have to agree with The Times! Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers.
Hobb is so descriptive in her writing that you are in the world that she has sent you to.
Fitz is the illegitimate son of Chivalry, and as such he is not at first accepted into the Royal household and is left with the master of the horse, and his father's right-hand man 'Burrich', and renamed FitzChivalry.
Burrich discovers the young boy has a magical gift to communicate with animals, 'The Wit' and warns him not to use it. This power saves his life later in the book.
Fitz agrees to become a 'Kings Man' of King Shrewd and is trained to become an assassin, hence the title of the book. He is sent on a mission as an assassin and under oath to do the Kings bidding but finds that he would be committing a great injustice.
Will Fitz become the villain or the hero? You'll have to read the book yourself to find out, and I strongly suggest you do!
I give The Assassin's Apprentice 9/10
A must read for Fantasy Fans!