What is the summary for Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Assassin's Apprentice - A Summary

The Assassin's Apprentice is an allegory in which Fitz, six years old when he is introduced to King Shrewd's Buckkeep, must, in keeping with the double meaning of his name, find a way to both adapt to and become appropriately suited to the home of the Crown Prince of whom he is the illegitimate son. This necessity forces itself upon him when he is rejected by his mother's father and sent to Buckkeep, which is King Shrewd's fortress and the emblem of the indomitable male spirit; the embodiment of risk taking while forcing a way through insurmountable odds; and the possession Fitz must hold on to as his own for, first, subsistence and, then, future glory.

Fitz is walked by his angry, old and overburdened grandfather up to the doors of Buckkeep to fearlessly--he has little to lose--proclaim Fitz as the illegitimate son of the "King-in-Waiting," Prince Chivalry, and left there in the keeping of the guard of the keep door. Not recognized as part of the royal bloodline, he is given over to Chivalry's stableman, Burrich.

Fitz doesn't find welcome when events conspire against him as Chivalry abdicates his kingly right as heir apparent to the throne and as the Queen and Prince Regal plot to kill Fitz. King Shrewd interferes with their plot because he sees how Fitz can be put to use. He trains him as a squire would be trained for the knighthood, then makes him apprentice to Chade, the King's assassin. His job will be to maim or murder to protect the King and the secrets of the realm.

Fitz's role as assassin's apprentice is to gather information and to report to Chade, yet, if he uncovers any threat to King or realm, he is to assassinate whomever is involved. The story of Fitz's early adventures as told in Assassin's Apprentice ends with incomplete storylines because Assassin's Apprentice is the first of a trilogy about Fitz's life. 

Robin Hobb - A Biography

Robin Hobb is known in real life as Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden. Married to Fred Ogden, Margaret writes under the pen names of Megan Lindholm and Robin Hobb. Her writing career began with children's short stories published in children's periodicals like Humpty Dumpty. Born in Berkeley, California, but raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, she curtailed her college education at Denver University to return to Alaska and marry Fred, with whom she moved to Kodiak, Alaska, where they raised a family of three children.

Ogden began writing novels after winning the 1980 Alaska State Council of the Arts prize for "The Poaching." Her first modern fantasies were written as Megan Lindholm. When she changed directions and began epic fantasies, which are not in a modern setting, she adopted the pen name Robin Hobb, under which she has written the Farseer trilogy, which is set in the Realm of the Elderlings and of which Assassin's Apprentice is the first book.

A professional writer for over 30 years, Ogden now lives and writes in Tacoma, Washington, where she indulges her interest in gardening, mushrooming, beachcombing and enjoying her three grandchildren. Two truths that Ogden writes by are that research is paramount and that "life is an influence":

"Every book I ever read, every song I ever heard, every dog that ever walked with me, every cat that ever kicked my desk clean ... life is an influence."

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