Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb I picked up this book when a friend of mine who wasn't a fantasy fiction fan read it and actually loved it, and recommended it to me. Even before this, I'd heard some great things about Robin Hobb and I'd been dying to read her stuff, so I figured, why not.

I have to admit, at first, I wasn't very impressed with this book. On the whole I thought it was decent, but nothing really set it apart from many other well-written fantasies I've read. There was the timeworn royal bastard and secret assassin training cliches, and throughout most of the novel I found I could predict what would happen next.

It wasn't until the characters traveled to the mountain city of Jhaampe that I started really getting into this story. Even though this was late in the novel, I felt the ending made up for the average beginning and middle that came before. I didn't see anything coming by the end, and the unexpected twists and turns made for a much better reading experience.

I like Fitz as a main character, even though his attitude could be a little infuriating at times. I was also surprised how much I liked the secondary characters like Verity or Burrich, as often in first person perspective novels I find it hard to care beyond the main protagonist. In this case, all the characters in Fitz's life were written extremely well, even the villains and antagonists.

I also find the magic system interesting, even though it is probably more accurately described as a sort of telepathy. In addition, Fitz's ability to form a bond with animals is no doubt going to play a bigger role in this series, and I can't wait to find out.

The last couple of chapters of this novel did wrap up a little too quickly, and I think I'd feel disappointed if I didn't know there were more books in this series and another follow up trilogy after that. I'm looking forward to reading more.