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Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1): Book One of the Tawny Man: 1/3 Paperback – 1 Oct 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 252 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006486010
  • ISBN-13: 978-9780006488
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.2 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

In Fool's Errand, first of the "Tawny Man" trilogy, Robin Hobb brings back Fitz, hero of her emotionally powerful and intrigue-filled Assassin trilogy, from 15 years of self-imposed exile from his royal relations and from the world of power. Hobb is particularly good at the passage of time and the things it does not change; Fitz plausibly thinks of himself as older and more settled than he actually is. She is also good on the actual changes--Fitz's mentor Chade is teetering on the brink of old age and his androgynous ally the Fool has returned to court as the fop Lord Gallant; these are characters we cared about before and she makes it matter that they have aged or altered. Fitz is bonded by Wit to a wolf; the heir, Prince Dutiful, the son he never saw, is adrift with his own Wit in a world where people get lynched for it. Hobb's leisurely story-telling never lacks urgency and menace; this is a humane book which includes nightmarish touches along the way. Her sense of the world of magic and the world of political power is acute--she makes us see more than her flawed hero, even though we share his eyes.--Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.'
The Times

Assassin's Apprentice:
'A gleaming debut'

Assassin's Quest:
'Assassin's Quest achieves a bittersweet, powerful complexity rare in fantasy' LOCUS

'Robin Hobb writes achingly well'

Praise for The Liveship Traders series:
'Even better than the Assassin books. I didn't think that was possible'
George R R Martin

'Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.'

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick Shepherd TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Oct. 2002
Format: 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.
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By A Customer on 4 Nov. 2001
Format: 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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: 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.
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