The Ergohacks Verdict

The Farseer Trilogy is memorable. I first read it over fifteen years ago and when I picked it up again recently, I still remembered its characters and world with great fondness. It’s definitely a page-turner series and once I start reading it, I tend to postpone everything non-essential so that I can read it right to the last page. It’s a world that draws me in.

I am not a huge fan of Fitz, the lead character. I wish I could be as it would make the books race to the top of my list of best books I’ve ever read. Fitz in the first book, isn’t too bad. He’s a little boy growing up in a harsh world and understandably short-sighted, rash and foolish. He doesn’t change much over the course of the trilogy though, despite growing up and becoming an assassin. His character is always jarring for me, a boy that never really grows up, that never really takes charge of his life. Fitz is tossed around by circumstance and instead of finding a way to overcome the challenges thrown at him, he’s resigned and morose, bemoaning his fate rather than working to escape it. The tale of FitzChivalry Farseer is highly emotive with Fitz’ emotions acting like a magnetic force that pulls the threads of the story always to that central point.

Despite my personal preference for story above emotion rather than emotion being the focus of the plot, I do think The Farseer Trilogy is an excellent choice when looking for a good fantasy trilogy. It’s a well written tale that balances the intrigue of personal lives, cut-throat politics and a savage war fought in fishing villages by ordinary people unable to escape their fate. This isn’t a happily-ever-after world, it’s the story of a life filled with loss, regret, costly mistakes and great personal sacrifice. I always wanted a happier story for Fitz, every time I read the books I wish he had a bit more backbone and a pinch of his evil half-brother’s cunning. Then I feel guilty.

Fitz reads like a man suffering from depression. Someone who wants to do the right thing, but struggles to find the motivation, organizational skill, will and energy to do more than just respond to the challenges life throws at him. Fitz does the best he can with what he thinks he has. Fitz lacks ambition and drive, always so caught up in how powerless he feels that he lives within a narrow set of self-made limitations, never realizing that to be the case. It makes for a very interesting story – different from all the hero tales.

The Farseer Trilogy is a A recommended read.

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Robin Hobb is the pen name of Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden (born March 5, 1952), an American writer. She is best known for the books set in the Realm of the Elderlings, which started in 1995 with the publication of Assassin’s Apprentice, the first book in the Farseer trilogy.


The Farseer Trilogy is a collection of three books written by Robin Hobb. The narrative follows the life of FitzChivalry Farseer (Fitz), as he becomes a trained assassin in the kingdom of The Six Duchies. Fitz’ personal story is set against the larger backdrop of a brewing war against the Red-Ship Raiders who are attacking the shores of the kingdom and turning people into Forged Ones – a type of zombie. Prince Verity, heir apparent, is fighting a war on two fronts – the second fraught with political intrigue and subterfuge as his younger half-brother, Prince Regal, is scheming and plotting to become the next king himself.

The books of the series are:

Assassin’s Apprentice (1995)
Royal Assassin (1996)
Assassin’s Quest (1997)


Genre: Fantasy
Written by: Robin Hobb
Series: The Farseer Trilogy
Available formats: Unabridged audiobook, Kindle edition, Paperback, Hardcover, Audio MP3 CD.
Publisher (Kindle): HarperCollins (27 Jun. 2013)
Release date: 1995 – 1997
Language: English
Format: Kindle Edition


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 We based our Ergohacks Verdict on a recent re-read of The Farseer Trilogy to see if it’s just as good now as it was twenty years ago (it is). This article was first published on 13 August 2017.