Fool’s Errand (Tawny Man, #1)
Robin Hobb

alternate cover for ISBN 9780006486015

Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Since then, Fitz has wandered the world accompanied only by his wolf and Wit-partner, Nighteyes, finally settling in a tiny cottage as remote from Buckkeep and the Farseers as possible.

But lately the world has come crashing in again. The Witted are being persecuted because of their magical bonds with animals; and young Prince Dutiful has gone missing just before his crucial diplomatic wedding to an Outislander princess. Fitz’s assignment to fetch Dutiful back in time for the ceremony seems very much like a fool’s errand, but the dangers ahead could signal the end of the Farseer reign.

Cover illustration by John Howe

Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1) book cover

“I looked at him. He was not just one old man come to visit me. He brought all of my past trailing along behind him as an embroidered train follows a woman into a hall. When I let him in my door, I had let in my old world with him.”

This is hugely satisfying. I left Fitz long ago and have had a daughter, got a job, moved house 3 times, all since I last set down his story. So it helped me, I think, that the book opens slowly, re-sets the scene, acquaints us with the world again, for then we are totally subsumed by the wave of words as our hero once again sets forth.

“Little Brother, do not treat me as if I am already dead, or dying. If you see me that way, then I would rather truly be dead. You steal the now of my life away, when you constantly fear that tomorrow will bring my death. Your fears clutch cold at me and snatch all my pleasure in the day’s warmth from me.”

It’s a more melancholic work than the opening to the initial trilogy, no denying that, and yet for all that it’s as powerful, as gripping and totally captivating as any other. I’ve missed this world, with all its intrigue and beauty, it’s sorrows and joys and pains and problems. I’m very, very glad to be back.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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