Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Fool's Fate

by Robin Hobb

cover  

The final book in The Tawny Man has an undeniably ominous title. The Fool has foreseen his own death, but he is determined to face it so that the better future that he has planned will come to pass. He's one of Robin Hobb's best characters, but he has this Sword of Damocles hanging over him for most of the novel as the author teases us with the possibility that she will kill him off.

The Farseers set out on a quest to the Outislands in order to find and slay a dragon, IceFyre. According to legend it remains buried beneath the ice and has not even been visible for years.

However theirs is a divided party. Some of the Outislanders see the dragon as their protector, and would regard any attempt to harm it as something that would invite bad luck. Meanwhile some of the people coming from the Six Duchies simply don't believe that the dragon is still alive.

But Prince Dutiful has promised to kill the dragon, and he's honour-bound to keep his word. It's not clear why the Narcheska Elliania has laid down this particular challenge for him, but she is adamant. The journey by sea is gruelling, since the Prince's companion, Thick. is constantly sea-sick and an ill humour affects the entire crew.

Fitz is determined to keep the Fool out of trouble and to ensure that the quest is both safe and successful. But the Witted, the Outislander clans and the Farseers can't agree on what that would mean, and someone will have to make that decision.

Fool's Fate is the most intense novel in The Tawny Man trilogy. The author isn't afraid to deliver harrowing scenes as well as action and romance. There isn't much more that can be said without being rather too specific about what happens at the end, and this is a book that really doesn't deserve to be spoilt in that way. It's absolutely beautiful, and should be read slowly in order to savour it as much as possible.

However a trilogy of this length needs quite a few loose ends to be tied up as it winds up. The climax of the action actually comes well before the final chapter. But when Fool's Fate finishes it's with a flourish of satisfying closure. Mysteries are cleared up and we find out a lot about what becomes of all the main characters. It's a great end to a supremely emotional series.

Book Details

Year: 2003

Categories: Books

  Fantasy
    Male Protagonist  

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5 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
More about Robin Hobb