story deserved😢

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Lola on 04-27-17

Good story, disappointing performance.

It actually took me a while to be brave enough to purchase this book. Many friends have recommended me Robin Hobb's work but when I listened to the samples I just didn't think I could bear the narration.
I normally prefer books narrated with a British presenter, but as this book is written in a first person style the performance is spoken in a horrible upper-class English accent. H's are dropped ehverywhhere (!). Which is a shame because most of the other characters in this book are performed quite well and that's actually what makes the book ok to listen to.
The story is solid. A growing-up up story for the most part about a boy making his way in court as a royal bastard. And a few little adventures with a bit of court intrigue at the end. You can tell the author is just setting the scene for what's to come.
It's well written and the characters are multi-dimensional and interesting. Overall I enjoyed it - yes would have been better with a different narrator but it didn't completely ruin it for me.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Lucy Clarke on 10-11-12

Great book but the narrator is all wrong!

I really love this book and the series. I was thrilled to see that an audio book was available. But I am disappointed because the narrator's voice is all wrong. Why on earth is the narrator an American doing an English accent? Surely just use an English narrator or an American accent instead? It's really starting to grate on me now and I'm only an hour in.

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41 of 44 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By James on 02-07-13

A good trilogy but...

I enjoyed the story very much and so had to listen to the other two books in the series. However, this was certainly in spite of rather than because of the narrator. I bought this book without listening to the sample audio and in some ways I wish I hadn't as it meant that I then spent around 84hrs listening to a very unconvincing English accent! As I say, after hearing the first book, I had to find out how the trilogy finished as I was engrossed in the story and characters but if the writing wasn't so good I definitely wouldn't have persevered with the narrator.

If an English accent is required for the whole of a book, please let it be read by some English, not an American doing a bad impression, putting stress on the wrong syllables in words, it is very off-putting.

But ff you don't mind the accent then I highly recommend this and the other two books in the series.

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23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Carole on 05-17-15

Embark on a journey of adventure, magic and fate!

Set aside plenty of free time because once you tuck in your headphones you won't be able to put them down! This engaging story is narrated exceptionally well by Paul Boehmer who gives voice to the personality behind each character.

Follow the journey of a young boy from the moment he is abandoned by his mother and discovered to be the bastard son of the heir to the Farseer throne. The shame upon learning of his bastard causes King in Waiting Chivalry to abdicate and flee the castle. Now abandoned by both his parents, the boy, referred to simply as the Fitz, struggles to find his place in the world.

By virtue of his royal bloodline Fitz has inherited not only the royal Skill magic but also the hated and feared animal magic called the Wit. Perils abound from both his magics as discovery of the Wit could mean execution while the addictive nature and the brutal teaching of the Skill can hold death in their own right.

All the while Fitz trains in the skills of an assassin in order to become a useful tool to his grandfather, the King. He becomes tied up in many perilous situations from attacks by mindless Forged ones, devoid of all emotion and soul, to the machinations of his uncle Prince Regal.

If you are after a brief adventure with a simple plot line this isn't the book for you. This story is delicious in its detail, drawing you into every situation and moment until you become a part of the narrative.

Should you fall as much in love with this story as I have, don't fear! This book is the first in a brilliant trilogy which is followed by several other trilogies detailing further escapades of the characters that you come to know and love. You will be enmeshed in this world for months.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Peter on 11-05-16

Too slow for me

I spent the whole book waiting for something to happen. I recommend this book to people who don't like fast paced action books.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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