The second in the thrilling new fantasy series, from the author of the bestselling Assassin trilogy. Fitz has succeeded in rescuing Prince Dutiful from the clutches of the Piebald rebels, and has returned with him to Buckkeep castle. With Dutiful safe again, Queen Kettricken can proceed with plans to marry him to the Outislander princess, Elliania. However, with tensions building among the peoples of the Six Duchies over Kettricken's tolerance of the Wittted, even Buckkeep is no longer safe. A reluctant Fitz is assigned to protect the young prince, and also train him in the Skill, and in doing so he finally makes contact not only with his estranged daughter, Nettle, but with someone in Buckkeep who may possess a greater Skill talent even than Fitz. And who may represent a terrible threat to the Farseers. Meanwhile, Elliania arrives and, before she will accept Prince Dutiful's betrothal, challenges him to undertake an impossible quest. He must kill a legendary Outislander dragon.
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The Golden Fool, the second volume of Robin Hobb's Tawny Man trilogy, is explicitly a sequel to both the Farseer and Liveship trilogies. The palace intrigues, which Fitz has found himself dragged back into, have as much to do with the politics of trade and conquest--the war between the Bingtown traders and their living ships and the theocratic bullies of Chalced--as with the oppression of the beast-speaking Witted by the majority and the terrorism of the Piebald faction among the Witted. Fitz has always been a deeply flawed hero--growing up as a royal bastard trained in assassination has not been good for his character--and his inability to understand how deeply he is loved upsets all the people around him.
One of Robin Hobb's strengths is her capacity to set up an interesting dialogue between metaphor and the literal; at both levels, The Golden Fool is a novel about moving through estrangement to reconciliation, about finding out the truth and then finding a way of living with it. This thoughtfulness means that, as always with Hobb, Fitz's role as tutor of a magically gifted prince, is as exciting as the book's occasional explosions of violence. --Roz KaveneyReview:
Praise for Robin Hobb: Ship of Magic: 'Promises to be a truly extraordinary saga... the characterizations are consistently superb, and [Hobb] animates everything with love for and knowledge of the sea. If Patrick O'Brian were to turn to writing high fantasy, he might produce something like this.' BOOKLIST 'A wonderful book, written by a writer at the height of her abilities' J V JONES Assassin's Quest: 'Assassin's Quest achieves a bittersweet, powerful complexity rare in fantasy' LOCUS 'An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama' KIRKUS REVIEWS Assassin's Apprentice: 'A gleaming debut' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Royal Assassin: 'Hobb continues to revitalize a genre that often seems all too generic, making it new in ways that range from the subtle to the deeply shocking...' LOCUS
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