27 March 2013
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.
|Marc Reynolds (24 April 2013 22:13)|
Like Carol Ann I read this first some 10 years ago and look at the story through a mist of nostalgia - At the time it was a break from the traditional sword and sorcery, with magic that is more akin to psionics than the tossing of fireballs, giving it a much more grounded feel. I am now enjoying re-reading the rest of the series!
|Avril Stringer (2 April 2013 13:13)|
Pretty average. Some interesting ideas and characters but I was not inspired to read the rest of the series.
|Graham MacDonald (1 April 2013 12:55)|
Havered between 3 and 4 stars for this but in general I liked it. The character's were interesting and I quite liked the creepy, unresolved, red ships and the rather peculiar character of the fool. I assume a lot of this is explained in later books. My one complaint is that with the exception of one character, every new introduction ended up behaving exactly as they were first introduced. You knew within a few lines if this was a good or a bad guy and so you were left with none of the intrigue that you get with, say, George R. R. Martin.
|Phil Rodger (28 March 2013 13:42)|
Quite a slow book with a lot of character development and little else. As the first part of a fantasy epic this is probably a good book but it clearly needs the remaining parts to make it complete and read in isolation I don't think it stands up too well. This is largely due to the lack of any real events, plot threads are introduced but I'd like to have a seen a proper story arc rather than just a story of a boy growing up and to my mind the title promises something more than is delivered. The world is reasonably interesting enough but doesn't rise above the other fantasy epics out there. I found the writing style wasn't to my taste and the plotting required a little too much in the way of convenient coincidence to keep me interested. I probably won't go any further with this trilogy but I can't help but feel if I'd read this when I was younger that I might have felt differently.
|Carol Ann Balloch (28 March 2013 12:59)|
Okay I know I may be prejudiced with this novel, since I've read all the books that relate to this one story and so can appreciate the greater intricacies that come into play later as well as the resolution of several of the subplots which obviously are not resolved in this one book, however I still loved re-reading it. I think also the first time I read it was a period when we didn't have A Song of Ice and Fire and so when I read this for the first time many years ago it felt very fresh, new and went against the grain of a lot of atypical high fantasy stories that I probably read up until that point and so it left an impact upon me.
That being said I know it isn't a 'perfect novel' but my five stars comes from the love of the world as well as its characters. I realise that it is a stepping stone into a much bigger world where more happens and resolutions do take place and there isn't that much I suppose that happens. But that being said I think it captures the trials of growing up, first experiences of love and death at such a young age as well as the age old trying to fit in and find your place in the world (but with an extra element of magical abilities added in just to make things more complicated!) Overall I think it is a solid fantasy book, easy to read and I then went on to read all her other books from here on in just to find out what happens. Nuff said!