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Fool's Errand

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Author: Robin Hobb

Published: October 2002 by Voyager (first published October 15th 2001)

Format: Mass Market Paperback , 661 pages

Isbn: 9780006486015

Language: English


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Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Since then, Fitz has wandered the world accompanied only by his wolf and Wit-partner, Nighteyes, finally settling in a tiny cottage as remote from Buckkeep and the Farseers as possible. But lately the world has come crashing in again. The Witted are being persecuted because of thei Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Since then, Fitz has wandered the world accompanied only by his wolf and Wit-partner, Nighteyes, finally settling in a tiny cottage as remote from Buckkeep and the Farseers as possible. But lately the world has come crashing in again. The Witted are being persecuted because of their magical bonds with animals; and young Prince Dutiful has gone missing just before his crucial diplomatic wedding to an Outislander princess. Fitz’s assignment to fetch Dutiful back in time for the ceremony seems very much like a fool’s errand, but the dangers ahead could signal the end of the Farseer reign. Cover illustration by John Howe

30 review for Fool's Errand

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    A tale of a bond between humans and animals at its finest level. Fool’s Errand is the first book in the Tawny Man trilogy—the third out of five subseries within Hobb’s The Realm of the Elderlings gigantic series—and it is my favorite installment within the entire RotE so far. This is seriously a lovely, memorable, and poignant return to the world of Fitz, Nighteyes, and the Fool’s journey. Honestly, after the disappointment I had with the last installment of the Farseer trilogy, and after the gre A tale of a bond between humans and animals at its finest level. Fool’s Errand is the first book in the Tawny Man trilogy—the third out of five subseries within Hobb’s The Realm of the Elderlings gigantic series—and it is my favorite installment within the entire RotE so far. This is seriously a lovely, memorable, and poignant return to the world of Fitz, Nighteyes, and the Fool’s journey. Honestly, after the disappointment I had with the last installment of the Farseer trilogy, and after the greatness of the Liveship Traders trilogy, I didn’t expect to find how much I’ve missed seeing Fitz, the Fool, and Nigtheyes together until the moment I flipped the pages of this book. Fool’s Errand takes the readers back to Fitz’s journey and I must say I’m absolutely delighted by how captivating this book was got me. Fifteen years have passed since the end of Assassin’s Quest, FitzChivalry Farseer, now called Tom Badgerlock (a persona/identity he created in order to forget his past and began anew) is living in a self-imposed exile with Nighteyes and Hap. The exile, of course, started to change when familiar faces from Fitz’s past came knocking on his door. “Stop longing.You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow.” Slow paced and slow build as per all Hobb's books, almost the entire first half was spent on Fitz recounting the things he did during the fifteen years’ time gap. The second half then focused on the search for Prince Dutiful. Don’t worry, this is completely the opposite of the tedious search for Verity in Assassin’s Quest. In the midst of the search for Dutiful, there was a myriad of characters development and well polished world-building elements to be found. Some readers will probably find this book boring to read, but it certainly wasn’t the case for me. I honestly found this book to be an extremely well-written and poignantly beautiful story. The difficulty of coping with the passage of time, the racial prejudice against the Witted, loneliness, and most of all, animal companionship, are all the main themes of this book. It was utterly a memorable experience due to the characters. The most crucial reason for why I enjoyed reading this one so much was because of the fact that I’ve seen and known these characters during their younger days. This knowledge made the characters even more real than it already seemed to be; even reading their daily lives has become something of a homecoming and reunion with my real friends. I don't even know where to begin explaining how outstanding was the character’s study for Fitz in this book but let me try to do it briefly. I’m always amazed by how well written Fitz was in Farseer trilogy and Hobb really step up her game with this installment. He’s simply a complex and realistic character. Some will hate/love him for it but for me, I found all Fitz’s take on loneliness and emptiness something I can relate to perfectly. This will make me sound like a broken record but I honestly don’t care, this book has amazing character developments and studies and I’ll keep on repeating this in all Hobb’s books until there isn’t any of them anymore, which I envisioned will be as likely as waiting for snow to fall in my country. Fitz, Nighteyes, and the Fool’s friendship have become a treasure I will always remember. Unlike Liveship Traders, Farseer trilogy has even fewer actions and that’s still true here, the actions here consisted more or less of two or three skirmishes but that’s completely okay. Hobb’s strengths are her memorable and well-written characters which keep on getting better and better with each installment because of the subsequent information the readers have collected with each book. This, in my opinion, made up for the lack of action scenes. Plus, as crazy as this will sound, her lovely prose actually keeps on getting better. The world-building information that has been gathered from the past six books and novella wasn’t wasted as there’s always something new to find in its lore and magic systems. Know this, you’re in for the long game here. In this installment, we get to see more and more intricate explanation on the Wit magic system, the Old Blood, and a few revelations on the purpose of the Fool, specifically the White Prophet and the Catalyst. For your information, I’ve read the novella The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince before reading this book and it enhanced my experience of this book. Although the novella’s publication year was the year 2013 and this book was first released on the year 2001, it doesn’t really matter which one you read first but my recommendation is to read the novella first because the novella actually explained the history of the Piebald Prince and why the Witted became hated in the first place intricately. “The past is no further away than the last breath you took.” Fool’s Errand is the first full 5 stars rating I bestowed to Robin Hobb’s books and hopefully the first of many. This is truly an amazing start to the highly acclaimed Tawny Man trilogy; it’s my favorite installment within the entire Realm of the Elderlings series so far. I’m looking forward to engraving the next two books into my past, hopefully as fond and memorable as how this book has become to me. Picture: Fool’s Errand by Koji Suzuki You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    The characterisation of Fitschivalry through the series is brilliant. The books are told from the first person entirely; thus the reader witnesses the change in his thoughts as he grows into a man. In this book, he has developed a new persona: Tom Badgerlock. This is set fifteen years after the Red Ship wars and King Verity’s reawakening of the Dragons. Tom Badgerlock is the person Fitschivalry has evolved into: the one he always wanted to be; he is the man with a simple life, a small farm, a f The characterisation of Fitschivalry through the series is brilliant. The books are told from the first person entirely; thus the reader witnesses the change in his thoughts as he grows into a man. In this book, he has developed a new persona: Tom Badgerlock. This is set fifteen years after the Red Ship wars and King Verity’s reawakening of the Dragons. Tom Badgerlock is the person Fitschivalry has evolved into: the one he always wanted to be; he is the man with a simple life, a small farm, a few friends and the close companionship of his loyal wolf. His reaction is unsurprising when his former mentor and friend comes seeking his help: reluctance. Prince Dutiful, heir to the Farseer throne, has gone missing. Nobody seems to know why. He is suspected of having the Wit and is known to have an undeveloped grasp of the Skill. Tom Badgerlock doesn't want to go back to being the tool of the Farseer throne, their Assassin. Who can blaim him? He wants to be free. Slow, but excellent Few authors of the fantasy genre, if any, could write a book in which the first third of it is essentially the protagonist living in a hut looking back on his youth as he weighs up the decisions of the future. In this Robin Hobb’s style is remarkable. The internal conflict of Fitz really spoke to me. Fitz has earned his rest but at the same time he is the only person who can bring stability to the realm: he must go back to Buckeep and the role of his youth. The novel is very well paced and probably the most apprehension evoking I've read in fantasy; the author knows how to draw the plot out, revealing more information at exactly the right time. The plot could have been over and done with, in three hundred pages or so, but that would not have achieved the same effect. The emotions of Fitz, his fears and worries, all play a pivotal role in establishing the suspense of the plot and only through his vivid characterisation do we, as the reader, understand the meaning behind his decisions. Wonderful Magic A theme has been established through the book, through the use of animals, almost defining the author’s style. The thoughts of animals have been brought to life; their personalities exhibit their animalistic traits. For example, the cat’s snobbish nature and vainglorious attitude to itself is captured in the thoughts it sends to Tom Badgerlock. This is my favourite aspect of the series: the Wit magic. It is a wonderful idea. The relationship between Fitz and Nighteyes is very touching. Their bond, along with the Fool’s closeness to them, is very deep. They are almost one person as their wit bond has rubbed off characteristics onto each other. The Wolf thinks like a human and the Man acts like a wolf. I liked this development and how it becomes tested as Nighteyes ages quicker than Fitz. Robin Hobb is one of my favourite fantasy novelists, third only to Tolkien and Susanna Clarke, her books define the modern fantasy genre, thus they're a must read for any fantasy enthusiast.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I loved the beginning but then bullshit and don’t talk to me about it. Things and people could have died in peace in their shack. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 I loved the beginning but then bullshit and don’t talk to me about it. Things and people could have died in peace in their shack. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  4. 5 out of 5

    Em Lost In Books

    I went into this story with zero expectation. My poor heart was still very tender after the beating it got in Assassin’s Quest. But then I saw everyone reading one or the other Fitz book and going ga ga over. I kept thinking, “did we read the same Fitz stories?” to find the answer I thought why not give another chance to Fitz, perhaps he did better in this. And oh boy, this book simply blew me away. All my complaints of Fitz being whinny and doing nothing went out of the wind. Ms. Hobb what did I went into this story with zero expectation. My poor heart was still very tender after the beating it got in Assassin’s Quest. But then I saw everyone reading one or the other Fitz book and going ga ga over. I kept thinking, “did we read the same Fitz stories?” to find the answer I thought why not give another chance to Fitz, perhaps he did better in this. And oh boy, this book simply blew me away. All my complaints of Fitz being whinny and doing nothing went out of the wind. Ms. Hobb what did you do to Fitz? But am glad whatever you did it worked wonders for me. So this story picks up after the 15 years of events that took place in Assassin’s Quest. Fitz is now Tom Badgerlock and wants to do nothing with Six Duchies. But things get complicated in Six Duchies and Fitz has to return and bring back a runaway prince. Fitz has come a long way from his days of Assassin’s Quest. He is more mature, calmer, and a thinker now. Gone are the days when he used to get angry easily and act in spur of moment. And this new Fitz won my heart even before he solved the mystery of runaway prince and saved the day. The best aspect of this book for me was relation between Fool and Fitz; and Nighteye and Fitz. While the former was more like a new journey, had its bumps and ups and down, the latter was like a marriage where words are not required. One look at the other and you know what you want and what he wants, and the other person always comes first. Hobb’s writing is just amazing. She keeps things simple. Her characters are not all powerful with some super awesome powers, they can’t fly, they can’t read mind, and they can’t turn others into cat or dogs. Her characters are akin to human as much as it can be possible in a fantasy world. She would make you feel sad, helpless, angry, and silly through her characters and that’s what I loved about her in this book. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Errand is an engaging and immersive read in an expansive world that Hobbs has already created. The novel is the first book in the Tawny Man Series which picks up 15 years after the Liveship Traders and Farseer Trilogy. Some readers didn’t need the background information about Fitz or the political intrigue that was woven into his story. Since this is my first book with Fitz in it (and my first Robin Hobb book), I appreciated the background. It was a slow immersion but by the Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Errand is an engaging and immersive read in an expansive world that Hobbs has already created. The novel is the first book in the Tawny Man Series which picks up 15 years after the Liveship Traders and Farseer Trilogy. Some readers didn’t need the background information about Fitz or the political intrigue that was woven into his story. Since this is my first book with Fitz in it (and my first Robin Hobb book), I appreciated the background. It was a slow immersion but by the time the storyline took off I felt like I really knew the Fitz of this specific time and in this context. Given my understanding of what had come before, this transition for Fitz to a solitary and reclusive life with his wolf, Night Eyes, made sense. Throughout the adventure, the emphasis was on character and that is something I enjoyed. Looking forward to continuing the adventure with Fitz!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Obida

    Fool's Errand is the first book in The Tawny Man Trilogy. Though it's book one it's actually a spin-off of Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man is the third book series in The Book of the Elderlings series. So no you cannot start from here, you have to start from Farseer Trilogy. Addictive and captivating. Grown-up Fitz is awesome. After reading the disappointment called Assassin's Quest I couldn't bring myself to continue this series, but the awesomeness of Liveship Traders changed that. ‘When you Fool's Errand is the first book in The Tawny Man Trilogy. Though it's book one it's actually a spin-off of Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man is the third book series in The Book of the Elderlings series. So no you cannot start from here, you have to start from Farseer Trilogy. Addictive and captivating. Grown-up Fitz is awesome. After reading the disappointment called Assassin's Quest I couldn't bring myself to continue this series, but the awesomeness of Liveship Traders changed that. ‘When you cut pieces from the truth to avoid sounding like a fool, you end up sounding like a moron instead.’ Fool's Errand happened fifteen years after Farseer Trilogy, Fitz is on a self imposed exile, almost everyone thought him dead apart from a selected few. Fitz lives on a cottage in the middle of nowhere with Hap his adopted son. Fitz is still depressed but the pity party has reduced a great deal and for that I am happy. This book just like all Hobb's book is character driven which means the book focuses more on character development than plot. So I need not say but the character development is one of the best I've ever read, the characters are all unique with different personalities. Reading Fool's Errand was fun, though I was angry at those that always use Fitz and at him for never refusing, I don't understand his sense of duty, I know they are his family but he has given them everything but his life. So in other words Fitz is same old him with more experience. Nighteyes ever so loyal was also here, I love that he kept Fitz company all those years, I think without him Fitz would have committed suicide. His thought are always fun to read. ‘Pain. That’s what being a Farseer means to me. Pain and being used.’ The Fool is here posing as Lord Golden, he just came back from Bingtown. (view spoiler)[ The Fool was Amber in Liveship (hide spoiler)] He is now rich but still same old mysterious Fool. His friendship with Fitz is one of the best thing in this story, It keeps Fitz going. ‘Fitz. You know I love you, don’t you?’ I halted where I stood. ‘I’d hate to have to kill you,’ he continued. I recognized his adept imitation of my own voice and inflection. I stared at him, baffled. He sat up taller and glanced over the back of his chair at me with a pained smile. ‘Never again attempt to put my clothing away,’ he warned me. ‘Verulean silk should be draped for storage. Not wadded.’ ‘I’ll try to remember that,’ I promised him humbly. Hap is Fitz's adopted son, he just turn fifteen, he is like mini Fitz, since he grew up with Fitz he adapted lots of Fitz's behaviour even his mannerisms and honour. Dutiful the fifteen years old Prince is the character that surprised me most in this book, at first I thought him stupid and gullible, he was just naive and inexperienced. His attitude towards Fitz is awesome, I thought he would be arrogant but he wasn't, after what Fitz did to him he was even happy he was treated as a person and not a Prince, I really empathise with him. ‘To my mother, I am a son. But I am also, always, the Prince and Sacrifice for my people. And to all others, always, I am the Prince. Always. I am no one’s brother. I am no man’s son. I am not anyone’s best friend.’ He laughed, a small strangled laugh. ‘People treat me very well as “my prince.” But there is always a wall there. No one speaks to me as, well, as me.’ He shrugged one shoulder and his mouth twisted to one side wryly. ‘No one except you has ever told me I was stupid, even when I was most definitely being stupid.’ The writing like The Farseer Trilogy is written wholly from Fitz's perspective, It was fun and enjoyable to read. It's written in perfect old English, I love that. The only thing I would change about the writing is that it was written in more than Fitz's perspective. Prince Dutiful the heir to the Six Duchies vanished without a trace, since he lives the palace on his without guards no one suspected anything, days later his mother and Chade became worried and sent for Fitz to go look for him. There has been no ransom and his bethrothal is coming up. They don't know whether he ran away or he was kidnapped by one of the many noble factions.

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Tivendale

    "History is no more fixed and dead than the future. The past is no further away than the last breath you took." - Spoilers from the first series will follow. Fool's Errand is set 15-years after the finale of Assassin's Quest. Once again we follow FitzChivalry Farseer - the assumed dead royal bastard. In song, he is acknowledged by many as being the Witted Bastard ghost that rose from the dead to aid his uncle Verity who was the rightful heir to the throne and he helped him raise the Elderlings a "History is no more fixed and dead than the future. The past is no further away than the last breath you took." - Spoilers from the first series will follow. Fool's Errand is set 15-years after the finale of Assassin's Quest. Once again we follow FitzChivalry Farseer - the assumed dead royal bastard. In song, he is acknowledged by many as being the Witted Bastard ghost that rose from the dead to aid his uncle Verity who was the rightful heir to the throne and he helped him raise the Elderlings and save the Six Duchees. In the years since the Farseer trilogy, Fitz, or Tom Badgelock as he is now currently known has been living in isolation. Well, not exactly. He is accompanied by his adopted son Hap and his wolf companion, Nighteyes. They look after chickens, tend to a handful of horses, and produce herbs they can sell at the local markets. One evening Chade, the former assassin for the King and Fitz's former mentor arrives at his abode. They discuss past times and also current dramas. Chade presents Fitz with a proposition which he politely refuses. A day or so afterwards, his other best friend, known as the Fool arrives also and after reminiscing, he refers to the dire times and grave tidings that Chade had already mentioned. The future king-in-waiting, Fitz's Skill-formed/created son who he has never known has been kidnapped. It takes a while to convince him but after consideration, Fitz decides to assist, although the consequences when he has aided the Farseer line before have not always been the most sought after. Losing your one love, torture, death, children you can never know... etc. Approximately 4-people know his true identity so he takes on the guise as acting as the manservant of the Fool's new character, Lord Golden. The Fool is a frivolous and excentric noble that all wish to impress, flirt with or have the attention of. I am aware that this series should really be read after the Liveship Traders. I jumped straight back into the story of Fitz as I love him as a character. He's a hero, honourable, has the worst luck and does all for the monarchy and what is true even if he loses because of his choices. He is the Changer after all. In this novel, I can't say 100%, but I don't think you are missing much from not reading the other trilogy. The next book, when the entourage from Bingtown arrive and we are told about another of the Fool's characters, Amber, is when I believe prior knowledge of their related pasts would be beneficial but it isn't absolutely necessary as I loved this trilogy, but I can't deny my enjoyment may have been heightened if I had read the Liveship Traders first. I've had no internet for 2-weeks and have read all 3 of the tales from this trilogy so unfortunately they all blur into one which isn't great for reviewing purposes. Dutiful is a great new character. As are Nettle and Thick. This is more of the same, a continuation of the same first-person vibe presented in the first trilogy and I love it for that. At this rate, the Realm of the Elderlings may become one of my top 3 ever fantasy series. Harper Voyager have been nice enough to send me the rest of the books and there is very little I'd wish to read right now that isn't Robin Hobb. She's brilliant. I adore the story, the characters, even tiny things like grammatical choices. She's an expert and I can't wait to read what comes next.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kaora

    Do not you sense it? A crossroads, a vertex, a vortex. All paths change from here. This book made my cry. Multiple times. I don't often cry while reading books. I takes a lot. And I might blame it on pregnancy hormones except Hobb made me cry in her last two series Liveship Traders and Farseer Trilogy and when I read those I wasn't pregnant. But this book again has ruined me. In a good way. Robin Hobb is the type of author that slowly builds her story. She introduces her character and you live their Do not you sense it? A crossroads, a vertex, a vortex. All paths change from here. This book made my cry. Multiple times. I don't often cry while reading books. I takes a lot. And I might blame it on pregnancy hormones except Hobb made me cry in her last two series Liveship Traders and Farseer Trilogy and when I read those I wasn't pregnant. But this book again has ruined me. In a good way. Robin Hobb is the type of author that slowly builds her story. She introduces her character and you live their daily lives and truly get to know them. Some people may find it boring. But I know it is just the beginning. You begin to develop feelings for her characters. They can be positive feelings, or the most negative feelings you have ever experienced. The truth , I discovered, is a tree that grows as a man gains access to experience. A child sees the acorn of his daily life , but a man looks back on the oak. She then spends the remainder of the book turning your opinions on their head as her characters change and evolve in very real ways as events unfold in this fabulous world she has created. Some speak of the savagery of beasts. I will ever prefer that to the thoughtless contempt some men have toward animals. It is the work of an amazing author. She doesn't need to keep your attention with epic battle scenes, but maintains it more subtly with stunning language and unforgettable characters.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️

    No. DAMMIT. 😰 Starting the year with a heartbreak. Stellar start.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Sven

    Again, Robin Hobb demonstrates that you don’t need to write grimdark to generate realism, high drama, or sinister undertones. Now I love my grimdark as much as Hannibal loves liver *phphpht*, but Hobb’s realism is expressed in believable characters, complex relationships, detailed worldbuilding...wait wait wait a minute now...what about blood and guts? Yes, there will be blood too, but the joojoo is not in the gore - the joojoo is in the sustained threat of violence - the joojoo is in the way th Again, Robin Hobb demonstrates that you don’t need to write grimdark to generate realism, high drama, or sinister undertones. Now I love my grimdark as much as Hannibal loves liver *phphpht*, but Hobb’s realism is expressed in believable characters, complex relationships, detailed worldbuilding...wait wait wait a minute now...what about blood and guts? Yes, there will be blood too, but the joojoo is not in the gore - the joojoo is in the sustained threat of violence - the joojoo is in the way the sense of danger and foreboding creeps up on you and builds and seduces you until you can’t help but keep turning pages. You just have to know what is going to happen next. That was my experience anyway. The story begins at a leisurely pace as we catch up to Fitz in his self-imposed exile some 15 years after the events of the Farseer Trilogy. We get a taste of what a life of peace with his wolf Nighteyes is like. I make it sound boring but it’s not. Fitz has been to some interesting places and done some interesting things in those 15 years – including a visit to Bingtown and the Rainwilds which those fans who have read The Liveship Traders series will appreciate. If you’ve skipped that Trilogy to come straight over to Tawny Man then I think you are missing out. Most people do it because they want more of the Fool – more Fool you I say – because there is more Fool in Liveships – so technically that would be more Fool to those who read Liveships first? Damn Fool bastard has me talking in circles. But back to the Bastard – Robin Hobb(no I’m not calling her a bastard) still manages to reintroduce us to an older Fitz and catch us up in a way that is interesting despite being slow. Even when Fitz is doing nothing, I still wanted to know what he was going to do next as his old life calls out to him. And the pace and tension keep increasing from there as Chade’s old apprentice Asssassin is called on to do his duty for his Queen and the Farseer throne. And in Robin Hobb’s world, duty is spelled “P-A-I-N.” So though we know Fitz can’t die, seeing the story is told from his POV in the first person, we should know by now that he is never safe. We should know by now that there are worse things that can happen to Fitz than dying and we should know that Robin Hobb does not hold back from inflicting them on our protagonist. Did I just say Robin Hobb isn’t a bastard? 5 stars And now a quick word from out sponsor Lord Golden Fitz is Dutiful to Fitz’ Dutiful ...but what is Dutiful’s Duty? Should Dutiful be Dutiful to Dutiful ...or should Dutiful be Dutiful to Duty? What so Beautiful seduces Dutiful ...is Duty not Beautiful enough? Will Fitz's Duty bring Beauty ...or will Fitz' duty be rough Psst - Fool says Robin Hobb really is a bastard...bitch... sadist...get off me, I'm the White Prophet and I will be heard. Fool says you should read her next book as soon as possible.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hanne

    This is more or less what I look like whenever FitzChivalry Farseer is involved: So many books later, and I’m still feeling überprotective of Fitz. I got furious with his neighbour when he attacked Fitz in the market place, I wanted to kick Starling out of the door (and none too gently), and I was even too angry to cry when the inevitable happened (view spoiler)[and Nighteyes dies. It was 500 pages in the making and still I was shocked (hide spoiler)] . What Robin Hobb manages to do is quite amazi This is more or less what I look like whenever FitzChivalry Farseer is involved: So many books later, and I’m still feeling überprotective of Fitz. I got furious with his neighbour when he attacked Fitz in the market place, I wanted to kick Starling out of the door (and none too gently), and I was even too angry to cry when the inevitable happened (view spoiler)[and Nighteyes dies. It was 500 pages in the making and still I was shocked (hide spoiler)] . What Robin Hobb manages to do is quite amazing in fact. She writes very factual, very matter-of-fact but it makes the reader react in a very emotional way. You get upset, you want to shout at the characters, you think they are the silliest person on earth, but the next moment you’re grinning from ear to ear and everything is all right with the world again. I love it. Apart from the invasion of your emotional kingdom, there are two other things that make me love these books so much: One, the characters are so real, it’s almost surreal. This includes the animals, I was so impressed with the simple things Robin Hobb does to bring the cats to life for instance. ”Pet me, you’ll feel better" That does feel so cat-like. Two, the way she writes her stories and keeps you guessing. What happened? How did we get there? Is there still a way out of here? Who’s the girl he keeps talking about? Did Nettle tell about her dreams at the breakfast table, and if yes, what did her parents think of that? (And I can keep going like that for a few pages if need be) Seriously, I dread the day I run out of Robin Hobb books to read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Bach

    „Fool?“ „What?“ „You are not Fool anymore. What do they call you these days?“ „What does who call me when?“ „I should not call you Fool anymore. What do you want me to call you?“ „Ah, what do I want you to call me now? I see. An entirely different question. And if I tell you, you would call me by that name?“ „In private only. And only if you wished me to.“ „Ah... Oh, but I would.“ „Then?“ „The name my mother gave me, I give now to you, to call me by in private. Beloved.“ „Fool! I’m serious!“ „And you think „Fool?“ „What?“ „You are not Fool anymore. What do they call you these days?“ „What does who call me when?“ „I should not call you Fool anymore. What do you want me to call you?“ „Ah, what do I want you to call me now? I see. An entirely different question. And if I tell you, you would call me by that name?“ „In private only. And only if you wished me to.“ „Ah... Oh, but I would.“ „Then?“ „The name my mother gave me, I give now to you, to call me by in private. Beloved.“ „Fool! I’m serious!“ „And you think I’m not? Well if you cannot call me Beloved then I suppose you should continue to call me ’Fool’. And if you still insist we must both take different names now, then I shall call you beloved. And whenever I call you that, you may call me fool.“

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Much preferred to the first Fitz trilogy but maybe because the Fitz books are so well integrated into this. It also worked really well for me because I read the first trilogy nearly 20 years ago and so I have been away from the world of Buck keep as long as Fitz himself had! My only minor niggle is that the first third of the book was very slow and by the end of that section I was on the verge of getting restless for some action. Loved this book :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hanna

    3.75 GAAH! These books frustrate the hell out of me! Absolutely and wholly. But I love them. The plot. The characters. I think I hate them like I do because they are so damn realistic. Never the happy ending to anything. Only the harsh and brutal reality. The main character is brave. And good. Lovable. He is also a fool. A wimp. That makes mistakes. That you yell "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" at. Same for other characters. One moment you scream your head of at them. The next you sit there grinn 3.75 GAAH! These books frustrate the hell out of me! Absolutely and wholly. But I love them. The plot. The characters. I think I hate them like I do because they are so damn realistic. Never the happy ending to anything. Only the harsh and brutal reality. The main character is brave. And good. Lovable. He is also a fool. A wimp. That makes mistakes. That you yell "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" at. Same for other characters. One moment you scream your head of at them. The next you sit there grinning like an idiot for how smart or good or funny or interesting they are. Same for the plot. Twisting out of your grasp the very second you think you had it. Turning the absolutely wrong way more times than it turns the right. See where I'm going? This is the case for everything in the WHOLE FRIKKIN' BOOK! All the books. In the whole series! Makes me irritated just thinking about it all. Also makes me want to read it again. It's crazy that I could ever dislike a book so much and still absolutely adore it. Realistic but brave. Heartbreaking and brilliant. READ IT NOW!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Phee

    I am broken. My love for Fitz and the Fool is strong as ever, but my heart is broken from the events of this book. I didn't cry, but I screamed. Also, Fitz and the Fool... I ship it. So damn hard!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This is book #1 in the Tawny Man series, which follows on from the events of the Farseer books and the Liveship books. This series relates a lot more to the characters from the initial Farseer books such as Fitz, the Fool and various other characters, both old and new, who are local to Bukkeep. We are told that the main character (first-person again) of Fitz is now 35, so it's about 15 years after the Farsser series. As we follow Fitz we don't actually know an awful lot about the life he's been l This is book #1 in the Tawny Man series, which follows on from the events of the Farseer books and the Liveship books. This series relates a lot more to the characters from the initial Farseer books such as Fitz, the Fool and various other characters, both old and new, who are local to Bukkeep. We are told that the main character (first-person again) of Fitz is now 35, so it's about 15 years after the Farsser series. As we follow Fitz we don't actually know an awful lot about the life he's been leading for the last 15 years. We haven't seen or heard of him since the ending of Farseer, and so a large amount of the beginning sections relate Fitz's tale and what he's doing now. We see he's living with a young boy who he cares for greatly, and we learn some of the daily life chores for his new persona, Tom Badgerlock. After the initial re-immersion period the actual story kicks in introducing us once more to characters we knew from long ago and many new characters who will also begin to play a new role in the Elderling Realm. Fitz's story starts off slow, but quickly he's drawn to change his pace and take on new challenges and meet new people. The story flies away with itself from that point on. I was wary of returning to Fitz after severely disliking his character and the way he made so many mistakes and blunders in Assassin's Quest (Farseer #3). I found that even though I had really enjoyed Fitz's struggles and character up to that point, he bored me and annoyed me so much in Assassin's Quest I wasn't sure if he was going to be a character I would enjoy reading about anew, luckily my fears were quickly put to rest. As Fitz is so much older and wiser by this book - he has matured and had a life - he makes for a much more likeable character, less inclined to childish mistakes and folly. In the Farseer books we follow a young boy with many secrets, harsh alliances, and different strings attached to him, whilst in Tawny Man, Fitz has had time to reflect on that period of his life and decide that he knows better now. As for the story itself I felt that this one was much better paced and far more fun than the final Farseer one. Clearly the different approach to writing which Hobb adopted for the Liveship books allowed her to hone her skill and master the pacing and structure of her Fitz storyline too. I felt compelled to read this fast, and see where it was heading. I wanted to immerse myself back into the world, and find out the consequences of the events of the Liveship books and the Farseer books. Overall my only slight criticism of this book was that, although we learn a lot throughout this book about new and old characters and the magic of this world, I didn't feel that there was as much mystery or anticipation surrounding certain elements of the plot. In the Liveship books we can see hints and ideas which link into Farseer, and whilst that's still sewn throughout this book, I felt that this was more of a set up for the next book of the series than a fully fledged book of its own. I think that the next two books will more than likely incorporate more of the elements of mystery and wonder I am seeking, and hopefully as a whole the trilogy will make its mark next to the Liveship books. I enjoyed reading this immensely, and I look forward to continuing and finding out more about the state of the Elderling Realm, the opinions of the public on the ending of this book, and finally the new characters who we've been introduced to more in this book. 4*s overall.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diana Stormblessed

    When I say I couldn't put it down, I mean I couldn't put it down. This 661 page book took me about 24 hours to finish. I listened to it on audio and I couldn't disconnect myself. I listened during my commute, during work, during cooking, during putting my kids to bed. It was so great to reconnect with old characters and watch how they have matured. This book is set almost 15 years after Assassin's Quest. Fitz is no longer whiny and misguided. The Fool is no longer mean spirited. Additionally, I When I say I couldn't put it down, I mean I couldn't put it down. This 661 page book took me about 24 hours to finish. I listened to it on audio and I couldn't disconnect myself. I listened during my commute, during work, during cooking, during putting my kids to bed. It was so great to reconnect with old characters and watch how they have matured. This book is set almost 15 years after Assassin's Quest. Fitz is no longer whiny and misguided. The Fool is no longer mean spirited. Additionally, I think Robin Hobb's writing abilities get better and better with each book. I loved Assassin's Apprentice, but this one was just loads above and beyond that one. I loved everything about this book and can't wait to read the next one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Em

    This is my third time of reading this series and it still remains my absolute favourite! Fitz, Fool and of course Nighteyes are absolute heroes and can do no wrong in my eyes. Wishful thinking below, but who cares and I may get my wish come true in the new series, you never know! This is my third time of reading this series and it still remains my absolute favourite! Fitz, Fool and of course Nighteyes are absolute heroes and can do no wrong in my eyes. Wishful thinking below, but who cares and I may get my wish come true in the new series, you never know!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zitong Ren

    I really want to give this five stars, but I feel like it’s not, despite how much I loved the second half and the characters, which, my god, were phenomenal. I first read the Farseer Trilogy about two years ago with probably more than 300 books in between then and now. I did really love the Farseer Trilogy, but I never managed to get a copy of this as it wasn’t at my local library. However, now that I have read it, I found myself to be so fully immersed in this world once again and was pleasantl I really want to give this five stars, but I feel like it’s not, despite how much I loved the second half and the characters, which, my god, were phenomenal. I first read the Farseer Trilogy about two years ago with probably more than 300 books in between then and now. I did really love the Farseer Trilogy, but I never managed to get a copy of this as it wasn’t at my local library. However, now that I have read it, I found myself to be so fully immersed in this world once again and was pleasantly surprised, with a fair bit of recapping on the author’s behalf, that I ended up remembering a fair chunk of events even if the individual Farseer books are a bit(or a lot) jumbled up in my head. What I find Robin Hobb really does excels in, is definitely her characterisation and character arcs, which where all just superb in this book. I do feel that this is a book that is sort of on the transitionary phase between traditional fantasy and modern fantasy, where lots of the worldbuilding and such is fairly standard and is set in this Medieval European styled world, yet the character work equals, if not being better than lots of the most popular modern fantasy writers today. It’s like The Wheel of Time in a way, where the writing style and worldbuilding remains fairly traditional, yet the character work is quite groundbreaking and refreshing. I loved reading about FitzChivalry again and seeing at how he has changed over the time between this book and the last book of Farseer. The Fool remains as interesting as ever, if not still being a bit of a troll. I also really enjoyed these knew characters, especially Prince Dutiful, who I have all the feels for. Even Jinna and Starling were able to hold me attention, while Laurel managed to stay as someone who was unique throughout. Now, while I loved the characters, which is what I want to give this book five stars but can’t quiet, is that the plot and overall pacing did lack for a good chunk of the book. Frankly, nothing important happens during the entire first third of the novel, which is largely spent bridging the gap between the time that has passed between the two trilogies. While I enjoyed the character work and catching up with what has been going on, I wasn’t particularly engaged about the whole thing. Even then, the plot was slow to pick up and it probably wasn’t until about sixty percent of the way through that the book become that engaging. After that however, I loved every single moment of it. That isn’t to say I didn’t like the first chunk, in fact, I really loved catching with all of these characters again, yet at the same time, I wished that a bit more could have been going on. The worldbuilding, while decent it not overly deep or very expansive and is kept fairly contained. There are some background and histories, but only a few major events are really mentioned. There is some travel where we explore the landscape of the world a bit more, but not really its history or lore. I did like the little introductory parts to the start of each chapter that provided a bit of contextual information of the world, which was something I could appreciate. In terms of actual scope, it is fairly small, and this is certainly a world that focusses more of the people that inhabit it rather than vast sweeping histories and ballads detailing the glorious of conquest of x or y. It does manage to blend its magic systems(if you can call it that) really well. Both the Wit and Skilling are quite interesting aspects explored here, even if they don’t really feel entirely original. However, the way that the author does manage to present it is done in a well-balanced and interesting way. I am conflicted here as on one hand, I loved the character work and the second half of the book, whilst on the other, I must acknowledge that nothing exciting happened in the first third of the book and it was a bit mundane. Overall, though, I really loved this, even though it was just short of a 5 for me. 8.5/10

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)

    It was a strange transition from the pace of the Liveship Traders to the pace of this trilogy, told (like the Farseer trilogy) entirely in first person from Fitz’s perspective. Fitz is a thorough scribe, to say the least, and this is definitely a set-up book (the main plot doesn’t begin until 200 pages in). But I appreciated this for its quiet steadiness, and found myself getting surprisingly emotional over passing moments of dialogue and introspection. I absolutely can’t wait to read the next t It was a strange transition from the pace of the Liveship Traders to the pace of this trilogy, told (like the Farseer trilogy) entirely in first person from Fitz’s perspective. Fitz is a thorough scribe, to say the least, and this is definitely a set-up book (the main plot doesn’t begin until 200 pages in). But I appreciated this for its quiet steadiness, and found myself getting surprisingly emotional over passing moments of dialogue and introspection. I absolutely can’t wait to read the next two books in this trilogy – I have a feeling they’ll build to something phenomenal.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helene Jeppesen

    Another great book about our hero Fitz. I especially love reading about him for some reason, and this book was no exception. I can't go too much into the story since it's a continuation of the long series Robin Hobb has created, but I can say that I liked how we get to follow Fitz at an older age - and I LOVED that this novel contains cats :D I'm definitely going to continue on with this series once Autumn really sets in.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mili

    So good to be back in the world of the Six Duchies. Fitz is a grown man now and was living a rather relaxed life for a change. That couldn't last forever. Robin Hobb sucks me right in and makes me feel one with Fitz. I love his character, what a softy sometimes haha. Rather sad twist at the end, but she was building towards it. Meh.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I woke up this morning and thought to myself... "hey, I really feel like having my heart ripped out and dashed upon the stones." Yes, it is definitely time to reconnect with Fitz.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

    Okay, I guess I end my attempt to fit in with everybody else here. I'm just no fan of the writing style.

  25. 4 out of 5

    David S Meanderings)

    4.5 stars. I loved it. RTC very soon.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dara

    Fool's Errand picks up 15 years after the events of Assassin's Quest. Fitz is living a quite life in a cottage with a boy he adopted and his loyal wolf Nighteyes. Naturally, things can't stay quiet for poor Fitzy Fitz. Adventure comes to his door in the shape of Chade, followed by the Fool. The first 5 chapters or so deal primarily with catching up with Fitz and finding out what's been going on in his life. In any other writer's hands this would be tedious but Hobb slowly reveals his past in a ta Fool's Errand picks up 15 years after the events of Assassin's Quest. Fitz is living a quite life in a cottage with a boy he adopted and his loyal wolf Nighteyes. Naturally, things can't stay quiet for poor Fitzy Fitz. Adventure comes to his door in the shape of Chade, followed by the Fool. The first 5 chapters or so deal primarily with catching up with Fitz and finding out what's been going on in his life. In any other writer's hands this would be tedious but Hobb slowly reveals his past in a tantalizing way. She reveals what happened to Fitz in snippets and she always left me wanting more. I enjoyed the plot. I was invested in the goings-on at Buckkeep as soon as Fitz arrived. Hobb focuses more on the magic of the Skill and the Wit which I enjoyed. There's a few new characters that I liked, mainly Prince Dutiful. He reminds me of Fitz in many ways but more mature. Hobb's characters are so nuanced and substantial, even the antagonists. I enjoyed spending time with everyone. The real star of the book is Hobb's writing. She's descriptive, moving, and engrossing. I'm to the point that I'll read anything by her. I'm glad I didn't give up on her after Assassin's Quest. Her characters have stuck with me and have becoming some of my all-time favorites. A

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    I often have problems with sequels... BUT NOT THIS ONE!! Robin Hobb delivers with amazing character development, great plot, twists, and brings in great new characters in the first book of The Tawny Man trilogy! The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin's Quest) Liveship Traders Trilogy (Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship, Ship of Destiny) The Tawny Man Trilogy (Fool's Errand, The Golden Fool, Fool's Fate) The Rain Wild Chronicles (Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons, Bl I often have problems with sequels... BUT NOT THIS ONE!! Robin Hobb delivers with amazing character development, great plot, twists, and brings in great new characters in the first book of The Tawny Man trilogy! The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin's Quest) Liveship Traders Trilogy (Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship, Ship of Destiny) The Tawny Man Trilogy (Fool's Errand, The Golden Fool, Fool's Fate) The Rain Wild Chronicles (Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons, Blood of Dragons) The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy (Fool's Assassin, Fool's Quest, Assassin's Fate) Fool's Errand is more a sequel to the Farseer Trilogy than to the Liveship Traders series... are you confused yet? I am! I will make it easy: So, The Farseer Trilogy and The Tawny Man Trilogy are set in the Six Dutchies,  a world with castles and nobles etc. Liveship Traders was... well, traders and port towns and sailors. These two vastly different areas make you feel like you're reading from a different series, but you're not. I love how these two worlds seem so different yet are part of the same realm. Both these trilogies have one main difference that marks them as separate in my mind. Fitz, the main character of the Farseer Trilogy, returns as the first person point of view narrator in The Tawny Man, where there was a third person point of view in Liveship Traders... and no Fitz. On to the book! Fool's Errand wowed me right off the start, with a middle-aged character complaining about being in his thirties. The author has translated all my grunts and back pain moans into majestic words. I was able to relate to the main character after the first paragraph! Immediately I was drawn in with the writing style. I can't say it enough, I just love Robin Hobb's ability to create and describe emotions. I just love how the series is progressing! I had problems with some characters in the earlier books but I did not seem to find those frustrations in Fool's Errand. Everyone seems to be older and ... more in line with my way of thinking. I love how the characters developed. This series has amazing character relationships as well! Probably the best character relationships I've seen all year! I can't get into details without spoiling the books so you will have to go and read them... NOW! :D The plot was great! I did not have high hopes for this series because I was not too excited last we saw Fitz in the Farseer Trilogy. I had problems with the endings in all but one of the six books read previously from this realm. You can tell the author is in a groove and is doing some fantastic writing as I just LOVED the last two books, ending and all! They are getting better and better! I recommend this book to all Fantasy book lovers who enjoy less action and more depth in their characters and emotions. 4.5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I really enjoyed getting back into the bastard's world, although honestly, most of the novel was pastoral and catching up with the main character after almost two decades of living without adventure. When the story picked up, the intrigue was decent and the developments hinted at greater things for the future. It was almost like enjoying his comfortable life was a well earned and just reward for what happened to him as a child. Being drawn back into the world of royalty seemed inevitable because I really enjoyed getting back into the bastard's world, although honestly, most of the novel was pastoral and catching up with the main character after almost two decades of living without adventure. When the story picked up, the intrigue was decent and the developments hinted at greater things for the future. It was almost like enjoying his comfortable life was a well earned and just reward for what happened to him as a child. Being drawn back into the world of royalty seemed inevitable because of his children, his friendship with the Fool, and the decline of Nighteyes. He needed to find a new reason to live, and becoming a teacher seemed right to me. The plot really began much later in the book, and while I don't have a problem with that, per se, I did feel a little like the later action was an afterthought. Or the pastoral was only a means to make sense of the later action. Either one or the other was fine, but together I was left with an odd disjointed feeling. That being said, I still really enjoyed the characters and the direction it's taking. I'm still very interested in seeing the developments.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    This was one of the sadder books in the series but I have to admit, I could not put it down. There's nothing quite like reading a book that really grabs you. I really enjoyed re-reading the first trilogy, seeing Fitz and his friends so young, but I particularly enjoy older Fitz. Lots of great new characters, grand adventure, loss, love, and all things that make a great book. Another beautiful book in a long series of beautiful books. On to the next one!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cass Burton

    Simply put, this is a love letter to Farseer fans.

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