The Folio Society has a new fantasy series for collectors to drool over: it has announced that it’s releasing Robin Hobb’s epic Farseer trilogy in an impressive boxed set, just in time for the 25th anniversary of the first novel, Assassin’s Apprentice.
The Folio Society’s known for its high-end reprints of classic novels, and in recent years, it’s delved into the world of science fiction and fantasy, with books such as Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes, Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, Left Hand of Darkness, and A Wizard of Earthsea, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and many others.
This latest offering is the complete Farseer trilogy, which is comprised of Assassin’s Apprentice (1995), Royal Assassin (1996), and Assassin’s Quest (1997). It follows FitzChivalry “Fitz” Farseer, a boy who grows up in Buckkeep Castle as an illegitimate member of the royal family, and who trains to become an assassin to protect the throne, held by his uncle Regal, and goes on to cover his later adventures as an assassin.
Hobb set a number of her other novels in the same world, including the Liveship Traders trilogy (published between 1998 and 2000), The Tawny Man trilogy (2001-2003), Rain Wild Chronicles (2009-2013), and finished off the adventures of Fitz with the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, which included Fool’s Assassin, (2014), Fool’s Quest (2015), and Assassin’s Fate (2017).
Image: David Palumbo / The Folio Society
The books are beautiful editions: they come with new forewords, introductions, or afterwords by the author themselves, or another knowledgeable author, along with original art that the publisher has commissioned for each volume.
For Hobb’s trilogy, the Folio Society commissioned David Palumbo—who’s best known for his work for places like Wizards of the Coast, Solaris, Nightshade, Pyr, and Tor.com—to provide five new illustrations in each volume.
The trilogy also features a new introduction from Hobb in Assassin’s Apprentice, who looks back on the trilogy and how she came up with it. She explains that she’s always been drawn to powerful characters, but in this instance, the books sprang out of an idea: What if magic was addictive? Where would that lead? She then came up with Fitz, and the words began to pour out.
The entire trilogy is available today, and runs for $250.