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Fool's Quest: Book II of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy


Fool's Quest: Book II of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy

Stepping into FOOL’S QUEST, FitzChivalry Farseer hasn’t been himself, and he readily admits to being changed while seeking a quiet life under the guise of Tom Badgerlock. It was this desire for normalcy that brought such devastation and tragedy to Withywoods in the first book, FOOL’S ASSASSIN --- a problem for which he refuses to allow a second occurrence. Even though he is set to pull on his adventurer’s skin once more, he is no longer the brash young man of trilogies past. He is older and wiser.

Chade Fallstar does his utmost to acclimatize Fitz with Buckkeep Castle. A longtime ally and mentor for Fitz, Chade has lost much in the course of his own onset of age. He is no longer a creature of the shadows. While he gives Fitz some small tasks --- opportunities to refresh his spying skill --- readers will come to watch their relationship grow and morph.

"FOOL’S QUEST is, in nearly every way, a major improvement from FOOL’S ASSASSIN, which is no minor feat."

Enter the Fool. Very much the beating heart of FOOL’S QUEST, he has come to his friend and former traveling companion a vastly changed man. Betrayed by his own people, he arrives broken, tortured, blind, and seeking protection from his more capable friend. More than that, he seeks revenge. Fitz is more than eager to help heal Fool, and in the midst of this task he finds himself torn. His beloved daughter, Bee, has been kidnapped from Withywoods. Delays keep Fitz from setting out to reclaim her, but when the journey begins, he is a man hellbent on punishing those who would take her from him.

FOOL’S QUEST is, in nearly every way, a major improvement from FOOL’S ASSASSIN, which is no minor feat. Fitz is still a brooding and self-critical soul, but now things have begun to shape themselves. As he seeks to get back into the life he so longed to escape, the pace of the story and the interest in the plot developments increase. The interplay among Fitz, Chade and Fool is beautifully written, with role reversals freshening things up and giving new direction for longtime readers of these characters. In fact, occurences from prior trilogies are factored into the tale here, and all of those long-ago adventures have led to these events.

With the action expanded from Book One, the pages will turn quicker, but that doesn’t mean that the quieter, more introspective moments are missing. In fact, some of the greatest scenes of FOOL’S QUEST are those very incidents. In nearly every moment he has on the page, Fool will emotionally wreck you. He is painfully vulnerable and overcome with genuine terror. These setbacks, though, seem to do nothing to diminish his own sense of vengeance.

Readers of Hobb’s Farseer books will enjoy seeing the larger scope of the work tie into this novel, and a few “Ahhhh!” moments exist. Also interesting is the string of cameos by those who populate her Liveship Traders Trilogy and Rain Wilds Chronicles. Newcomers need not have read those books to enjoy what is here. But those who have made that longer journey get a touch more color to an already brilliant novel. Along the way, old questions receive answers, and once more we are left dangling on the precipice as the last page turns, leaving readers clinging to the final words and eager for the resolution to come in the third volume.

Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on August 21, 2015

Fool's Quest: Book II of the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy
by Robin Hobb

  • Publication Date: July 26, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • ISBN-10: 0553392948
  • ISBN-13: 9780553392944