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ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE [Preview/Review]

ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE #1/ Story by ROBIN HOBB & JODY HOUSER/ Script by JODY HOUSER/ Art by RYAN KELLY/ Color Art by JORDIE BELLAIRE/ Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU/ Cover Art by ANNA STEINBAUER/ Published by DARK HORSE COMICS

In the land of the Six Duchies, it is said that the names of noble children forever define their destinies. This proved not to be the case for Prince Chivalry, who sired a bastard with a common woman and ignored the child until he was abandoned on the steps of his father’s keep. That in itself would mark the boy known only as Boy as notable, for the line of the royal family of the Six Duchies is troubled indeed.

Yet there is more to the boy than even his sinister birth. Not only is he a potential heir to the throne, but he is also heir to the power of Wit, which allows men to talk to beasts and know their thoughts as if they were their own. Doubly marked by destiny, Boy will take the name Fitz and grow to be a power to change the world!

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I have not read any of Robin Hobb’s books, so I can’t vouch for the quality of Dark Horse Comics’ Assassin’s Apprentice as an adaptation of the original Farseer Trilogy. As a fantasy comic, however, it is fantastic, and makes me want to read the original book so that I can compare them. Jody Houser has done a fantastic job of conveying the concepts of Hobb’s world with quick efficiency, establishing Fitz as an interesting protagonist.

The artwork is of similar high quality. Ryan Kelly’s characters all look distinctive and have unique appearances, which is surprisingly rare in most of the fantasy comics I’ve read. The colors by Jordie Bellaire are uncharacteristically muted and dark, but this suits the setting and quick establishes it as a dark, dreadful world. There are no colorful fairies or happy endings to be found here! In any case, this is a must-read for all fantasy fans.

Assassin’s Apprentice #1 releases on December 14, 2022.

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