We’re now up to my university years in the Fantasy Friday episodes of bookshelf spotlight. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb was recommended to me by a friend. And a good recommendation it turned out to be, as I loved it. I think I picked it up not long after book three had been released, so it was good to be able to buy and read them all without having to wait 1+ years in between like some other series I was reading at the time.
It’s been too long since I last read this series, so I have forgotten most of it. But the main premise I remember. These are written in first person as Fitz is telling the story as he remembers it from his position now as an old man. His childhood was rough, being a royal bastard and therefore a risk to the throne. So he was pulled into the household and trained as an assassin. He has an affinity with animals that allows him to link with them. A link that involves communication but can also mean a lot more. This is not an ability that is viewed well and can be persecuted, so it must be hidden. But it is also an ability that will save Fitz’s life in more ways than one. There are challenges facing the kingdom both from within and without and Fitz plays a key role in battling them. There is a lot of hardship in these books, as Fitz doesn’t have it easy, and makes a lot of mistakes. I think some of the emotion evoked by the memory of his story as he is telling it, also comes through in the narrative old-man Fitz is writing.
As my memory is very light, here’s the blurb from the back of my copy of book one.
Fitz is a royal bastard, cast out into the world with only his magical link with animals for solace and companionship.
But when Fitz is adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and learn a new life: weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly. Meanwhile, raiders ravage the coasts, leaving people Forged and soulless. As Fitz grows towards manhood, he will have to face his first terrifying mission, a task that poses as much risk to himself as it does to his target: for Fitz is a threat to the throne… but he may also be the key to the future of the kingdom.
I love these copies – the covers are beautiful despite the odd people art in the top corners. But when I was living in the UK and the 20th anniversary edition came out, I just couldn’t help myself.
Bad photos and lighting are due to my doing this post after 10. I forgot to write it yesterday evening and I got home late tonight. Sorry about that. I was originally going to show the lovely editions that these are. I’ll maybe do a post just for them this weekend so you can see why I was weak and bought a second copy of a series I already own, that wasn’t a replacement set. At the time it was the only series I owned that I wanted to get a special edition set. Well, where one was available. I’d love a special set of my favourite series, but we’ll never get one.
If you haven’t read The Farseer Trilogy, it’s one I would recommend giving a go.