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Fool's Fate (Tawny Man) [Hardcover]

Robin Hobb
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Oct 2003 Tawny Man (Book 3)

The triumphant conclusion to our three thrilling fantasy series, from the author of the bestselling Farseer and Liveship traders trilogies.

The only hopes for an end to war and insurrection in the Six Duchies rests in the hands of the small party that are embarked on a desperate quest to the frozen island of Aslevjal.

Here, so legend says, lies the sleeping form of the legendary great black dragon, Icefyre. The beast is of holy significance to the people of the OutIslands, a powerful talisman, but it is this dragon that their Narcheska has challenged Prince Dutiful to kill. All he has to help him in this in the company of his small coterie: the mercurial old assassin, Chade, the gifted but slow-witted servant boy, Thick, and their Skillmaster, Fitz. The other member of the group has been left behind in Buckkeep, but the Fool will do everything in his power to be with them on the island – he has seen that this is his final destiny.

When the ship finally reaches the desolate island it seems out of the question that anything could exist on this wasteland, yet the discoveries that Dutiful and his friends make will not only put the quest and their lives in jeopardy, it will also shape the future of the whole world.

The Tawny Man Book 3 (provisional title: FOOL’S END) brings not only this trilogy but also the Farseer trilogy begun with ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE in 1996 to a spectacular conclusion. Filled with breathtaking drama and powerful character-led story-telling, Robin Hobb’s writing is in a class of its own.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; First Edition, First Impression edition (20 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002247283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002247283
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.8 x 6.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 518,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Hobb is a New York Times best-selling fantasy author. She is published in English in the US, UK and Australia, and her works have been widely translated. Her short stories have been finalists for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, as well as winning the Asimov's Readers Award. Her best known series is The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest.)

Robin Hobb was born in Oakland California, but grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has spent her life mostly in the Pacific Nortwest region of the US, and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington State, with her husband Fred. They have four grown offspring, and six grandchildren.

Robin Hobb is a pen name for Margaret Ogden. She has also written under the name Megan Lindholm.

She published her first short story for children when she was 18,and for some years wrote as a journalist and children's writer. Her stories for children were published in magazines such as Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children, Jack & Jill and Highlights for Children. She also created educational reading material for children for a programmed reading series by SRA (Science Research Associates.) She received a grant award from the Alaska State Council on the arts for her short story "The Poaching", published in Finding Our Boundaries in 1980.

Fantasy and Science Fiction had always been her two favorite genres, and in the late 70's she began to write in them. Her initial works were published in small press 'fanzines' such as Space and Time (editor Gordon Linzner). Her first professionally published story was "Bones for Dulath" that appeared in the Ace anthology AMAZONS!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson in 1979. A short time later, a second Ki and Vandien story entitled The Small One was published in FANTASTIC in 1980.

During that time period, she and her family had moved from Alaska to Hawaii, and subsequently to Washington State, where they settled. She had various money making occupations (waitress, salesperson, etc.) while striving with her writing. Her husband Fred continued to fish Alaskan waters and was home only about 3 months out of every year. The family lived on a small farm in rural Roy where they raised lots of vegetables, chickens, ducks, geese and other small livestock.

In 1983, her first novel, Harpy's Flight, was published by Ace under the pen name Megan Lindholm. Her later titles under that name included Wizard of the Pigeons, Alien Earth, Luck of the Wheels, and Cloven Hooves.

In 1995, she launched her best selling series of books set in the Realm of the Elderlings. At that time, she began writing as Robin Hobb. Her first trilogy of books were about her popular characters, FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool. The Farseer Trilogy is comprised of Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest. These books were followed by The Liveship Traders trilogy, set in the same world. The Tawny Man trilogy returned to the tale of Fitz and the Fool. Most recently, the four volumes of the Rain Wilds Chronicles were published: Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons.

In 2013, it was announced that she would return to her best-loved characters with a new trilogy, The Fitz and the Fool trilogy. The first volume, Fool's Assassin, will be published in August of 2014.

Other works as Robin Hobb include The Soldier Son trilogy and short stories published in various anthologies. A collection of her shorter works as both Lindholm and Hobb is available in The Inheritance.

She continues to reside in Tacoma, Washington, with frequent visits to the pocket farm in Roy.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fool's Fate concludes Robin Hobb's fantasy trilogy "The Tawny Man"--in which Fitz, narrator-hero of the "Farseer" trio beginning with Assassin's Apprentice, plunges into new complexities of politics and magic 15 years later.

The goal is formal peace between Fitz's Six Duchies and the Outislander Raiders, ending a cycle of war fought with weapons that kill the soul, whose horror dominated that first trilogy. A royal marriage is arranged, with the puzzling condition that the Duchies' heir must bring a bride-price of the head of the last male dragon--who's alive but entombed in a glacier. Why?

Fitz's old friend the Fool, a once-albino who believes himself the White Prophet of this age but has mysteriously darkened into the Tawny Man, opposes this dragon-killing. It seems necessary to deceive and betray the Fool for his own good, if only to prevent his self-prophesied death.

Another betrayal: a halfwit master of the psychic "Skill" is needed for this mad quest, and must be lured by Fitz on to ship after ship despite his horror of the sea. Old deceptions return to haunt Fitz, such as the Skilled girl who doesn't know she's his daughter, and others long kept in the dark for what seemed excellent reasons.

Grim surprises, confrontations, a hidden enemy and the old horror of soul-draining ("Forging") all await on the island of the glacier and the dragon. Fitz has more than once been traumatically hauled back from death: now the risks are worse than ever, with an impasse that surely can't be resolved.

Do Fitz and his closest friends win through? That would be telling, but whatever happens, there are high prices to be paid. It's a measure of Robin Hobb's skill with characters and relationships that the final compromises and realistic settlements are so satisfying. Smoothly readable despite great length, laden with charm and terror, Fool's Fate is a fine ending to what is a family as well as a fantasy saga. --David Langford


Praise for Robin Hobb:
The Golden Fool
‘Complexity and complex world-building are effortlessly dashed off’

Fool’s Errand
‘In today’s crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb’s books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons’

Assassin’s Apprentice:
‘A wonderful book, written by a writer at the height of her abilities’

Assassin’s Quest:
‘An enthralling conclusion to this superb trilogy, displaying an exceptional combination of originality, magic, adventure, character, and drama’

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of an era 16 Oct 2003
By Rosslock VINE VOICE
Fools Fate is the conclusion of the latest trilogy in the Farseer saga, and also the end of this particular Fantasy series. And I regret this very much.
Having read all 9 books in this series over the past 6 or 7 years it really feels a chapter has come to a close. What has struck me about this series is the incredible characters Ms Robin Hobb has created, with all of their feeling and emotions. This is not an all-action, blood and guts, swords and battles series (although all of these things feature at some point) but a very strong character based story about people.Fitz must be one of the most memorable characters ever created in the fantasy genre.
This book, as mentioned, takes the whole story to its conclusion. Although maybe not the best one out of all nine books it still pulls you back into the six Duchies (or the Outislands as that’s where most of this part is set) and it is very hard to let go. And my 5 star rating is as much for the whole series as it is for this book.
I am not going to draw any comparisons to other fantasy series but will just conclude with the fact that this series rates with me as a top fantasy series that I will whole heartily recommend to anyone interested in the genre.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for the magic! 29 Mar 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the third and final book in the Tawny Man trilogy (after Fool's Errand and the Golden Fool).
Now that Dutiful has accepted the Narcheska's challenge, everyone is getting ready to sail to ice covered island of Aslevjal to slay Icefyre, the last male dragon. But the Fool wants to bring dragons back to the world and so he's strongly against the killing of Icefyre. Fitz is now torn between his duty to his future King and the love of his best friend the Fool. To cap it all, the latter has told him he's foreseen his own death on the glacier. Fitz and Chade have to do everything possible to prevent the Fool from accompanying them to the Out Islands.
The sea voyage to the city of Zylig, their first stopping place on the Out Islands, is not a pleasant one. Thick gets seasick and ill, and takes it all out on an already much guilt stricken Fitz, who's in charge of him. Day after day, the simpleton's Skill-music dampens the crew's spirits and threatens the whole expedition. Fitz will ask Nettle in her Skill-dreams to help Thick go through his ordeal.
They finally arrive at destination, to discover that the Out Islands political system is strongly matriarchal, with customs much different from those of the Six Duchies. There Prince Dutiful meets the hetgurd, a council of warrior clan chiefs and learn that they too are against the slaying of the dragon. Why then does Elliania want the dragon killed? Dutiful faces a terrible dilemma. Must he risk a political blunder? Finally the Prince decides be true to his word to his fiancée, and so they all set out to Aslevjal for a long trek to the heart of the glacier.
Again, what a fantastic, wonderful, amazing story!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can i say? 25 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What can I possibly say to do justice to both this book and the author? This book kept me up until 5 o'clock in the morning, it was just impossible to put down without finding out what happened.
I cannot possibly dissect the story, admire the reality of the characters or the style of writing, simply because the whole book, in fact the whole series, is fantastic. It is equally hard to review this book standing alone rather than as part of a series, because to make total sense of everything that is going on you have to be aware of the history between the characters and the storyline that is continued from the previous eight books. To really do this book, and indeed the author, justice you need to start at the beginning and read the Assasins trilogy followed by the Liveship trilogy and then this final Farseers trilogy and form your own opinion.
Alright, I confess I am biased. I have now read all 9 books, eagerly awaited this final installment and I was only disappointed when I had finished it. This book will remain on my shelf as a firm favourite, along with the rest of the series, for a very long time, to be read and reread again and again.
I would recommend this book, indeed the whole series, to any reader who likes to be totally gripped and involved in both the story and the characters, my only regret is that this is the final book in this series. I can only hope that Robin Hobb continues to write equally good books in the future.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Really great art has the ability to leave you bereft. For instance when the Jam split up I was distraught. I was even more distraught when I heard the Style Council but the absence of that band( The Jam) from my life meant the future looked suddenly bleak. Of course I got over it, yet I still feel the same when certain things slip out of my life and I know I will never get that anticipation of re-joining them for new adventures. "Blackadder Goes Forth" got me like that and here's the rub, so did "Fools Fate".

I have followed the adventures, trials, tribulations and travels of royal assassin Fitz from the very first book "Assassins Apprentice" and though it sounds rather trite and shallow Fitz has become like a mate. I realise he's only a fictional character , that he doesn't in actual fact exist , but all the same I really , really care what happens to him. Fitz isn't perfect..he worries too much , he procrastinates and frets .In truth he needs to lighten up a bit but to me and no doubt countless other readers he is so beautifully drawn a character, as indeed are most the characters in Robin Hobbs books , that he could be real . We suffer with him, understand his frustrations and fears and revel in his rare moments of freedom and joy. In short we empathise.

Which is why , despite being completely bereft at reaching the conclusion of that last of the six books featuring Fitz Chivalry I was oddly moved and almost surreptitiously happy that he achieves some measure of peace and contentment at the end of his eventful journey throughout the "Six Duchies".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by emma edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant last book in the Tawny Man trilogogy. All her books I've read so far have been excellent.
Published 1 month ago by carolco
5.0 out of 5 stars More Foolery!
Fool, Fool and more Fool! Excellent.
Published 1 month ago by Yvette Heyward-Chaplin
5.0 out of 5 stars glad to hear that this is not the last....
Just finished the second Farseer trilogy and I'm really pleased to hear that a new one has been written and to be published in early August
Published 1 month ago by Jeff Biggin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great trilogy
Published 1 month ago by lynda howarth
5.0 out of 5 stars There be dragons !
In the last of this beautifully written trilogy, the threads from the previous eight books converge and you finally see the purpose, perspective and impact of what has gone... Read more
Published 2 months ago by TonyD
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing.
I discovered Robin Hobb a few months ago (and by discover I meant I finally picked up one of her books after regularly seeing them in the fantasy section) and everything else in my... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jacob Lawler
5.0 out of 5 stars A good start
Enjoyed this next step in the story and although some of the same information was gone over I suppose it was necessary if someone hadn't read the earlier books.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs L Santi
5.0 out of 5 stars Some cheesy headline about how much you should read this.
My other reviews have always been quite short but this series deserves a bit more than that. This is now the 9th book I have read from this world and it still managed to surprise... Read more
Published 3 months ago by massive fan
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING!
I have never cried so much reading a book, and now I'm finished i'm dazed and bereft. It is testement to Robin Hobbs incredible imagination and talent that readers can be left... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Scarletine
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