Author: Robin Hobb
Date of Publication: August 13th 2015
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher
Find links to my reviews of Robin's previous books here.
SynopsisAfter nearly killing his oldest friend, the Fool, and finding his daughter stolen away by those who were once targeting the Fool, FitzChivalry Farseer is out for blood. And who better to wreak havoc than a highly trained and deadly former royal assassin? Fitz might have let his skills go fallow over his years of peace, but such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten. And nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose…
ReviewThis will contain spoilers for Fool's Assassin, so avoid if you haven't read it yet.
I would like to start by thanking the very lovely person at Harper Voyager who, when I sent a cheeky email saying, "I'd really like a copy of Fool's Quest," actually sent me one. I am fortunate enough to get quite a few review copies, but this was one I really didn't expect and it's a great privilege to have been entrusted with a copy just so I can give my opinion to you guys.
In my review of Fool's Assassin I accused Robin Hobb of being a cruel woman. She can certainly be cruel to her characters! This book opens with Fitz at Buckkeep having successfully taken the Fool through the skill pillar, almost killing the Fool, himself and Riddle in the process. Nettle is understandably furious at him. Those in Buckkeep are unaware of the goings on at Withywoods, and Bee is trying to find a way to deal with her new situation.
Chapters are told from either Fitz's or Bee's viewpoint, as in the previous book. Fitz continues to be frustratingly obstinate in several areas, and this shortfall causes problems for himself and other characters.
We learn more about the Fool in this book than in any of the previous books he's appeared in, and the depth of this friendship, which has spanned decades, is something to behold.
To say too much about Bee would go into spoiler territory, which I don't want to do, but I loved the character development we see in this book, and the extracts from her journals that often appear as chapter introductions.
Some old friends make appearances, including some we thought never to see again, and there are some poignant moments for Fitz, and for us, as he realises he's not as isolated and friendless as he's always believed.
To be able to visit this world, and these characters, again is such a pleasure. At times my heart soared, and at others it broke into tiny little pieces. 20 years of world building has gone into this book, and it shows. There is so much detail for those who've read all of the books in this world. I love the little nods to previous events that the reader will only pick up on if they've read all of the different series.
As with the first book, the ending had me groaning in frustration and wishing that the next book was already available.
I love the characters, I love the world, and I love Robin Hobb's particular brand of story telling.