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Fool's Fate (The Tawny Man, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – November 23, 2004
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Fool's Fate is the third book of Robin Hobb's Tawny Man trilogy, and the ninth and concluding volume of the Fitzchivalry Farseer saga, one of the best high-fantasy series of the turn of the millennium. Fitz is the bastard son of the royal family of the Six Duchies, which he serves as assassin, guardsman, and Skill-magician. Fitz also serves the White Prophet as "Catalyst," the unique person who may enable the White Prophet to change human destiny for the better. In Fool's Fate, Fitz must accompany his kinsman, Prince Dutiful Farseer, to a distant northern island, where the prince must slay the world's last male dragon to win the hand of the Out Islands princess Elliania, the woman he loves. However, not even Elliania wants the dragon dead; why, then, does she require Dutiful to kill Icefyre? Are darker forces manipulating Elliania? Even worse, if Icefyre dies, the White Prophet foresees not only his own death, but a grim future for humankind. The prophet's only hope of changing the future is his Catalyst. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Fitz Chilvary is beginning to stuff off his trials in the Farseer Trilogy. The Six Dutchies have had fifteen years of peace and growth under a queen who is too good for many of her people. Without the threat of the Red Ship wars trade has prospered, farming has been able to recover. Queen Ketricken' s son, Dutiful is now fourteen and not looking forward to an arranged marriage to an eleven-year-old from the Outislands, the same realm that brought that war to their shores.
Fitz is drawn back to Buckeep by the Fool to return a missing heir to his betrothed. None in the castle are aware that as well as the far-reaching Skill magic, he possesses the same Wit that bonds Fitz to his wolf Nighteyes. Betrayal and loyalty are the themes in this book of very satisfying length
1. Do not read this trilogy without first reading the Farseer Trilogy! It will make no sense and the main character will seem annoyingly whine-y and boring.
2. This lacks the tragedy and grandeur of the first trilogy - that is a true work of art; this is competent, well-written fantasy.
3. (MINOR SPOILER ALERT) If you're coming to this after having read the Farseer trilogy, think long and hard. Did you secretly appreciate the fact that that ended, not on a happy, everything-is-resolved note? I know I did - I had immense respect for an author who didn't feel the need to write a happily-ever-after ending. However, if you were furious at Hobb for leaving the protagonist miserable and alone, please go ahead and read this b/c, although I won't reveal how, everything does come together - all too conveniently, I felt - in this series.
4. (SPOILER ALERT) If your main source of pleasure in the Farseer trilogy was the humorous, painful, complicated, acerbic relationship between Fitz and Nighteyes, don't start this series - Nighteyes is not a major character, and we sadly hear only too little of his voice.
5. I still give this four stars for the quality of the writing. There are very few real action scenes (most of book 1 and all of book 2 are all character-building) but the dragon scenes in Book 3 are magnificent.
This seems like the best of the novels so far, maybe because it's the one I just finished, or possibly because of Fitz's character development; either way I highly recommend it!
As much I was surprised by how much less I liked Fitz in the first trilogy on reread, I was equally surprised on how much more enjoyable I found him here. Maybe it's just that I myself am a good bit older than when I first read these books, but older Fitz was much more relatable and it really was pleasant how much easier the reading flows when you are not stopping to remark on the MC doing something annoying near constantly. His comments and feelings on his aging were very realistic and it was nice that he had finally found some answers to the questions he was struggling with all throughout the Farseer books.
It's hard to find faults here in the first book honestly. The dialogue between Fitz the Fool flowed so naturally, their early passages while catching up were a delight and only slightly muted later once they had to take up roles and disguise their friendship. I found the interaction between Fitz and Dutiful to be very well done, the way the prince asked for help was quite touching. *Spoilers* The star of the book is really Nighteyes though. I found myself misty-eyed on some of his dialogue throughout, not because it was overly sad, but just in knowing what was to come and appreciating his character. The dream sequence was every bit as great as I remember it, and I have no problem saying that it's truly one of the best passages I've ever read in fantasy. Oftentimes on rereads I think as a reader you end up holding back from characters you know are gonna die because they go in a rough way and it's so rare for a character to have a send-off you can find no faults with. There's just something so satisfying in a perfect ending to a character that it really allows you to appreciate and enjoy them so much more a second time and I really felt that here
In a way I suppose it's strange that I have more positive feelings towards the first books of both series (Assassin's Apprentice and Fool's Errand) considering they are much less "epic" I suppose in nature than the later books that deal with grander issues and much harsher trials. While Hobb may struggle at ending her series, she sure knows how to start them and this one was definitively an enjoyable read and reread.