Recommendation: Buy this book(series) and make it top priority.
Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb is the culmination of the Tawny Man Trilogy, a trilogy that got better with each book, and ended spectacularly with a lot of feeling. Fool’s Fate is the 9th book in Hobb’s Realm of the Elderling Series and those books need to be read before you read Fool’s Fate. Those trilogies are The Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders Trilogy. This is an epic fantasy series that focuses on characterization and inter-personal relationships with a character that has many secrets from those individual relationships.
Talking about the plot of this book would be a large spoiler for what happened in the previous books so I am going to be vague. Fool’s Fate has the Six Duchies people attempting to make a trading partnership with The Out Islander people but the prince of the Six Duchies must find a dragon frozen in ice to signify his worthiness to marry the Out Island princess. Fitz, from the shadows, must be the catalyst that changes events for the betterment of the entire realm. There is a lot of court characters and plotlines that run through multiple character. Hobb’s focus is on the inter-personal relationships that Fitz has.
This book was just fantastic in every way. This is a trilogy that got better with each book, like a trilogy should do. The first book, Fool’s Errand, caught the reader and Fitz up with what is happening in the Six Duchies, and keeping secrets. The second book, Golden Fool, saw Fitz try to control other people and seeing his secrets unravel. In this last book, Fool’s Fate, we see Fitz finally succumbing to his fate, and letting his secrets go. Fitz is much more mature in this trilogy than the Farseer Trilogy and that makes him a more dynamic character. It is nice to read a group of books centered around a middle aged man instead of a teenager.
The main focus of this trilogy is really inter-personal relationships and following a character that finally learns how to deal with his inter-personal relationships. There are a lot of secrets that could be deadly to know about. People in Fitz’ life are happy and if they knew the truth they might get hurt, so Fitz holds back a lot of the truth from his friends. Why this book and this series is so enjoyable is because we see the unraveling of all these secrets that Fitz holds from about a dozen other characters. Each person has a completely different relationship to Fitz, a varying degree of relationship. Based off of the level of their relationship, they know only certain things about Fitz. When the secrets or the hard decisions come up, these relationships are strained, causing great drama.
The highlight of this book and the entire trilogy is Fitz’ relationship with The Fool. Their dynamic is the best dynamic in the entire series and their friendship is such an interesting thing to read about. There are so many dynamics to their relationship that makes each decision seem like something that holds the weight of the world on their shoulders. If you are looking for a series of fantasy books that has one of the best friendships ever written, check these books out.
I loved this book because I felt so many emotions while reading this. After you read so many books about the same characters, there are these moments of interaction that you have been waiting for so many pages of text to see, so when it finally happens it is unbelievably moving. This was such an up and down emotional journey and a lot of these emotional sequences are happening during scenes of action and extreme plot development. In other words, I read scenes that were really exciting to only have this huge emotional response, but thrown right back into the excitement, and it was amazing. This happened a multiple of times and I love the ride that Hobb took me on.
23/25 Possible Score
Plot – 4(Strong)
Characters – 5(Very Strong)
Setting/World Building – 4(Strong)
Writing Style – 5(Very Strong)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 5(Very Strong)