Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#1
Too much filler in this one. Really just sets up for a massive book three.

Have a few other thoughts but will save it for the review.

7.0 I think
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#2
Too much filler in this one. Really just sets up for a massive book three.

Have a few other thoughts but will save it for the review.

7.0 I think
At first I thought this was the second new release that slipped past me in the month, along with the fifth book of the great Koban series in sci-fi, but it's not out until 8/11 for us.
 
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Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#5
This is typical of Hobb's trilogies. The second book is always meandering, and a bit of a slog to get through.
This one wasn't a slog. Some cool insights. While faster paced than first book, it against doesn't go anywhere fast. I thought it could have been sped up more and wouldn't have lost anything.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#6
I read this in one sitting today with you guys' thoughts in mind all the way through, trying to find justification for them. I failed. I was constantly reminded of a scene from one of my favorite films:

I couldn't identify a single chapter or plot element that wasn't entirely necessary, and kept comparing it to LotR in my head, and actually feel it had more focus than Fellowship of the Ring, at least. Which considering this is the middle book of a trilogy is kind of impressive, because if anything can get away with meandering it's middles. I don't understand how you guys made it past book three if you object to a story taking its time with character and setting realistically. I thought that was kind of the Farseer series' whole draw.

“Back to where I came from. On a dire mission of our own.” He looked blindly toward me. “I do not think we should wait, Fitz, for your Skill or my eyesight. A few more days, and I believe I shall be fit to travel. And we must set out as soon as we possibly can.”
“Did Ash read you the scrolls I left? Or Spark perhaps?” The girl grinned. But my foray did not distract the Fool.
“They were worthless, as you well know, Fitz. You don’t need old scrolls or a map. You have me. Heal me. Restore my sight, and we can go. I can get you there, to Clerres. You took me through a stone to bring me here; we can get to Clerres the same way that Prilkop took me.”
I made myself pause and draw a deep breath. Patience. His heart was fixed on destroying Clerres. As was I, but both logic and love anchored me where I was and doomed me to the suffocation of waiting. I was not sure if rationality could move him, but I would try. “Fool. Do you not understand at all what has befallen Chade, and how it affects me? I dare not attempt to Skill, not to try to heal you nor to enter a stone alone. Taking you with me? No. Neither of us would ever emerge.”
He opened his mouth to speak and I raised my voice.
“Nor will I leave Buckkeep until my hope of finding Bee within the Six Duchies is exhausted. Those of the Wit search for her now. And there is a chance that Chade will recover enough to help us reach for Shun. Shall I race off to Clerres, a journey of months by ship, leaving Bee to her captors’ whims for all those days, when word of her here in Buck or in Rippon may reach us any moment? I know you are impatient to go. Standing still and waiting for word feels like being slowly burned alive. But I will endure it rather than rush off and abandon her here. And when we do go to Clerres, when we take our vengeance to them, it had best be on a ship with troops. Or do you truly believe I can journey to a distant city, beat down their walls, kill those you hate, and emerge with my life and their captives intact?”
He smiled and it was frightening when he said softly, “Yes. Yes, I do believe we can. Moreover, I believe we must. Because I know that where an army would fail, an assassin and one who knows their ways will succeed.”
“So let me be an assassin! Fool, I have said that you and I will take our vengeance on them. And we will. My hatred for all they are burns just as hot as yours. But mine is not a raging forest fire, but a bed of tended coals in a smithy. If you wish me to do this as an assassin, then you must allow me to do it as I was trained. Effectively. Efficiently. With ice in my blood.”
“But—”
“No. Listen. I’ve said their blood will run. It will. But not at Bee’s expense. I will find her, I will take her home, and I will stay with her until she is recovered enough to be without me for a time. Bee must come first. So become accustomed to delay and use it wisely. Rebuild your body and your health, just as I spend my waiting days honing my old skills.”

This is pretty much a summation of the whole book: shit takes time. Sure, other fantasy series might timeskip over a bunch of it, or really push the limits of absurdity by having everyone heal in a week and become a weapons master in a day, but do you want Farseer or Eragon? Farseer's whole deal, what it's universally praised for, is its rich and real world and characters. We're following fifty years of a man's life, loves, family and country, not a farm boy's one-month journey to godhood and Empire-toppling. The Farseer novels are the Rolls Royce of fantasy: they're classy, not sexy. Stately, not flashy. Above all, measured and never rushed.

Around the only complaints I really have are (1) that the Fool's determination to disobey Fitz near the end was the exact same issue as earlier, in Tawny Man, (2) that Fitz's 'coming out' got way less attention than it should have - we get about one named character's thoughts on his situation - and (3) that, as ever, Fitz still never learns until it's too late, and while sharing his regrets and pains is why we love Fitz, the series is starting to feel kind of like Eastenders. I could almost feel the drums thumping every time the consequences of his latest avoidable fuckup were revealed.

The issue was present in the last book but he started off still semi-justifiably young-ish in that, or at least the recap of the timeskip did. He's in his sixties now and hasn't gained an ounce of wisdom from any of his experiences, except perhaps in his choice to make preparations for his journey in the last 20% of the book, which basically boiled down to him working out a bit and not really making any plans. It's getting harder and harder to empathize with him.
OK, now that's interesting, as I'm forever quoting the "too many notes" scene from Amadeus, usually in response to reviews that complain about length. Great minds, eh? Actually I could never write such an excellent review, kudos on ya.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#7
The thing is with the slow pace is that Book 3 has TOO much to now go through. I don't think it can be done unless it is 1000 pages. This is because the second book took so long (with its slow pace).

I agree with you that it was faster than Fellowship which was so slow that I didn't finish it the first time I attempted it.

Perhaps, if this wasn't a trilogy and the book was shorter, I wouldn't have cared so much?

Also, I don't mind slow paceness. Book 1 was WAY slower and I loved it. I said it was my favourite book of 2014. I just want this to move forward a little.

Outing Fitz, hasn't in my opinion changed very much of the overall storyline.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#9
This book is on my list. Not liking some of what I'm hearing here, though. Still going to read it :/
I knew that Hobb was going to bring me pain and misery (as she always does), yet I still gleefully picked it up and read it ^_^
 

MrMarbles

Fought a battle in the name of the old gods
#10
I knew that Hobb was going to bring me pain and misery (as she always does), yet I still gleefully picked it up and read it ^_^
Seriously! You would think we learned our lesson after the pain that Fitz, Molly, Burich, the Fool, Althea, Wintrow, Kennet, Tintaglia, and Nevarre all go through. But the stories are well told, and addicting :)
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#11
Just really read the comments closely this time, and everyone's talking about Fitz "coming out". I'm about 26% into this and would like to know if you all mean he reveals he's gay? Please give me an answer at your earliest convenience.

As to the book itself at this early point, it can be summed up by this line as Fitz goes through the stone when he hears of Bee's disappearance: "A three day journey made in an instant". Therefore what has happened to Bee didn't need to, nor would any of his concerns have been valid. But Hobb likes to do that with Fitz, making him brain dead when it suits her narrative.
 
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kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#13

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#15
Would it make a difference if he was? Why are people concerned with others sexuality?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Well, it might help some readers identify with Fitz better. There aren't many gay protagonists in fantasy and I reckon if Fitz would be gay it could be he's a role model for gay kids struggling with their sexuality.

That's just an example, and to me personally it does matter, but the above could be true for some people.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#16
Anyone got any more ratings for this book? for such a prominent author it only has 2 ratings.
 

Gawain

Hung out on a briar with Honorable Jorg
#17
Well, it might help some readers identify with Fitz better. There aren't many gay protagonists in fantasy and I reckon if Fitz would be gay it could be he's a role model for gay kids struggling with their sexuality.

That's just an example, and to me personally it does matter, but the above could be true for some people.
I'm up to date with this series from Hobb. I still think there is more there than meets the eye. I still think the fool could be a woman or androgynous or maybe I just love the Fool and I'm homophobic. LOL....

-Gawain
 

Gawain

Hung out on a briar with Honorable Jorg
#18
So, I just reviewed Aeronaut's Windlass and I enjoyed this book more. I've read every Fitz book and I think of him as family, maybe that's why. I have Aeronaut's Windlass a 9/10 on my fun and easy to read scale. I don't like handing out 10s, so this is a 9.75 on my fun and easy to read scale.

-Gawain