Fool?s Fate (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 3)

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9780007110582: Fool?s Fate (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 3)

The triumphant conclusion to our three thrilling fantasy series, from the author of the bestselling Farseer and Liveship traders trilogies.

The triumphant conclusion to the tale of the Farseers, in which kingdoms must stand or fall on the beat of a dragon's wings, or a Fool's heart.

A small and sadly untried coterie – the old assassin Chade, the serving-boy Thick, Prince Dutiful, and his reluctant Skillmaster, Fitz – sail towards the distant island of Aslevjal. There they must fulfil the Narcheska’s challenge to her betrothed: to lay the head of the dragon Icefyre, whom legends tell is buried there deep beneath the ice, upon her hearth. Only with the completion of this quest can the marriage proceed, and the resulting alliance signal an end to war between the two kingdoms.

It is not a happy ship: tensions between the folk of the Six Duchies and their traditional enemies, the Outislanders, lie just beneath the surface. Thick is constantly ill, and his random but powerful Skilling has taken on a dark and menacing tone, while Chade’s fascination with the Skill is growing to the point of obsession.

Having ensured that his beloved friend the Fool is safely left behind in Buckkeep, Fitz is guilt-stricken; but he is determined to keep his fate at bay, since prophecy foretells the Fool’s death if he ever sets foot on the isle of the black dragon. But as their ship draws in towards Aslevjal a lone figure awaits them...

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Review:

Fool's Fate concludes Robin Hobb's fantasy trilogy "The Tawny Man"--in which Fitz, narrator-hero of the "Farseer" trio beginning with Assassin's Apprentice, plunges into new complexities of politics and magic 15 years later.

The goal is formal peace between Fitz's Six Duchies and the Outislander Raiders, ending a cycle of war fought with weapons that kill the soul, whose horror dominated that first trilogy. A royal marriage is arranged, with the puzzling condition that the Duchies' heir must bring a bride-price of the head of the last male dragon--who's alive but entombed in a glacier. Why?

Fitz's old friend the Fool, a once-albino who believes himself the White Prophet of this age but has mysteriously darkened into the Tawny Man, opposes this dragon-killing. It seems necessary to deceive and betray the Fool for his own good, if only to prevent his self-prophesied death.

Another betrayal: a halfwit master of the psychic "Skill" is needed for this mad quest, and must be lured by Fitz on to ship after ship despite his horror of the sea. Old deceptions return to haunt Fitz, such as the Skilled girl who doesn't know she's his daughter, and others long kept in the dark for what seemed excellent reasons.

Grim surprises, confrontations, a hidden enemy and the old horror of soul-draining ("Forging") all await on the island of the glacier and the dragon. Fitz has more than once been traumatically hauled back from death: now the risks are worse than ever, with an impasse that surely can't be resolved.

Do Fitz and his closest friends win through? That would be telling, but whatever happens, there are high prices to be paid. It's a measure of Robin Hobb's skill with characters and relationships that the final compromises and realistic settlements are so satisfying. Smoothly readable despite great length, laden with charm and terror, Fool's Fate is a fine ending to what is a family as well as a fantasy saga. --David Langford

Review:

Praise for Robin Hobb:

‘Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons’
GEORGE R R MARTIN

The Golden Fool
‘Complexity and complex world-building are effortlessly dashed off’
PUBLISHING NEWS

Fool’s Errand
‘In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons’
GEORGE R R MARTIN

Assassin’s Apprentice:
‘A wonderful book, written by a writer at the height of her abilities’
J V JONES

Assassin’s Quest:
‘An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama’
KIRKUS REVIEWS

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