So right now I'm reading Graceling, and I was considering some of the similarities between this book here, which is a more classic fantasy, and so said, 'Ah! I must review this one! It is brilliant because it's about an assassin! You just can't go wrong there!'
And see, Graceling concerns this girl who kills people because the king tells her to, much like Fitz in this book.
Poor Fitz, his mother couldn't keep him so he was dumped off at the castle since he's the prince's bastard, and he just doesn't have a place. No one wants him.
Until one day the king decides to have him trained as an assassin in secret.
So he learns about poison and fighting and all that good stuff.
Then this sort of zombie thing breaks out because people from across the sea are 'forging' people (essentially making them zombies), and he eventually spends a lot of time killing them, which you really can't feel too bad about, because they're pretty much dead anyway.
He also falls in love with a candlemaker girl who has NO IDEA that he's royalty. She thinks he's just some kid who works for them.
This creates complications in Book Two, Royal Assassin.
But back to Book One.
Fitz grows up, killing people, and then he's given an assignment he REALLY doesn't like, and has to come to terms with what he does, who to trust, and what is really important in life.
He's still quite young at the end of the trilogy, and is so conflicted and doesn't know who or what he really is.
This is the sort of thing that happens to a lot of people.
Many people have commented on how a female can write so understandingly about what a young man goes through growing up. I knew a guy who felt that he was Fitz, and though he was probably insane, that kind of gives you an idea about how well she writes.
This is a series that anyone can enjoy. Male, female, old, young . . . there's something in it for everyone.
And if you can't get enough . . . . don't worry, Robin Hobb has written a SECOND Fitz trilogy starting with Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, Book 1), though this one is about him as a much older man, and has written another series in the some world , just a bit south (starts with Ship of Magic :The Liveship Traders) and then she's just started another one in this world too, beginning with Dragon Keeper: Volume One of the Rain Wilds Chronicles.
So if you like it, you're in luck! There's plenty to read!
I read these as a teenager and quickly became obsessed, so if you aren't looking for something that will keep you busy for a long time . . . you may want to wait til you're in a situation in which you have nothing to do for a long time, like if you're recovering from a surgery or something.