I finally finished Robin Hobb’s “Fool’s Fate”

It took me over two months to prowl through it. I cannot recall the last time a book took me that long to finish. The Farseer trilogy is truly a wonderful collection of books, and I am glad I took their recommendation to heart. The same cannot be said of the Tawny Man trilogy.

The first two books were a bit slow and showed some of the cracks in Hobb’s approach to the story: because we only see things through Fitz’s eyes, she had to contrive a bunch of opportunities for him to be spying or hear second-hand info. Fact is, most of the action and plot politics don’t really involve him; he’s just a spectator. The biggest issue for me, however, is that what we know, Fitz knows. Therefore if I can figure out what the undercurrent is in regards to Prince Dutiful’s engagement and why the Fool desires to preserve the dragons in the world, why can’t Fitz?

It isn’t until the fifty percent mark in “Fool’s Fate” that Fitz or Chade finally get a clue. It should not have taken that long. It should not have taken that long for the concluding book to start moving towards a climax. The first half is spent in drudgery of watching Thick complain about sea sickness and Fitz moan about his lot in life. The man is almost forty: what one could excuse in a twenty year old is just plain annoying in a man whose children are on the verge of becoming parents themselves.

Powerful moments are ruined by the ending. Burrich’s saving of his son Swift was wonderfully written, but his sacrifice seemed only needed so that Fitz could finally get his Molly. Who, almost twenty years later, he still thinks of as “Molly with her red skirts”. My god, man, get over it! They didn’t even have a real relationship.

Oh yes and the Fool’s fate. Fitz reverses it, nullifying any impact it originally had on the reader, and ultimately his true fate is never known because Fitz is too concerned, once again, with Molly.

If Hobb had had the courage to actually make the Fool female, now that would have been a nice twist. If one could call it a twist with all the hints she dropped. But it felt like in the end she didn’t want to do anything to shake Fitz’s world too much. So make the Fool disappear, give him Molly back (but with Burrich out of the picture), and everyone live happily ever after. Except the Fool. Oh and Kettricken.

I find it a bit of double standard that Kettricken, whose six month marriage was arranged, and didn’t really have a true love with her husband until near the end, remains a devoted widow until the end of her days. But Molly, who was with her husband for sixteen years and raised seven (!) children with him is able to move on within a short frame of time. It’s actually quite disgusting how eager Fitz was when Burrich died.

Frankly, it was one of the most disappointing books (and by extension trilogies) I’ve ever read.

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  1. Well, alright, it sucked! But next time you review you gotta pick something you love and go on about how awesome it is 😀 And it can’t be WOT.

    Is me using a commanding voice more likely to make that happen? :p

  2. I thought your review was spot on. I can’t remember being so disappointed in a series. And you’re right, to revive a “non relationship” in the 6th book was just lame. She sure knows how to write, I know I’ll let her draw me in again!

  3. I totally agree, the ending was horrible. After so much crap he get the girl twenty years later after she had like 7 kids with the man he considered a father. Horrible. I truely haven’t been this disappointed since reading the magicians by grossman.

  4. ~sigh~ o well… just sharing my $0.02 wasnt trying to debate. this brotha is tapped out. everything is relative. to each his own. ive said all i can say about them. molly married burrich out of convenience. the damn king was trying to kill her and she was pregnant with no one to look after her, or protect her. she believed the love of her life was dead. who better to take care of her than the closest man to him? Hobb has said that altho molly was “older” by two years fitz real age was never confirmed because of his origins and that they might have well been the same age. especially when you do the math of when chivalry was up there with the mountain woman. IM getting tired of this fitz and fool nonsense. the fool was all up on him, but fitz clearly didnt feel that way. he liked the fool as a brother, as a friend. Molly was were his heart was, its why the fool took him back to girl on a dragon to give him back a part of his soul. where is this fitz and fool thing come from any way, fitz was adamant he didnt like him like that. ur willing to hate on the woman fitz loved but u guys are all up on him loving another dude when he stated time and time again that wasnt even how it was and he didnt like him like that??? wtf… its like finding out your best friend is gay and he’s been inlove with you for so long how would that not make fitz uncomfortable. its even bound to ruin a friendship and it did theirs. it would make any straight man uncomfortable. he established time and time again that he didnt like him like that, the fool knew it too. fitz did not swing that way. the fool knew he loved only molly. after losing molly fitz was literally incapable of love. Well the fact is, Hobb knows her characters more than any of us ever will. she knew what fitz wanted more than anything else in the world. when he finally got it, he was content. in the end everything is relative.

    1. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, but I do feel I need to clarify a few of my own in regards to this series. 🙂

      I, personally, never cared to see Fitz fall for the Fool or anything of the sort. I dislike red herrings especially when the ending felt like a copout.

      Fitz/Burrich/Molly is a complicated situation that ended up being way too simplified for my liking. It wrapped up far too neatly.

      Of course Hobb knows her characters better than anyone but that does not shield her from criticism of how she executed her story. If it did, no one could comment on how horrid Twilightis or 50 Shades of Grey.

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