If you've read other posts on my blog you'll already know that I discovered Robin Hobb only recently but I've become a big fan.
I loved the Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders Trilogy and was looking forward to the Fool and Fitz together again.
The following contains lots of spoilers, so proceed with caution!
At the opening of Fool's Errand, Fitz is living in his little cottage with Hap and Nighteyes for company. Everything changes when after visits from the Fool and Chade he is summoned to Buckkeep to help find the prince, who has gone missing. Fitz takes on the guise of Tom Badgerlock, servant to Lord Golden, who is of course the Fool, now darker and unrecognisable to most. Tom and Lord Golden set off with Laurel, the Queen's hunt mistress, to find the missing Prince Dutiful and bring him home. The only problem is that Dutiful doesn't want to go home. He has fallen in love with a mysterious woman. Unfortunately for Dutiful, she turns out not to be a woman at all, but a cat who is trapped by her former Wit-bond partner into snaring the prince.
Dutiful is finally freed at great cost and returns to Buckkeep to meet the Narcheska of the Outislands, to whom he is betrothed.
In Golden Fool we meet a delegation from Bingtown, as well as Elliania, the Narcheska of the Outislands, for her betrothal to Prince Dutiful. Fitz and the Fool both find themselves at the centre of court intrigue. The Bingtown delegation cause the Fool much discomfort, as he worries about being recognised as Amber, the bead maker. Jek (as an aside, I love Jek, she's a fabulous character) recognises Lord Golden and brings the long held tension between Fitz and the Fool to a head. Will their friendship survive? We also have further tensions between the Piebalds, those who kidnapped Dutiful in the first book, and the royal family. Fitz once again finds himself on the brink of death. Can he be healed?
Fool's Fate brings the long story of Fitz and the Fool to a climax. Fitz accompanies Dutiful to the Outislands, where the Narcheska has demanded he bring her the head of a dragon, long buried in ice. The Fool has forseen that this trip will bring about his death, so Fitz and Chade conspire to stop him going. The ever resourceful Fool manages to get to the Island despite them, and their quest begins. Much is resolved in this book. Fitz's relationship with Burritch and Molly, Chade's role as royal advisor, Fitz as a father, Fitz as a friend.
I loved this series. The characters, although familiar, are always learning and growing. The question of who and what the Fool is, the nature of his relationship with Fitz, whether he is indeed a true Prophet, whether Fitz will fulfill the Fool's final prophecy and indeed whether any of them will survive, keeps the pages turning.
I loved this series and will truly miss the characters. My only complaint is that I felt the farewell between Fitz and the Fool was incomplete and unsatisfactory. Perhaps that is how it needs to be, but I hoped for more. I dearly hope we meet some of these characters again.