Book Banter: Fool’s Fate

fool's fateTitle: Fool’s Fate (Tawny Man trilogy #3)
Author: Robin Hobb
Length: 914 pages
Genre: fantasy
Where Bethany’s copy came from: personal collection

Plot Basics: FitzChivalry Farseer, sometimes assassin for the throne and wielder of both the Skill and the Wit, is accompanying Prince Dutiful on his quest to slay a dragon trapped in a glacier. Fitz’s long-time friend, the Fool, has foreseen his own death in this mission and Fitz is determined to outwit death once more.

Banter Points: Hobb masterfully combines a fantasy epic with a first-person narrative about friendship and loyalty. I read this more than 10 years ago for the first time and, in the ensuing decade, forgot many of the details so this was almost a new discovery to go back to it. At it’s core, it is the classic story — prince must slay dragon to win the hand of a girl — but in Hobb’s way, she asks the questions few of those other stories do: Should the dragon get to live?

Being 10 years old didn’t hurt the re-reading of this book either. As has been written, ““To reread a book is to read a different book. The reader is different. The meaning is different.” The friendship of Fitz and the Fool completely captivated me this time through the whole series in a way it didn’t the first time.

Bummer Points: This book is 914 pages long. There were parts where that length was felt and then others when it just flew by. Also now knowing that Hobb has written a new Fitz and Fool trilogy, I really feel sort of sad for these guys… what else can she do to them?

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you are a fantasy reader, these should be in the List of things you read. I am not the fantasy reader I was when I was younger, but these books remind me of all that is good about the genre. Also, I think I’d add these to books that are fairly safe for a teenage reader. The characters all make some bad choices for sure, but they also have to live with those consequences and I think that shines through in the writing very well.

 

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