Newest Review: ... Thick, who takes an instant dislike to Fitz. Whilst Queen Ketricken and Prince Dutiful must give all their attention to their guests the... more
Can fantasy possibly get much better than this?
The Golden Fool - Robin Hobb
Member Name: sparkymarky1973
The Golden Fool - Robin Hobb
Advantages: Great continuation of a truly inspired story.
Disadvantages: Only that this is the penultimate adventure for Fitz.....
The Golden Fool is the continuation of a story begun way back with Robin Hobb's debut novel, Assassin's Apprentice, and a direct sequel to the bok Fool's Errand; the first of three novels in The Tawny Man trilogy. Fitz Chivalry, in his guise of Tom Badgerlock, has returned to court life at Buckkeep in the servitude of the mysterious Lord Golden who himself is merely a facade behind which hides Fitz's long-time ally and companion, The Fool.
A time of change is coming to the Six Duchies and in paticular the ruling line of the Farseers'. Prince Dutiful, heir to the throne, is soon to become betrothed to the Outislanders' Narcheska in a bid to promote peace between the two continents. But it soon becomes apparent that all is not as straight forward as it seems and that The Fool's nemesis known only as The Pale Woman, a woman largely reponsible for The Red Ship Wars, has not only her own agenda but also her own reasons for seeing Dutiful wed his bride. It is up to Fitz, The Fool and Queen's advisor, Chade, to fathom out her plans and set Fate back in the direction they want it to go but their efforts are still being thwarted by the group of Witted folk known as The Piebalds who threaten to expose Dutiful himself as possessing the Wit; a magic long-feared and resented by the people of the Six Duchies that allows a person to bond with an animal and communicate with them as an equal. If it should become known publically that the Farseer line carries the Wit, it could have many and far-reaching repercussions....
Meanwhile Fitz is also coereced into forming a coterie of Skilled folk to aid the Prince; this despite the fact that both Chade and Fitz's knowledge of the Skill, an ancient Farseer magic that much resembles and yet is different to the Wit, is patchy and incomplete. This in turn leads to the formation of one of the most bizarre coteries' in recorded history.
Once again Hobb has managed to craft a magical and truly wonderful tale that all her fans and newcomers' to her writing are bound to enjoy. There are few writers who can cast such a spell over their readers' as Hobb and fewer still who can do it as consistently. With her remarkably strong characterisation, you can really feel for Fitz as his loyalty to both his two bestest friends is stretched to the limit and if one thing is certain by the close of curtain, it is that his relationship with either will never be the same again. Every word flows across the page and Hobb manages to pack so much in that you are left reeling by the end but eagerly awaiting the last installment. This trilogy is a classic tale as worthy of reading as anything by Tolkien and it is true beyond doubt that fantasy really doesn't get a hell of a lot better than this!! Hobb provokes a real sense of empathy with her characters and it is just a shame that more writers cannot write as passionately as her.
Newcomers to the series would do better to read Fool's Errand before embarking on this but although previous knowledge of her world is useful, you don't need to read the prior two trilogies to enjoy this. To get the full effect however, I would reccommend picking up the Assassin's series and the Liveship trilogy.
Summary: Fantasy as it deserves to be written- another mighty masterpiece that is a classic in the making.