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Summary

The triumphant conclusion to the Tawny Man trilogy, from the author of the best-selling Farseer and Liveship Traders trilogies. The moving end to the tale of the Farseers, in which kingdoms must stand or fall on the beat of a dragon's wings, or a Fool's heart.

A small and sadly untried coterie - the old assassin Chade, the serving-boy Thick, Prince Dutiful, and his reluctant Skillmaster, Fitz - sail towards the distant island of Aslevjal. There they must fulfil the Narcheska’s challenge to her betrothed: to lay the head of the dragon Icefyre, whom legends tell is buried there deep beneath the ice, upon her hearth. Only with the completion of this quest can the marriage proceed, and the resulting alliance signal an end to war between the two kingdoms. It is not a happy ship: tensions between the folk of the Six Duchies and their traditional enemies, the Outislanders, lie just beneath the surface.

Thick is constantly ill, and his random but powerful Skilling has taken on a dark and menacing tone, while Chade’s fascination with the Skill is growing to the point of obsession. Having ensured that his beloved friend the Fool is safely left behind in Buckkeep, Fitz is guilt-stricken; but he is determined to keep his fate at bay, since prophecy foretells the Fool’s death if he ever sets foot on the isle of the black dragon. But as their ship draws in towards Aslevjal a lone figure awaits them….

©2003 Robin Hobb (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers…what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics." ( The Times)
"Robin Hobb writes achingly well." ( SFX)
"Even better than the Assassin books. I didn’t think that was possible." (George R. R. Martin)

What members say

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Loose yourself in this amazing story!

I have not lost myself so deeply in a story since I was a child. Robin Hobbs intricately woven story of Fitzchivalry Farseer and the Fool Fate was so heart achingly , beautifully written, that i found myself going to bed early to get 4 or 5 hours listening before resigning to sleep. I have fallen so in love with the characters of Fitz and the Fool, their trails throught quests and deepening of the relationship is incredibly moving and poigniant. I have cried more with this book than any other i can remember, and am kind of dazed now I'm at the end. I am in awe of Robin Hobbs writing. It may sound over dramatic and sentimental, but this book has changed me. I heartily recommend the journey!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Harrowing and Epic Conclusion

Would you listen to Fool's Fate again? Why?

I certainly would. Hobb has made me care so much about these characters.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I don't want to give away spoilers but I have to say the ending is exceptional. At so many points while listening to this I thought the situation was beyond redemption. But the conclusion was perfect. Hobb has a genius for knowing exactly what needs to happen to her characters and why.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I almost did! This is a deeply addictive trilogy (so I recommend you listen at a time when you need a VERY sizeable distraction). I cannot wait for the next Robin Hobb release this August, I'm desperate to know what happens next.

Any additional comments?

This book, like many many of Hobbs writings, does not shy away from fantasy stereotypes. If you were to pick apart the events of her "Realm of the Elderlings" saga, I'm sure you'd find many of them. However, please do temper your judgement, Hobb doesn't just manage to reinvent these tropes but uses them as weapons. Her narrative is enthralling, rich in detail yet open to the imagination. She tackles epic high fantasy, rooted in real modern society issues, and anchored by a rich multitude of developed and colourful characters.This book makes for an intense listen (many fans get emotional about it, and rightly so). I cried like a child. Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster, though do trust in Hobb's dazzling prowess. She's an author that, no matter how convoluted the situation, never loses her absolute control of the story, finishing the Tawny man has left me in no doubt of that.I must also say that i found Nick Taylors narration to be spot on. I loved Beomer's farseer but Taylor was even better. He pronounces "Burrich"'s name properly (i.e. the way the author does) and even starling's voice is closer to what I envisioned. The ageing up of Nighteyes' voice was appropriate to his 20 years: unnaturally old for a grey wolf. And the rest of the cast is wonderfully distinct! Well done!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent timing....

in the sense that it won't be long before we get further tales of Fitz and the Fool from the wonderful pen of Robin Hobb.

Needless to say that you should just stop whatever it is you are doing and listen to all six of these glorious books. I think you would be hard pressed to find any novelist anywhere quite as good. Immense and immersive, lovingly read, and chock full of life.

Treat yourself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The wit witted wittedly.

Never has there been such a story to make me both laugh out loud and want to shed a tear for all the loss and heartach. the story was masterfully written, and put together with the gentld hands of a writer who loves the characters with all of her heart.

it was read by a man who wholeheartedly understood FitzChivelry and in a way that potrayed the book as it should have been.

My heart will always have a place to go in the words of this story.

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Fantastic finale!

As always, Robin Hobb writes the most incredible, living worlds, and this final book closes the trilogy wonderfully.
the narrator is brilliant, and really helps the story, couldn't be better in fact.
This trilogy took a little more to get going than the first, but develops the world so completely that I can't fault it for taking its time!
Bring on the next ones!

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Just brilliant!

Brilliant, I want more! Great story, wrapped up nicely but leaves you wanting the next.

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  • GS
  • 11-01-18

Excellent conclusion to this series.

Slow to start for the first quarter of the book but thereafter gripping. There was more humour in this book than the previous books and this made for a better experience. A well told tale.

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Nick Taylor absolutely slays the narration

and a great, not too predictable finish to the trilogy. Robin Hobb did it again :)

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Superb, moving, though-provoking at times; what more can you want?

The books involving Fitz are, I think, the best and this Trilogy is so good, I really didn’t want it to end.

Very well read; Nick Taylor uses voices with subtlety and this just adds to the overall experience.

Whilst the three can be read independently, I strongly recommend reading the earlier ones, which are just as good, and make this trilogy better still.

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Wonderful

Very well read by Nick Taylor! All three books were terrific, let's hope there are more of them!

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  • Petter
  • 09-04-15

good shit

good narration, lovely story. nice quality in the production. i recomend this over the other version

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  • Katrina
  • 20-01-15

Terrible quality production

This is yet another totally brilliant series by Robin Hobb, building perfectly on the previous Liveship Traders and Assassin series.

But the audio editors left MANY instances of repeated lines often with the narrator giving a sigh of frustration before starting the line again.

The first time gave me a giggle, but it happens repeatedly throughout the book as though the editing job was rushed. By the end I felt truly annoyed. I've not had an audio book from here with so many issues like this.

I hope it will be re-edited. Robin Hobb books so rock and Nick is a fair narrator.