Prince Dutiful has been rescued from his Piebald kidnappers and the court has resumed its normal rhythms. There FitzChivalry Farseer, gutted by the loss of his wolf bondmate, must take up residence at Buckkeep as a journeyman assassin.
Posing as a bodyguard, Fitz becomes the eyes and ears behind the walls, guiding a kingdom straying closer to civil strife each day. Amid a multitude of problems, Fitz must ensure that no one betrays the Prince’s secret—one that could topple the throne: that he, like Fitz, possesses the dread “beast magic.” Only Fitz’s friendship with the Fool brings him solace. But even that is shattered when devastating revelations from the Fool’s past are exposed. Bereft of support and adrift in intrigue, Fitz finds that his biggest challenge may be simply to survive.
“To recognize you are the source of your own loneliness is not a cure for it. But it is a step toward seeing that it is not inevitable, and that such a choice is not irrevocable.”
Golden Fool can be summed up as “Things happened before, and things will happen again, but thing aren’t happening this time. Also Fitz is a dumbass”. This book definitely suffers from middle book syndrome, in spades. Everything that happened within these pages was setup for the plot of the third book in the trilogy.
This had a lot of little plots that all happened in a weave. Some of them would tie themselves off nicely. Others would be shuffled off to deal with next time around. The two biggest things to know about Golden Fool are A) Fitz is an idiot (but you likely already knew that) and B) The betrothal of Prince Dutiful to the Outislander Narcheska, Elliania, is moving forward, but not yet. They just kind of got to meet each other now.
And everything in this book had to happen in order for the story to work. Because that is the way Hobb rolls.
Fitz is a nightmare to behold. I love you, Fitz. You know I do. But I also hate you, too. You cause so much trouble to your own damn self. I don’t even know if you’re worth this level of idiocy sometimes! (Okay, you are, but sigh.)
Seriously, the entirety of Golden Fool could be shortened into “Fitz hurt himself through his own idiot actions. Again.” It was just a series of personal faults in Fitz causing strife. And pain. And animosity. And a bit of quarreling. The ever rolling idiotball just ended up growing bigger.
Yet, in the end I love Fitz. I love the world that Robin Hobb set up. I love the world as it continues to grow, even as it grows throughout Golden Fool. And I love the characters, idiocy and all. Hurt feelings and all. Duty and all. I just love these books, I just really wish this wasn’t so heavily setup for the third and final book in the trilogy.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Tawny Man series page!