Fool's Errand

Fool's Errand

The Realm of the Elderlings: The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1

eBook - 2002
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For fifteen years FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him. But now, into his isolated life, visitors begin to arrive: Fitz's mentor from his assassin days; a hedge-witch who foresees the return of a long-lost love; and the Fool, the former White Prophet, who beckons Fitz to fulfill his destiny. Then comes the summons he cannot ignore. Prince Dutiful, the young heir to the Farseer throne, has vanished. Fitz, possessed of magical skills both royal and profane, is the only one who can retrieve him in time for his betrothal ceremony, thus sparing the Six Duchies profound political embarrassment . . . or worse. But even Fitz does not suspect the web of treachery that awaits him--or how his loyalties will be tested to the breaking point. Praise for Robin Hobb and Fool's Errand "Fantasy as it ought to be written . . . Robin Hobb's books are diamonds in a sea of zircons."--George R. R. Martin "[Robin] Hobb has created a world brimming with detail and complexity [and] once again proves herself a full master of the epic fantasy."--Tulsa World "Splendid . . . Despite some truly wrenching twists, there is a welcome sense of new beginnings."--LocusFrom the Paperback edition.
Publisher: 2002
ISBN: 9780553897043
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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crimsonsparrow
Mar 04, 2019

I began reading this thinking it was Hobb's first in her series. I was right, and I was wrong. It's the first in a series, secondary to the main series for these characters. After I had listened to 4 or 5 hours of the audiobook, once I discovered the truth, the weirdnesses of hinted-at backstories made a lot more sense.

I went to check that this was the correct first book because I began to get extremely impatient with the pacing of the story. While it was interesting and not without conflict or character development, even at the 1/4 mark through the novel, I had no hopes of the plot developing into anything definite. The protagonist just stayed at home and pondered his simple life. It was insufferable!

But once I understood this was just how the book was going to proceed, I determined to continue reading -- but easily, at a marathon pace, or maybe a trip sailing across the Pacific. This was apparently not a battle-cry epic or a lit-dynamite thriller. Reading it thusly, I settled in with contentment and was pleased with what resulted.

The author has a *strong* command of character, and she keeps a consistent pace relating the protagonist's thoughts and motives through inactive stretches and through more thrilling scenes. I was also pleasantly surprised to find this protagonist to be believable as a man -- especially in so many roles which seemed to center on his maleness, such as father, hunter, lover, and warrior -- even while the author is a woman.

I want to note that the magics in this book seem just as well thought out and immersive as the character of the main dude. It fascinates me how different fantasy/sci-fi writers tackle magic or advanced technology in so many varied ways. In this author's work, it works well -- creating wonder and ongoing tension.

I would recommend this for anyone not seeking a 3-day page-turner. This book invites you in, has tea with you, and begins (or continues) facilitating a friendship with "Tom Badgerlock" (a friendship not without its quarrels, since you are bound to disagree with his choices on multiple occasions) and his bond-wolf. Then, you might just be carried off on a bit of an expanding adventure before all's said and done.

MPAA ratings:
PG-13 for violence, sexuality, and for language

t
texascola
Aug 16, 2016

First book in Robin Hobb's The Tawny Man Trilogy and no less satisfying than her Assassin's Triology. It's a continuation for some of the same characters, albeit older and wiser from experiences in the first set of Assassin's books. Again, not able to put down and had to stay up many nights in a row to finish. I agree with some commentary that the book could be streamlined a bit as there seemed to just be a bit too much repetition. But at the end of the day, I would rather read some of the plodding in this book because it does get better. This series is not to be missed if you love FitzChivalry and his cohorts.

h
happycanuck
Nov 11, 2013

EXCELLENT ! - as Robin Hobb's writing always is. Was hard to put down.

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