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‘Fantasy as it ought to be written’ George R.R. Martin
The kingdom of the Six Duchies is on the brink of civil war when news breaks that the crown prince has fathered a bastard son and is shamed into abdication. The child’s name is Fitz, and his is despised.
Raised in the castle stables, only the company of the king’s fool, the ragged children of the lower city and his unusual affinity with animals provide Fitz with any comfort.
To be useful to the crown, Fitz is trained as an assassin; and to use the traditional magic of the Farseer family. But his tutor, allied to another political faction, is determined to discredit, even kill him. Fitz must survive: for he may be destined to save the kingdom.
'What makes her novels addictive is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics' The Times
‘Hobb is superb’ Conn Iggulden
‘Hobb is a remarkable storyteller’ Guardian
About the author
Robin Hobb is one of the world’s finest writers of epic fiction. She was born in California in 1952 but raised in Alaska, where she learned how to raise a wolf cub, to skin a moose and to survive in the wilderness. When she married a fisherman who fished herring and the Kodiak salmon-run for half the year, these skills would stand her in good stead. She raised her family, ran a smallholding, delivered post to her remote community, all at the same time as writing stories and novels. She succeeded on all fronts, raising four children and becoming an internationally best-selling writer. She lives in Tacoma, Washington State.
The bastard sons of kings play a noble role in fantasy: not only were King Arthur and Modred by-blows, but it is often suggested that Merlin himself came to power from the ``wrong side of the bed.'' While Hobb's offering has a few too many illegitimate heirs backstabbing around, this is still a delightful take on the powers and politics behind the throne. Fitz, who is often called the ``Boy'' or the ``Bastard,'' was begotten by good Prince Chivalry upon some ``peasant'' woman. At age six, he is given over to the safekeeping of the prince's man, Burrich. Fitz's impolitic existence causes the prince to abdicate his claim to the throne, and he and his wife leave the court, and the boy, behind. Fitz has inherited the ``Skill,'' a mind-bending talent, and also has the ability to meld his thoughts with those of nonhuman creatures and to mentally ``repel'' physical advances. When Fitz finally comes to King Shrewd's attention, he is given over to the Royal Assassin's tutelage and trained to carry out the king's devious plans. The novel's conceit-that it offers Fitz's memoirs from childhood through adolescence-allows for several sequels. A gleaming debut in the crowded field of epic fantasies and Arthurian romances.