Title: The Farseer Trilogy... In particular this rec will focus on Assassin's Apprentice, so I don't spoil the rest of the trilogy for you...
Author: Robin Hobb
Blurb: Fitz, a royal bastard, is cast out into the world with only his magical link with animals for soalce and companionship.
But when Fitz is adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and learn a new life: weaponry, scribing, courtly manners... additionally, he is tutored in the art of killing a man secretly.
Meanwhile, OutIslander Raiders ravage the coasts of the Six Duchies, leaving the citizens of the Duchies Forged and soulless. As Fitz grows towards manhood, he will have to face his first terrifying mission, a task that poses as much risk to himself as it does to his target: for Fitz is not only a threat to the throne, but he may also be the key to the future survival of the Six Duchies kingdom...
Rating: PG, maybe M (15+). Although I read it when I was 13 or 14, I think, and it never scarred me :)
The Farseer trilogy is essentially 2000+ pages (over the three novels) of pure intrigue. Unlike your usual fantasy epics, the focus is not on a magician or noble son, but on the bastard son of a Prince who abdicated his claim to the throne; the bastard son who becomes an assassin, sworn to protect the throne of the Six Duchies.
Written in the first person, the story moves at a cracking pace, with so many twists and turns throughout the trilogy none of you would believe the ending should I even try to tell you. Hobb's character development and plot are fantastic, and she expertly weaves the two together, leaving the reader begging for more. But the outstanding factor of the series, for me, is the world she has created. Simply stunning. I've owned this book for 8 or 9 years now and I've read it at least a dozen times, the Farseer trilogy is without a doubt my favourite series of all time.
Grading: A+, without question.
Reason for Pimping: I just can't stand the thought that there's people in this world, particularly fantasty fans, who may not have read this story. Love, pure love, at it's best...