cover image Assassin’s Apprentice

Assassin’s Apprentice

Robin Hobb, Jody Houser, and Ryan Kelly. Dark Horse, $29.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-5067-2897-1

Hobb’s high fantasy Farseer trilogy gets enhanced with expressive renderings of its characters and worldbuilding in this immersive graphic novel adaptation scripted by Houser (the Vox Machina Origins series) and drawn by Kelly (the Stranger Things comics series). The bastard son of an heir apparent, Fitz is a wild card in the line of succession to the First Duchy of Buckkeep, a medieval-ish realm. He possesses the power to communicate telepathically with animals, a rare skill shared by his grandfather King Shrewd, who takes Fitz under his protection to mold into an ideal potential spy. Fitz is trained by an assortment of tutors including Chade, who teaches him “the fine art of assassination.” Typical to the genre, the fantasy unspools through an extensive cast of dramatis personae but keeps them distinct through sharp dialogue and Kelly’s well-defined character designs. This series launch covers only the first half of Hobb’s novel, leaving many questions unanswered as the narrative ends on an abrupt but suitable cliff-hanger. This will appeal to fans of Game of Thrones, The Wheel of Time, and other such political intrigues in elaborate fantastical settings. (Nov.)