Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man, Book 1)

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9780553801484: Fool's Errand (The Tawny Man, Book 1)

With the creation of the magnificent Farseer and Liveship Traders trilogies, Robin Hobb has emerged as one of the foremost fantasy authors of our time. Now she continues the tale of FitzChivalry Farseer in the first book of what promises to be her most spectacular trilogy yet.

A work of dazzling scope, brilliance, and sheer imaginative artistry, Fool’s Errand is the captivating story of a man finally confronting the two magics that divide not only himself but his land.

Fool’s Errand

For fifteen years, since the events that shattered his old life, FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in a self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him.

A bastard with royal Farseer blood, he has retreated to an isolated cottage far from the intrigues and dangers of the capital. Now he believes himself content to exist in obscurity, raising his adopted son, Hap, and sharing his solitude with his faithful wolf bondmate, Nighteyes.

Despite the rumors he hears of savage reprisals against those posssessing the Wit magic, he is determined to remain aloof from the conflict. After all he has served his kingdom, sacrificed what was dearest to him, and he deserves his peace.

But all that is about to change when destiny comes seeking him once again. High summer brings visitors to his door, and with them his past. Jinna, a hedge-witch, foresees that a long-lost love will return to him. Chade — court assassin and Fitz’s mentor from his own assassin days, now growing infirm — has reasons of his own for desiring Fitz to return to Buckkeep Castle.

And when the Fool, the former White Prophet, reappears as the wealthy and charming Lord Golden, he beckons Fitz to take up his duties as Catalyst, the one who enables others to be heroes and change forever the path of time.

To all of them Fitz says no. He has done his duty — more than one man should be expected to do. But then comes the summons he cannot ignore.

Prince Dutiful, the young heir to the Farseer throne, has vanished from Buckkeep Castle without a trace. Whether Dutiful has been kidnapped or has fled his impending arranged betrothal is unclear. What is clear is that the Prince is rumored to be Witted at a time when public superstition is running high against those possessing that “beast magic.”

Endowed with both the royal Skill magic and the despised Wit, FitzChivalry may be the only one who can retrieve the Prince before his betrothal ceremony — thus sparing the Six Duchies profound political embarrassment ... or worse.

But even Fitz does not suspect the web of treachery that awaits him. Everyone seems to have an agenda for the young Prince, and soon FitzChivalry is plunged into a situation where his loyalties to his Queen, his Wit partner Nighteyes, and those who share his magic will be tested to the breaking point.

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Review:

This first volume of a new trilogy from one of fantasy's most popular and skilled authors will delight longtime Hobb fans as well as first-time readers of her work.

FitzChivalry, the hero of The Farseer trilogy, now lives an isolated and quiet life with his foster son Hap and his Wit partner wolf, Nighteyes, until he is sought out by his old mentor Chade and the enigmatic, charming Fool. Once again, duty calls: Fitz must find a missing prince and prevent political chaos in the Six Duchies. The mission will test his conflicting loyalty to country and family, his uneasy compromise with his own magic, and all the relationships he values most.

If you're a fantasy fan who hasn't yet explored the Farseer world, this is a fine place to start: Hobb deftly provides new readers with all the needed information. The finely detailed world building and intensive character development rarely slow down the action of the story. Fool's Errand is a complex, beautifully written and sometimes heart-rending examination of the consequences of duty and love. --Roz Genessee

From the Back Cover:

Critical acclaim for Robin Hobb’s magnificent Liveship Traders trilogy:

Ship of Magic

“Promises to be a truly extraordinary saga.... The characterizations are consistently superb, and [Hobb] animates everything with love for and knowledge of the sea. If Patrick O’Brian were to turn to writing high fantasy, he might produce something like this. Kudos to the author and encore!”
Booklist

“I fell right through the pages.... Even better than the Assassin books. I didn’t think that was possible.”
— George R.R. Martin

Mad Ship

“Hobb displays a wonderful imagination.... Should delight fans.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A major work ... read[s] like a cross between Tolkien and Patrick O’Brian. Hobb gives high fantasy a nautical spin that will please a great many readers.”
Publishers Weekly

“Imaginative and compelling.”
Library Journal

Ship of Destiny

“This book soars.... A splendid conclusion to one of the finest fantasy sagas to bridge the millennium ... A masterful achievement.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The triumphant conclusion to what is probably the best fantasy trilogy of the past decade and a prospective fantasy classic.”
Booklist (starred review)

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