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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unchanged by Time?
This book will leave you begging for more. From the first pages of the first Farseer series I was well and truly hooked. Hobb's writing style, putting the whole story in the first person, we see what he sees and little else, makes it all the more personal, and captivating.
At the end of the first series I was left hanging, and this book was a great comeback to...
Published on 4 Nov 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars gift for mum
I bought this as a gift for my mum- she loves it, and most of Robin Hobbs writings - good buy
Published 10 months ago by Hayley


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unchanged by Time?, 4 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1) (Hardcover)
This book will leave you begging for more. From the first pages of the first Farseer series I was well and truly hooked. Hobb's writing style, putting the whole story in the first person, we see what he sees and little else, makes it all the more personal, and captivating.
At the end of the first series I was left hanging, and this book was a great comeback to something that many may have left for dead.
Though some may say it is a little long until it gets back into Fitz' court life, it is still captivating and i cannot wait until the next installment. It is definitly a great read, so long as you understand what occured in the first series.
The book very clevely covers the passage of fifteen years since the Red Ship wars (1st series), she does not just blurt out what happened in those years and leav it, she tells it succinctly but references do crop up throughout the book, she makes it important thet people have changed, especially the Fool, who has changed dramatically but beneath it all he is still the Fool, an enigmatic but terribly likeable character.
Though not as fast paced as the first series, it is still a captivating read. And it is important to have read the first series first, it explains a lot about all the characters.
Altogether a well deserved five stars, and we can but hope that this trend continues throughout her work. I wonder if she'll add to the Liveship Traders series next (though not quite as brilliant, still well worth reading)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this was wonderful, 7 April 2003
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I thought this was the most wonderful story, it stood on its own but is also a more than worthy sequel. Robin Hobbs narrative just keeps on getting better, the characters in this book have grown and developed from the Farseer books, into people that you can really care about. The relationships have such depth and feeling, and Hobbs description and way with words means that you feel every event personally. I look forward to The Golden Fool with great anticipation. I enjoyed the Liveship trilogy and certainly think you need to read these and the Farseer trilogy to get the best from the Tawny Man. I never thought I would enjoy a 'fantasy' story so much but this has got to be one of the best tales I have read, and I do read a lot. I am in a way dreading the final instalment as I have an awful feeling that we may lose more of the central characters. But these tales are compulsive reading and once started, putting them down is painful. I guess I will just have to start again and reread them to pass the time until Fools Fate is issued.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life Companions, 27 Oct 2002
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1) (Hardcover)
Robin Hobb (Megan Lindholm) has attracted quite a devoted audience with her last two sets of books, the Farseer 'Assassin' trilogy and the Live Ship Trader series, and with good reason, as these are fantasies of quite a different stripe from the normal and told with power, wit, and depth. While not absolutely necessary to enjoying this book, as there are enough explanatory sections here to catch the gist of the action of the prior books, I do recommend that you read the Assassin trilogy first, as it will not only provide the reader with all the past action, it will give you a fine benchmark of the how the characters were at the time of those books, allowing you to easily see the changes that time has wrought.
This book picks up 15 years after the ending of the Farseer set, with FitzChivalry Farseer and his Wit bond-mate wolf Nighteyes leading a quiet life as a farmer trying to raise his adopted son Hap, carefully avoiding any traffic with his former life of intrigue as a royal assassin. This early section of the book is remarkable for how strong the character development is, even though there is almost no action during this portion, showing a much more mature Fitz who has almost come to terms with the sacrifices he was required to make in the earlier books. Of course, this idyllic setting can't last, as first his former mentor Chade arrives for a visit to try and convince Fitz to return to service at Buckkeep Castle, followed by the very enigmatic Fool, now known as Lord Golden, and finally is convinced to return to Buckkeep by a summons from Chade to help find Prince Dutiful, Fitz's son by body, but not by himself as a person, who has either been kidnapped or run away.
Thus the action is enjoined, leading Fitz not just away from his farm, but into consideration of the whys and needs of both his Wit and Skill abilities. A set of considerations that have relevance for everyone, questions on should you lead if you can, can you let a social injustice continue when you have the means and ability to do something about it, about the importance of life and the time to properly allow death to reign, the strength of personal relationships and what is owed to friends, where the responsibilities of a parent begin and end. Throughout, Fitz, Nighteyes, and the Fool continue to grow as characters, till you feel that these are people you know, have lived, ached, lost and triumphed with.
Hobb's descriptive powers are well in evidence here, and her characters are neatly folded into her imagined universe, that includes not just the world of Wit and Skill of the Assassin works but also is explicitly tied to her Live Ship set, though that tie, so far, is only mentioned in passing, not fully developed. This book, unlike so many that are planned as part of a larger group of works, is very complete in itself, with an excellent resolution to all the problems and concerns it starts with. But I have a feeling the next book will make more of the tie to the Liveships and Bingtown traders, and I am looking forward to it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great fantasy novel that tweaks the emotions, 3 Jun 2002
By 
T. Robinson (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am becoming a little jaded when it comes to buying fantasy novels. This book reminds me why I enjoy the genre so much. It is one of those that is difficult to put down, I find that rare nowadays.
This book focusses on Fitz 15 years after the "assasin" books. He has settled into a life as a rural recluce with a foster son. Unfortunately for him his capabilities are required by Chade and Queen Kettricken.
To meet the requests of Chade etc, Fitz must come to terms with how his status is not what it was. You become enmeshed in his character. If you have read the previous books you will understand his history, identify with Fitz more closely and consequently appreiciate his position more.
One aspect I didn't expect was the tie in with the "liveship" books.
Anyway, well done Robin, a stirring read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful world-spanning series., 19 Nov 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "Bones" (Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I've been reading Robin Hobb since she was Megan Lindholm (and now recognised as such); her early books were aimed at a younger audience, but had that certain appeal that set her apart from the run-of-the-mill authors.
The Six Duchy saga is on a different plane, appealing to a more mature audience who wish something to get their imaginations' teeth into, and she has done it again with the Tawny Man - although it doesn't seem like it during the first 1/3rd of the book ...
15 years have passed since Fitz's last adventure (he is now known as Tom), so the telling of this has to be done subtly, to avoid those boring resumes that we often get; the Fool too has changed in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways and seems intent on being as manipulative as Chade.
The threads that are brought together during the latter part of the book promise an adventure just as good as the other 2, especially as we seem to be drawing both previous series to a common point (which may have been guessed at from the previous frontispiece maps).
There are many unanswered questions as well: who or what is the Fool & is it male or female? Where does Hap fit in? Starling is more than she appears; Why is the Fool's horse called Malta? Treasure Beach hints at another connection; Wit & Skill - same or different?
By the end of the book, one is left wondering which will be next - a further episode of Tawny Man, the Liveship Traders sequel, or a new series about the Out-Islanders?
Ms Hobb has fashioned one of the most believable worlds in modern fantasy - on a par with George RR Martin's Song of Ice & Fire - the characters are 3-dimensional, hidden traits appearing unexpectedly, and not all of them perfect, as so often happens in lesser tales.
I can't say much more without 'spoilers', so I leave it to you to persevere with the first part of the book, your persistance will be rewarded! *****
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hungry for the main course, 22 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1) (Hardcover)
The Farseer Trilogy left me heartbroken.
I couldn't help therefore but view the next series of books with not only eagerness but also a certain amount of trepidation.
There were certainly times when reading Fool's Errand that I felt a lump well in my throat (particularly at one significant death towards the end of the book). However, the opportunies for the kinds of losses Fitz endured in the course of his earlier adventures do not present themselves so easily, given the sheltered and lonely lifestyle he has adopted. As a result, there is less taken away from the character over the course of the story - rather, Fitz spends his time re-establishing relationships with existing characters and making guarded steps towards new friendships.
Really, however, it is clear that Robin Hobb is once again setting Fitz up for a fall and that once again he is doomed to enter the spiral of tragedy that marked the previous tale. However, as ever, the author deftly manipulates the reader's emotions and I was left with a fragile hope for the character's future.
It was clearly necessary for plenty of time and paper to be devoted to the process of easing Fitz out of his emotional and physical hiding place - indeed, it would have cheapened our older and wiser protagonist to do otherwise. The effect of this process is that this is a slightly different book from those comprising the Farseer Trilogy - much less of an emotional rollercoaster and perhaps less memorable as a result. However, the writing is again impeccable and I expect that the next in the series will rival the drama seen in the Farseer Trilogy.
My appetite has certainly been whetted!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth waiting for......, 20 Nov 2001
By 
Mrs. R. L. Barker "andbek" (Derby UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1) (Hardcover)
After a dry spell from The Liveship Traders, this return to FitzChivalry Farseer's enigmatic life was well worth waiting for.
A little older, but no wiser, is how we find out reluctant hero of the Skill and the Wit. You find yourself reliving old memories as first Chade then the Fool are reintroduced, it's like you were never away. Nighteyes is as Wolfish as ever and you find yourself drawn once again into the world of the Six Duchies and it's singular veiw on good and evil.
Fitz's unknowing son, Prince Dutiful, is missing presumed kidnapped. The journey that Fitz undertakes to find the boy makes him face a few home-truths no matter how bitter they may taste. It reawakens old wounds and gives him back into the hands of the Farseer line...for good or for ill. The next episode of this thrilling series cannot come soon enough....you'll be howling like a wolf at the gates for it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She's done it again, 15 April 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "Bones" (Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I've been reading Robin Hobb since she was Megan Lindholm (and now recognised as such); her early books were aimed at a younger audience, but had that certain appeal that set her apart from the run-of-the-mill authors.
The Six Duchy saga is on a different plane, appealing to a more mature audience who wish something to get their imaginations' teeth imto, and she has done it again with the Tawny Man - although it doesn't seem like it during the first 1/3rd of the book ...
15 years have passed since Fitz's last adventure (he is now known as Tom), so the telling of this has to be done subtly, to avoid those boring resumes that we often get; the Fool too has changed in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways and seems intent on being as manipulative as Chade.
The threads that are brought together during the latter part of the book promise an adventure just as good as the other 2, especially as we seem to be drawing both previous series to a common point (which may have been guessed at from the previous frontispiece maps).
There are many unanswered questions as well: who or what is the Fool & is it male or female? Where does Hap fit in? Starling is more than she appears; Why is the Fool's horse called Malta? Treasure Beach hints at another connection; Wit & Skill - same or different?
By the end of the book, one is left wondering which will be next - a further episode of Tawny Nan, the Liveship Traders sequel, or a new series about the OutIslanders?
Ms Hobb has fashioned one of the most believable worlds in modern fantasy - on a par with George RR Martin's Song of Ice & Fire - the characters are 3-dimensional, hidden traits appearing unexpectedly, and not all of them perfect, as so often happens in lesser tales.
I can't say much more without 'spoilers', so I leave it to you to persevere with the first part of the book, your persistance will be rewarded!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book worth waiting for, 1 Dec 2001
By 
C. Stockheim "Greenrock" (Munich, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1) (Hardcover)
After having immensely enjoyed "The Farseer Trilogy" as well as "The Liveship Traders Trilogy" - which both had satisfying endings, but left some few loose ends as well - I was eagerly awaiting Robin Hobb's new trilogy. And it was worthwhile waiting.
Hobb's stories have to be enjoyed with a certain taste for people and characters. Her storylines and plots range in the interesting and captivating, but not too unusual (no offense meant) areas of high fantasy. Her geography and history of The Land are developed just enough to support what's going on - and to just subtly hint at a bit more outside of the story. But her real strengths are characters, their development, and their interactions.
In "Fool's Errand", we encounter quite a few of acquaintances from both (!) her former two trilogies, though in some cases you have to have read those books in order to get some of the finer points. But they have developed - both in age and relationship to their world and to each other, both in a good and a not so good way. And their developments are credible ones. For instance, there is no doubt that Fitz of "The Farseer Trilogy" is the same individual as Fitz of "Fool's Errand"; but the fifteen years that have passed have left traces we can identify and accept and believe in. You can feel, too, that Hobb took great pains to make every single character singular and very believable - even those that at first sight appear to be minor ones. So, one of the main delights in reading this book is watching her characters interact with one another and go on in their development while the story unfolds.
The story itself "suffers" from a few of the usual problems of being the first in a trilogy. There are some changes of pace here - there is a rather long period of exposition, of setting up the main character pieces (which isn't so bad as, as I pointed out, characters and their interactions are the main focus anyway), while the later hunt and subsequent story parts appear rather rushed to me. The end of the book is not quite the dramatic cliffhanger, but you feel it well open-ended enough to eagerly wait for the next installment. You may well speculate, but taking into account the way Hobb handled her other storylines, we may very well be in for quite a few surprises.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to the land of te Farseers, 21 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1) (Hardcover)
I remember reading the Liveship Trilogy eagerly awaiting mention of the Six Duchies and Buckkeep. Now I have a whole new trilogy to enjoy, getting reacquainted with old friends, and meeting new ones.
The first Farseer trilogy centred on Fitz as the Catalyst for change and this new series seems to be no different. What is different is this is a more knowledgeable and experienced central character.
From the outset we are thrown straight back into what we once new as an old mentor arrives at Fitz's door, we experience his solitude, and his struggle to understand and realise that a destiny awaits him.
By the end of the book there are enough loose ends, meetings avoided, and teasing comments to make any Hobbs fan sit in frustration eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
Excellent
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Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1)
Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1) by Robin Hobb (Hardcover - 15 Oct 2001)
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