Fool's Fate (Tawny Man Series #3)

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Assassin, spy, and Skillmaster, FitzChivalry Farseer, now known only as man-at-arms Tom Badgerlock, has become firmly ensconced in the queen's court at Buckkeep. Only a few are aware of his fabled, tangled past - and the sacrifices he made to survive it. And fewer know of his possession of the Skill magic. With Prince Dutiful, his assassin-mentor Chade, and the simpleminded yet strongly Skilled Thick, FitzChivalry strives to aid the prince on a quest that could ultimately secure peace between the Six Duchies and ...
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Fool's Fate (Tawny Man Series #3)

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Assassin, spy, and Skillmaster, FitzChivalry Farseer, now known only as man-at-arms Tom Badgerlock, has become firmly ensconced in the queen's court at Buckkeep. Only a few are aware of his fabled, tangled past - and the sacrifices he made to survive it. And fewer know of his possession of the Skill magic. With Prince Dutiful, his assassin-mentor Chade, and the simpleminded yet strongly Skilled Thick, FitzChivalry strives to aid the prince on a quest that could ultimately secure peace between the Six Duchies and the Outislands - and win Dutiful the hand of the Narcheska Elliania.

For the Narcheska has set the prince on an unfathomable task: to behead a dragon trapped in ice - the legendary Icefyre, on the island of Aslevjal. Yet not all the clans of the Outislands support the prince's effort to behead their legendary defender. Are there darker forces at work behind the Narcheska's imperious demand? As the prince and his coterie set sail, FitzChivarly works behind the scenes, playing nursemaid to the ailing Thick, while striving to strengthen their Skill - ultimately bringing his unacknowledged daughter into the web of the Skill magic, where the truth must finally unfold.

The quest emerges amid riddles that must be unraveled, a clash of cultures, and the ultimate betrayal. For knowing that the Fool has foretold he will die on the island of ice, FitzChivalry has plotted with Chade to leave his dearest friend behind. But fate cannot so easily be defied.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Hobb's riveting conclusion to the Tawny Man series in the Farseer world (after Fool's Errand and Golden Fool), FitzChivalry Farseer and the man known as the Fool follow the dizzying, complex and treacherous steps that destiny has arranged for them-even though they both know that the end of the dance leads to agonizing decisions and, ultimately, death. Thrown in with Fitz and the Fool are a band of travelers who are on a quest to seek the head of the dragon Icefyre so that Prince Dutiful Farseer may marry the Narcheska Elliania. Most of the group find the time-consuming undertaking difficult and repugnant, for none of them truly wants to kill the ice-bound dragon, not even the Narcheska, it seems. All, however, are duty-bound to honor their word. Since the Fool has foreseen that all the possible consequences of killing the dragon spell his doom, his is the lone voice of dissent. With its carefully modulated tension, wonderful final revelation and strong characters who remain true to themselves throughout, this series may well become a classic in the fantasy field. (Feb. 10) Forecast: This completes the nine-volume Farseer series (Assassin's Apprentice, etc.), but a tiny hole leaves room for more books. The pseudonymous Hobb, whose real name is Megan Lindholm, may find it had to resist popular demand. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
To bring an end to war in the Six Duchies, FitzChivalry Farseer and his companions, Chade and Thick, sail to the icebound realm of Aslevjal, where the great black dragon, Icefyre, lies sleeping. Armed with his father's sword, FitzChivalry risks his life in a cause greater than himself. The author of the "Liveship Traders" and the "Farseer" trilogies concludes her tale of reluctant hero FitzChivalry in grand style. Hobb's rich, vibrant, and unique world, filled with sentient ships, magical beasts, and fascinating characters, deserves exposure to a wide audience. Highly recommended. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A satisfying end to the author's Tawny Man trilogy. As before, the story is narrated by FitzChivalry Farseer, the royal bastard trained as an assassin. Prince Dutiful, heir apparent to the throne of the Six Duchies, has promised his fiancee, an Outisland princess, that he'll bring her the head of a dragon frozen on an isolated northern island. Now, Hobb (a.k.a. Megan Lindholm) explores the consequences of that promise, both for the young couple and for those required to help the prince fulfill it. Lord Golden, the former royal fool, has foreseen his own death on the island where the dragon is buried. Fitz, whose life is deeply entangled with the fool's, decides to prevent his friend from taking the journey. On the trip to the Outislands, the prince's companion Thick, a half-witted peasant gifted with extraordinary telepathic powers, becomes convinced he'll die of seasickness; the prince puts him in Fitz's care, no light burden. And upon arrival in the islands, the royal party learns that the dragon-slaying that Dutiful has promised is opposed by a significant faction among the island notables. Dutiful shows his growing maturity by negotiating the diplomatic hurdles skillfully; the compromise solution is that the prince will take only a token force with him, escorted by a wicked band of island warriors who will witness his deed and report it to the full council. And, as it turns out, the dragons have something to say about things, too. Hobb works this complex situation into an atmosphere-filled adventure on the glacial island, with a fair quota of surprises. As in the first two entries, much of the tension comes from the interaction of a large group of characters with conflicting agendasand considerable power to enforce their wills. A winning combination of strong characters and colorful societies. Agent: Ralph Vincinanza/Ralph Vincinanza Agency
From the Publisher
Praise for Robin Hobb and Fool’s Fate
“Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons.”—George R. R. Martin
“[Robin] Hobb’s rich, vibrant and unique world [is] filled with sentient ships, magical beasts, and fascinating characters. . . . Highly recommended.”Library Journal
“Rich, enchanting fantasy from one of today’s best practitioners . . . reminiscent of Ursula Le Guin’s The Other Wind [and] Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series.”BookPage
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553801545
  • Publisher: Bantam Books
  • Publication date: 2/3/2004
  • Series: Tawny Man Series , #3
  • Pages: 631
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb is the author of the Farseer Trilogy, the Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, the Soldier Son Trilogy, and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. She has also written as Megan Lindholm. She is a native of Washington State.

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Read an Excerpt

Fool's Fate

Book 3 of The Tawny Man
By Robin Hobb


Copyright © 2004 Robin Hobb
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-553-89872-8

Chapter One


Sometimes it seems unfair that events so old can reach forward through the years, sinking claws into one's life and twisting all that follows it. Yet perhaps that is the ultimate justice: we are the sum of all we have done added to the sum of all that has been done to us. There is no escaping that, not for any of us.

So it was that everything that the Fool had ever said to me and all the things he'd left unsaid combined. And the sum was that I betrayed him. Yet I believed that I acted in his best interests, and mine. He had foretold that if we went to Aslevjal Island, he would die and Death might make another snap of his jaws at me. He promised to do all in his power to see that I survived, for his grand scheme to change the future required it. But with my latest brush with death still fresh in my memory, I found his promises more threatening than reassuring. He had also blithely informed me that once we were on the island, I would have to choose between our friendship and my loyalty to Prince Dutiful.

Perhaps I could have faced one of those things and stood strong before it, but I doubt it. Any one of those things was enough to unman me, and facing the sum of them was simply beyond my strength.

So I went to Chade. I told him what the Fool had said. And my old mentor arranged that when we sailed for the Out Islands, the Fool would not go with us.

Spring had come to Buckkeep Castle. The grim black stone edifice still crouched suspiciously on the steep cliffs above Buckkeep Town, but on the rolling hills behind the keep, new green grass was pushing optimistically up through the standing brown straw of last year's growth. The bare-limbed forests were hazed with tiny green leaves unfurling on every tree branch. The wintry mounds of dead kelp on the black beaches at the foot of the cliffs had been swept away by the tides. Migratory birds had returned, and their songs rang challenges in the forested hills and along the beaches where seabirds battled for choice nesting nooks in the cliffs. Spring had even invaded the dim halls and high-ceilinged chambers of the keep, for blossoming branches and early-blooming flowers graced every alcove and framed the entries of the gathering rooms.

The warmer winds seemed to sweep my gloom away. None of my problems and concerns had vanished, but spring can dismiss a multitude of worries. My physical state had improved; I felt more youthful than I had in my twenties. Not only was I building flesh and muscle again, but I suddenly possessed the body that a fit man of my years should have. The harsh healing I had undergone at the inexperienced hands of the coterie had inadvertently undone old damage as well. Abuse I had suffered at Galen's hands in the course of his teaching me the Skill, injuries I had taken as a warrior, and the deep scars from my torture in Regal's dungeons had been erased. My headaches had nearly ceased, my vision no longer blurred when I was weary, and I did not ache in the chill of early morning. I lived now in the body of a strong and healthy animal. Few things are so exhilarating as good health on a clear spring morning.

I stood on the top of a tower and looked out over the wrinkling sea. Behind me, tubs of earth, freshly manured, held small fruit trees arrayed in blossoms of white and pale pink. Smaller pots held vines with swelling leaf buds. The long green leaves of bulb flowers thrust up like scouts sent to test the air. In some pots, only bare brown stalks showed, but the promise was there, each plant awaiting the return of warmer days. Interspersed with the pots were artfully arranged statuary and beckoning benches. Shielded candles awaited mellow summer nights to send their glow into the darkness. Queen Kettricken had restored the Queen's Garden to its former glory. This high retreat was her private territory. Its present simplicity reflected her Mountain roots, but its existence was a much older Buckkeep tradition.

I paced a restless turn around its perimeter path, and then forced myself to stand still. The boy was not late. I was early. That the minutes dragged was not his fault. Anticipation warred with reluctance as I awaited my first private meeting with Swift, Burrich's son. My queen had given me responsibility for Swift's instruction in both letters and weaponry. I dreaded the task. Not only was the boy Witted, but he was undeniably headstrong. Those two things, coupled with his intelligence, could carry him into trouble. The Queen had decreed that the Witted must be treated with respect, but many still believed that the best cure for Beast Magic was a noose, a knife, and a fire.

I understood the Queen's motive in entrusting Swift to me. His father, Burrich, had turned him out of his home when the boy would not give up the Wit. Yet the same Burrich had devoted years to raising me when I was a lad and abandoned by my royal father as a bastard that he dared not claim. It was fitting that I now do the same for Burrich's son, even if I could never let the boy know that I had once been FitzChivalry and his father's ward. So it was that I awaited Swift, a skinny lad of ten summers, as nervously as if I faced the boy's father. I took a deep breath of the cool morning air. The scent of the fruit tree blossoms balmed it. I reminded myself that my task would not last long. Very soon, I would accompany the Prince on his quest to Aslevjal in the Out Islands. Surely I could endure being the lad's instructor until then.

The Wit Magic makes one aware of other life, and so I turned even before Swift pushed open the heavy door. He shut it quietly behind him. Despite his long climb up the steep stone stairs, he was not breathing hard. I remained partially concealed by screening blossoms and studied him. He was dressed in Buckkeep blue, in simple garments befitting a page. Chade was right. He would make a fine axeman. The boy was thin, in the way of active boys of that age, but the knobs of shoulders under his jerkin promised his father's brawn. I doubted he would be tall, but he would be wide enough to make up for it. Swift had his father's black eyes and dark curling hair, but there was something of Molly in the line of his jaw and the set of his eyes. Molly, my lost love and Burrich's wife. I took a long, deep breath. This might be more difficult than I had imagined.

I saw him become aware of me. I stood still, letting his eyes seek me out. For a time we both stood, unspeaking. Then he threaded his way through the meandering paths until he stood before me. His bow was too carefully practiced to be graceful.

"My lord, I am Swift Witted. I was told to report to you, and so I present myself."

I could see he had made an effort to learn his court courtesies. Yet his blatant inclusion of his Beast Magic in how he named himself seemed almost a rude challenge, as if he tested whether the Queen's protection of the Witted would hold here, alone with me. He met my gaze in a forthright way that most nobles would have found presumptuous. Then again, I reminded myself, I was not a noble. I told him so. "I am not 'my lord' to anyone, lad. I'm Tom Badgerlock, a man-at-arms in the Queen's Guard. You may call me Master Badgerlock, and I shall call you Swift. Is that agreed?"

He blinked twice and then nodded. Abruptly, he recalled that that was not correct. "It is, sir. Master Badgerlock."

"Very well. Swift, do you know why you were sent to me?"

He bit his upper lip twice, swift successive nibbles, then took a deep breath and spoke, eyes lowered. "I suppose I've displeased someone." Then he flashed his gaze up to mine again. "But I don't know what I did, or to whom." Almost defiantly, he added, "I cannot help what I am. If it is because I am Witted, well, then, it isn't fair. Our queen has said that my magic should not make any difference in how I am treated."

My breath caught in my throat. His father looked at me from those dark eyes. The uncompromising honesty and the determination to speak the truth was all Burrich's. And yet, in his intemperate haste, I heard Molly's quick temper. For a moment, I was at a loss for words.

The boy interpreted my silence as displeasure and lowered his eyes. But the set of his shoulders was still square; he did not know of any fault he had committed, and he would not show any repentance until he did.

"You did not displease anyone, Swift. And you will find that to some at Buckkeep, your Wit matters not at all. That is not why we separated you from the other children. Rather, this change is for your benefit. Your knowledge of letters surpasses the other children of your age. We did not wish to thrust you into a group of youths much older than you. It was also decided that you could benefit from instruction in the use of a battle-axe. That, I believe, is why I was chosen to mentor you."

His head jerked and he looked up at me in confusion and dismay. "A battle-axe?"

I nodded, both to him and to myself. Chade was up to his old tricks again. Plainly the boy had not been asked if he had any interest in learning to wield such a weapon. I put a smile on my face. "Certainly a battle-axe. Buckkeep's men-at-arms recall that your father fought excellently with the axe. As you inherit his build as well as his looks, it seems natural that his weapon of choice should be yours."

"I'm nothing like my father. Sir."

I nearly laughed aloud, not from joy, but because the boy had never looked more like Burrich than he did at that moment. It felt odd to look down at someone giving me his black scowl. But such an attitude was not appropriate to a boy of his years, so I coldly said, "You're like enough, in the Queen's and Councilor Chade's opinions. Do you dispute what they have decided for you?"

It all hovered in the balance. I saw the instant when he made his decision, and almost read the workings of his mind. He could refuse. Then he might be seen as ungrateful and sent back home to his father. Better to bow his head to a distasteful task and stay. And so he said, voice lowered, "No, sir. I accept what they have decided."

"That's good," I said with false heartiness.

But before I could continue, he informed me, "But I have a skill with a weapon already. The bow, sir. I had not spoken of it before, because I did not think it would be of interest to anyone. But if I'm to train as a fighter as well as a page, I already have a weapon of choice."

Interesting. I regarded him in silence for a moment. I'd seen enough of Burrich in him to suspect he would not idly boast of a skill he didn't possess. "Very well, then. You may show me your skills with a bow. But this time is set aside for other lessons. To that end, we've been given permission to use scrolls from the Buckkeep library. That's quite an honor for both of us." I waited for a response.

He bobbed a nod, and then recalling his manners, "Yes, sir."

"Good. Then meet me here tomorrow. We'll have an hour of scrolls and writing, and then we'll go down to the weapons court." Again I awaited his reply.

"Yes, sir. Sir?"

"What is it?"

"I'm a good horseman, sir. I'm a bit rusty now. My father refused to let me be around his horses for the last year. But I'm a good horseman, as well."

"That's good to know, Swift." I knew what he had hoped. I watched his face, and saw the light in it dim at my neutral response. I had reacted almost reflexively. A boy of his age shouldn't be considering bonding with an animal. Yet as he lowered his head in disappointment, I felt my old loneliness echo down the years. So too had Burrich done all he could to protect me from bonding with a beast. Knowing the wisdom of it now didn't still the memory of my thrumming isolation. I cleared my throat and tried to keep my voice smoothly assured when I spoke. "Very well, then, Swift. Report to me here tomorrow. Oh, and wear your old clothes tomorrow. We'll be getting dirty and sweaty."

He looked stricken.

"Well? What is it, lad?"

"I ... sir, I can't. I, that is, I don't have my old clothes anymore. Only the two sets the Queen gave me."

"What happened to them?"

"I ... I burned them, sir." He suddenly sounded defiant. He met my eyes, jaw jutting.

I thought of asking him why. I didn't need to. It was obvious from his stance. He had made a show for himself of destroying all things that bound him to his past. I wondered if I should make him admit that aloud, then decided that nothing would be gained by it. Surely such a waste of useful garments was something that should shame him. I wondered how bitterly his differences with his father had run. Suddenly the day seemed a little less brightly blue. I shrugged, dismissing the matter. "Wear what you have, then," I said abruptly, and hoped I did not sound too harsh.

He stood there, staring at me, and I realized that I hadn't dismissed him. "You may go now, Swift. I will see you tomorrow."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, Master Badgerlock." He bowed, jerkily correct, and then hesitated again. "Sir? May I ask you a last question?"


He looked all around us, almost suspiciously. "Why do we meet up here?"

"It's quiet. It's pleasant. When I was your age, I hated to be kept indoors on a spring day."

That brought a hesitant smile to his face. "So do I, sir. Nor do I like to be kept so isolated from animals. That is my magic calling me, I suppose."

I wished he had let it rest. "Perhaps it is. And perhaps you should think well before you answer it." This time I intended that he hear the rebuke in my voice.

He flinched, then looked indignant. "The Queen said that my magic was not to make a difference to anyone. That no one can treat me poorly because of it."


Excerpted from Fool's Fate by Robin Hobb Copyright © 2004 by Robin Hobb. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 132 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2006


    A fitting end to a wonderful series. I cried with joy for Fitz to finally have peace. Don't read the series if you can't get emotionally attached to your characters. Robin Hobb outdoes herself with an ending which fulfills the thing all readers hope for in a series, 'Satisfactory Completion' although, the way the fool left...*wimpers* but it was to be expected, for nothing expected ever came from the fool...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2003

    best conclusion ever!

    having awaited this book for several anxious months, i thought my expectations were too high... i was mistaken! If you haven't read any of Hobbs previous works, i implore you to. I challenge anyone to read these and not become emotionally attatched to all the main characters... Without a doubt, the best series of books i've ever had the pleasure of reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2012

    This book in particular has left me a complete and utter emotion

    This book in particular has left me a complete and utter emotional wreck, as if I myself just lost the love of my own life. The characters draw the reader in so completely that they become so SO much more than that. However, the ending left me completely know, the Fool deserves a happily-ever-after, too. So please Robin Hobb....please please PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEE I beg of you....even if it's just one more book, please please give us a happy ending for the Fool. If any of your characters ever deserved a happy ending, you KNOW he does. He's the most precious and real of them all. Don't abandon him please.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Great-keeps you guessing!

    Just when you think you know what's going to happen, Robin slips in a new twist....hard to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Ending

    You must read The Farseer series first, but Fool's Fate is a rewarding ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2006

    Good Series

    Robin Hobb's series about FitzChivalry Farseer shows Fitz's growth from wide-eyed boy to foolish young man, to experienced adult. It was enjoyable to me for one reason because even though Fitz was the main character, it wasn't as though he was holy, or respected, or the ONE. He knew what he was in the world and never tried to be more. I got caught up in the story through his thoughts and emotions, and got through his most embarrassing moments to enjoy the ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2005

    I wish it would never end

    Makes me sad, knowing this is the last book. It was excellent. Everyone should read it. Though, it might help if you read the other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2003

    Great epic fantasy

    The heir to the throne of the Six Duchies, Prince Dutiful promises his fiancée, that he will present her with a dragon¿s head, which means an expedition to the remote tundra like Out Island. The former fool Lord Golden knows that he is going to die on this northern wasteland trek, but feels it is his duty to accompany the Prince. His friend, who is also an assassin, FitzChivalry Farseertries tries to persuade Golden into not going, but fails................................................ When they reach one of the independent Out Islands, the royal retinue meets the Hetgurd who disagree with the slaying. The teenage prince negotiates a deal with the Outislanders. He and a small party accompanied by Hetgurd warriors will set off on the trek to slice off the head of a dragon. However, Dutiful and company run into a new problem as the local dragon community refuse to cooperate. Will the two species war, cooperate with some sort of deal such as an exchange for one of the regal crew, or will Dutiful break his first promise to his future wife?.......................................... The third entry in the FitzChivalry Farseertries narrated fantasy series is a delightful tale that shows the complexities of groups trying to come together on an objective, but with each member bringing baggage and an agenda to the table (ship?). The story line is exciting, but it is the ensemble that makes Robin Hobb¿s realm seems so real. Fans will enjoy this deep look at those who must carry out the wishes of their leader although unlike real life whether it is World War One or Operation Iraqi where the decision makers stay away from the battlefield, Dutiful to his credit joins them on the front line..................................... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Left me a little empty...

    I have loved all the books right up to the end but.....I would have to say this one was great except for the Fool's departure. Really? Thats how it ends? Kind of a dis-service to the best written and mysterious character I have ever had the pleasure to read about. I am praying for more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    The Tawny Man Series-Books 1,2&3--Fools Errand, Golden Fool and Fools Fate

    I enjoy Robin Hobbs books and her way of telling a story. I especially enjoyed reading this trilogy because it, briefly, tells you what happened to some characters she introduced in the Liveship series. She incorporates it into the new story and this makes me want to continue reading her books. She gives you a love story, a thriller, fantasy and good old fashioned family stories all rolled into one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Wonderful trilogy finale

    This is the first trilogy by Robin Hobb that I have read. Fool's Fate was a very satisfying finale. I read all three books back to back to back . . . I just couldn't get enough! I'm now reading the Liveship trilogy and I'm on book two. I really appreciate the separateness of each trilogy and also how elements from each are woven throughout the trilogies. Awesome author!

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best Book I've Read

    This one really toyed with my emotions. Some chapters felt like my heart had been squeezed and drained. The most emotional book I've read. And it might be strange to state the most romantic, even though it is a non sexual romance. There was disappointment in the end but not enough to ruin the experience I had reading and loving these characters. I walk away from the Fitz/Fool books with a new favorite series, a new favorite book, and a new favorite character. Not bad considering I almost didn't finish Assassin's Apprentice. Even though I just recently finished I'm very close to wanting to read all six again.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

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    The most amazing read of all time!

    This is simple the most amazing book of the most amazing series in the entire universe. I know I sound like a child obsessing over a new toy, but I am just stating the truth. The characters were so in depth and the story so amazing. It was heartwarming as well as heartbreaking. After reading this, I swear I grew three new hearts and they all got shredded up and then glued back together three thousand times. The only letdown was the end, for a never cared much for Molly and the Fool... well... their parting brought me to tears. The Fool has got to be the most amazing character in all of literature. He is so real. I love how he makes so many mistakes, and is so much like a normal person, and yet is ten times more wise and logical and loving. I think he knows love more than anyone else.

    I hope with all my heart that Robin Hobb writes more with the Fool and Fitz.

    Beloved. :)

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

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    We're off to see the dragon

    Well, first I have to say that this was one of the top 10 series I have read in years. All the characters were real, in depth, people you know well and feel for. My biggest complaint is never really getting to know just who, and what the Fool really was. Poor Fitz was always just one step behind at life. I still can't understand why he went back to a woman who knew nothing about the real person Fitz, and had been married to another man for years and years with scads of children. Ah Well. The story was grippingly interesting right up to the end.(wich was 23rds of the way through the book, then it plods on with tying up loose ends that never really satisfied me. I can't imagine how afer all they had been through, the Fool and Fitz could just pull the plug and split. Huh! Secretly I hope there may be another trilogy to follow that picks up where their relationship left off. And, I was expecting Fitz to bond with one of the Dragons, that would have been a kick. ummm another idea for a sequal? Still, this is Hobb at her best, get it you will enjoy.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    Beautiful Fantasy

    I've finally got and read this book and so glad it's over with. Though the ending kept dragging on and on, it ended how I expected and all the characters were happy. Fool's fate however was not what I expected and he shall forever remain lost in Hobb's world. Other than that, it was a great read to explore with our minds and enjoyed the imagination I got out of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2004

    This series is a must read..

    I read Assasin's apprentice/quest and Royal Assasin about 5 years ago. When the final 3 books where being released I almost didn't want to read them because they can be very depressing. But the very reason I didn't want to read the books are the very reason why they are a must read. Yes, this book is tragic and yes the lead character is week and pathetic most of the time but this isn't supposed to be a fairy tale. This story is of human error, love, misunderstandings and good intentions gone awry. This story stood with me for days after I read it. Robin Hobb is such a great writer that she transports you into her world, You aren't reading this story,Your in this story. I admit, if your looking for an uplifting series, this probably isn't for you. The only bad thing I can say about the book is that I was so dissapointed in the Fool's ending that I practically cried.(I have to admit, this is probably because he was my favorite character). For those of you who are fans and have grown fond of the Fool, you will understand my upset at the conclusion of his story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2004


    Once again, the Tawny Man Series comes through. What a way to end the thing! I loved this book. Excellent character development.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2004

    Excellent ending to an excellent series

    I couldn't wait for this last book to come out and I was hoping it would be as good as the previous ones. I was wrong. It was better. If you wish to read an engaging, emotional, and ultimately provocative story, pick this one. In fact read the entire trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2004

    Utter Garbage

    The 'Tawny Man' trilogy has almost completely vitiated any desire l have to read any more of Hobb/Lindholm's work. Each successive book is weaker than the one before, culminating in the mess that is 'Fool's Fate'. The writing is cliched and the dialogue is pretentious when it isn't simply inept. The events in the plot do not flow naturally from each other; instead, it seems like a set of events was decided upon, and then forced into a sequence regardless of whether they belong there or not, in some cases even in defiance of the author's own established logic. The author resorts to conventional and overused fantasy elements and the resolution is forced. Most unforgivably of all, the protagonist, FitzChivalry, becomes more feckless and pathetic with each chapter. The author seems to take delight in humiliating the character, and by extension, any who identify with him. He is constantly denigrated by himself and others, even when he is clearly in the right. He is exceeded or outmatched at almost every turn in virtually every talent he has, magical or mundane, by those he would by rights excel. He is so comprehensively emasculated throughout the trilogy that it comes across as a vendetta by the author against her own character. Where we should be sharing in his triumphs and basking in vicarious glory we are reduced to wondering how someone could be so weak-spirited in thought and deed, and that is antithetical to the very spirit of the heroic fantasy. Anyone who has come this far in the series will probably be compelled to finish the journey, but don't expect more than a mediocre work with a tendency toward melodrama.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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