Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb is an Epic Fantasy, a Coming-of-Age story; and a story of Political intrigue.
It is the story of FitzChivalry Farseer. Fitz is the bastard son of Prince Chivalry, who is heir to the throne of the Six Duchies kingdom.
At the age of 6, the nameless boy is unceremoniously delivered to the castle of his birth father, where he is raised by the king's stablemaster.
Fitz has magical gifts - the ability to communicate telepathically with both animals and humans, which sometimes helps him and sometimes marks him for the hatred of others (along with his illegitimate birth). When his grandfather King Shrewd takes notice of the boy, he orders that he be trained as an assassin.
The climax occurs when, as a teenager, Fitz is ordered to kill the innocent prince of a neighboring kingdom. He must balance his duty to his king with his own conscience and his loyalty to those around him.
It's a complex story with many subplots and many well-developed characters. It's often difficult to tell who is loyal and who is conspiring against our hero.
Assassin's Apprentice is Book 1 of the Farseer Trilogy, which is the first of several trilogies and novels Hobb has written about Fitz and his universe. I plan to return to this series in a few months. For now, I am savoring this volume.