Review: Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
Series: The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy #2
Also by this author: Fool's Assassin
Published by Del Rey on August 11th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Epic
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Also in this series: Fool's Assassin
Ranking alongside George R. R. Martin as a groundbreaking master of fantasy, "New York Times "bestselling author Robin Hobb delivers the second book in her long-awaited Fitz and the Fool trilogy.
The harrowing adventures of FitzChivalry Farseer and his enigmatic friend the Fool continue in Robin Hobb s triumphant follow-up to "Fool s Assassin." But "Fool s Quest" is more than just a sequel. With the artistry and imagination her fans have come to expect, Hobb builds masterfully on all that has gone before, revealing devastating secrets and shocking conspiracies that cast a dark shadow over the history of Fitz and his world a shadow that now stretches to darken all future hope.
Long ago, Fitz and the Fool changed the world, bringing back the magic of dragons and securing both the Farseer succession and the stability of the kingdom. Or so they thought. But now the Fool is near death, maimed by mysterious pale-skinned figures whose plans for world domination hinge upon the powers the Fool may share with Fitz s own daughter.
Distracted by the Fool s perilous health, and swept up against his will in the intrigues of the royal court, Fitz lets down his guard . . . and in a horrible instant, his world is undone and his beloved daughter stolen away by those who would use her as they had once sought to use the Fool as a weapon.
But FitzChivalry Farseer is not without weapons of his own. An ancient magic still lives in his veins. And though he may have let his skills as royal assassin diminish over the years, such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten.
Now enemies and friends alike are about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose.
Praise for Robin Hobb and "Fool s Assassin"
Fantasy as it ought to be written. George R. R. Martin
Hobb knows the complicated workings of the wayward human heart, and she takes time to depict them in her tale, to tell her story sweetly, insistently, compellingly. . . . A book meant to be inhabited rather than run through. "The Seattle Times"
[FitzChivalry Farseer is] one of the best characters in fantasy literature. "Fantasy Book Review"
[Hobb s] prose sparkles, her characters leap off the page. "Tor.com"
Modern fantasy at its irresistible best. " The Guardian"
Fantastic . . . emotionally rich storytelling. " Library Journal "(starred review)"
This review will be spoiler free for Fool’s Quest, but if you have not read Fool’s Assassin, all I will say is this book is even better and I urge you to read my review of Fool’s Assassin instead.
So, even if it has been a little while since you read Fool’s Assassin, hopefully you remember the insanity that ensued right at the very end. Talk about a cliffhanger of a ending from that book! What that means is that this book starts in the fray, there’s no slow getting reacquainted with the quiet life of Fitz. That quiet life is shattered and gone. I know I read some criticisms about the first book because the pace was different than typical. I always felt it was necessary to fully understand Fitz and his life. This book reinforces that. There is nothing slow about this book, there is all the plotting, intrigue and character turmoil you are accustomed to with Hobb’s books.
And incase you can’t remember details from Fool’s Assassin, have no worries. Hobb does an excellent job feeding the reader with reminders without ever feeling like it was an info dump of the previous book. Past events and characters are just carefully woven into the dialogue and story allowing the reading to get back up to speed any key events they may have forgotten.
Because of that cliffhanger, there are some major events quite early in the book that make it hard to talk about any details. I’ll leave you to get all that from Hobb, she’s a better story teller than I am anyway. Obviously. 🙂 But I will share my experience in general terms.
An interesting turn in this book is that it ties together the Fitz and Fool books with Bingtown and the Rain Wilds. This left me wishing I had read the Rain Wilds Chronicles series prior to this. But I never felt lost, or that I was missing vital information. I just enjoyed the references and characters that I read about from Liveship Traders and couldn’t help but wonder what I may have picked up on if I had read the Rain Wilds as well. I do plan to read that series before the next book in this series releases.
This book once again sees Fitz endlessly blaming himself for all the trials and tribulations Hobb puts him through. His relationship with the Fool plays an important part in this. He is faced with some hard decisions between the Fool and the Fool’s wishes and what Fitz believes to be the “best” course of action. I just love this pair of characters. Has there ever been a better, stronger, more loving relationship? Especially one that is not a sexual relationship, but just a deep friendship between two friends that have been through so much and understand each other so deeply.
Fool’s Quest is one of my favorite books ever. I really just can’t express how much I enjoyed this one. While I won’t talk any plot specifics, I will say revenge plays a major factor in this. Loss as well. And secrets. The endless secrets that have always followed Fitz.
If you had any reservations about Fool’s Assassin, absolutely do not stop reading this series. It is heart wrenching, captivating, exciting and touching. It will leave you yearning for next book of the series. Me? I will fill that time catching up with Rain Wild Chronicles. I really can’t recommend Hobb’s books enough, and this book solidifies and reinforces that.