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Review: Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb

By / October 2, 2015 / no comments

Robin Hobb has without a doubt in my mind already written the most well rounded character in the history of fantasy. There are not many books that write a protagonist that are in more than 3 books and span over several decades. With Fitzchivalry Farseer, we get to meet him from a little “orphan” boy to a man well into his sixties. Hobb’s ability to get us to love Fitz is like an ensnaring trap by an angler fish. We see the pretty lights and then bam! With Fitz, I don’t think we ever intended to love him so much, and thus the trap has been set by Robin Hobb.

Now, if you’ve read Farseer and Tawny man trilogy, you already know all this. For those that have never read those trilogies, then, go out and grab them if you love characterization, strong woman, loving men, betrayal and expertly written prose.

Those of you who have read are probably wondering if this book is any good, does the pace speed up compared to the ponderously slow Fool’s Assassin and what became of the Fool.

Speed: Those of you who didn’t like the speed of the last book will probably want to slam this book down, if you had not read my review! At first it does start off very slowly and I was left wondering if we were getting much the same as Book 1. It does however, pick up after about 120 pages or so. Action starts and the many cogs begin to turn. Many secrets are revealed, some that you might be able to infer. While the speed does pick up, I think like many book 2 of a trilogy, it serves to only set up for a grand finale. More on that later.

The Fool: I don’t think it is a spoiler when I say the Fool lives. Heck, both books so far and the trilogy is named after him, though whether or not he survives the trilogy is another matter. What we get from the Fool is a very different person that we all know and love. At the end of Fool’s Assassin, we know of a blind beggar that has travelled miles to get to Withywoods to find Fitz. In Fool’s Quest, we get to know a little bit more about him, but it is in drips and drabs. The Fool has been tortured for months if not years and it has taken a toll on not only his body, but his mind and soul as well. We get a shell of who he was and even then, it is a broken and ugly shell. Hobb does an amazing job whenever Fitz and the Fool converse. Many times I found myself just wanting the Fool to snap out of it and stop acting like a scared child when he is in a safe place, and then that’s exactly what Fitz is thinking. But through Fitz, we also understand and start to empathize with the Fool. Hobb does a great job because I (and 99.9% of you) will not have known someone to have been tortured, let alone tortured and maimed for so long. Again, characterization is what Hobb does best.

Is this book any good: I love the first book even though many others did not. Most felt it was too slow, nothing happened and everything seemed so obvious i.e. Of course Bee is a White Prophet! I think because Fitz is my favourite character (along with Nighteyes) of all time, I didn’t mind the slowness. I hadn’t been with my Beloved for so long that anything I could get was great. Fool’s Quest on the other hand, starts off slow but then picks up. However, I am sure it is not fast enough for many. I also feel that there will be too much for Hobb to write about in the next book, unless it will be a 1000 page tome.

My final thoughts: I love that we get some more POVs from Bee. I think this was one of the really cool things to come from Fool’s Assassin and it continues here. Nighteyes is around. Like the last book, Nighteyes is in Bee’s mind, she calls him Wolf Father. I think this was a clever way for Hobb to make sure that Nighteyes was still around in some aspect.

Reading Hobb is like having a wound that is healing. You go through the pain and start to feel the itching sensation that is healing and you think, everything is ok. Then she stabs you again at the point of the wound. Bitch*!

I can’t recommend Hobb’s Fitz’ trilogy of trilogies enough. Go and get it and fall hopelessly in love like I have.


*I don’t mean it literally, I really love Hobb!


About the author

Jon Snow

Believe it or not, Jon Snow really got into reading only after reading A Game of Thrones back in 2002. Previously the only fantasy he had read were Lord of the Rings and many Magic: The Gathering books.While juggling teaching life, he tries to keep up with recently published books.


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