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Tawny Man by Robin Hobb

Complete series with 3 novels.
Genres: fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy
Prequel Series: The Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders
Sequel Series: Rain Wild Chronicles, The Fitz and the Fool

Blurb:

Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Now, the Witted are being persecuted. And young Prince Dutiful is witted, and also the son of FitzChivalry Farseer, the most hated person in the Six Duchies. Fitz is called out of his “retirement” by duty, and the Fool, who has come back to tell him his time as the Catalyst.

Reading Order:

1. Fool’s Errand
2. Golden Fool
3. Fool’s Fate

Review:

Following on from the events of The Farseer Trilogy, I was a bundle of tears. I could not stop crying. Being back with my Fitz was like coming home to my best friend. I love him, and was so happy. but he was still the same as he was when we left him. Fitz is still a broken person. A bit more content, perhaps, but still the exact same as we left him, all those years ago. And it broke.my.heart. Then the Fool shows up again, and I was as happy as the Fool was when they saw each other again. The bromance is real.

A Note: Yes, the events of the Liveship Traders trilogy does influence the Tawny Man trilogy. Completely and totally directly influences. You would get a lot more out of this series if you read Liveship Traders, first.

The story starts out a bit slow. In the beginning, there was a lot of catching up to do. And then Chade shows up and fucks up Fitz’s content life, asking Fitz to do something no one should have the right to ask of him. And then the Fool shows up, and it is like my entire life was lit up inside and everything was going to be alright. Of course the Fool was going to show up, because dire portents are on the horizon and shit is about to go all wrong again.

And it does all go wrong. I love Robin Hobb.

Fitz has to rescue Prince Dutiful, his son (though no one knows this but him and the Fool) and heir to the throne of the Six Duchies. There is also increased animosity against the Witted,of which his son is one. All while Fitz has to hide who he is, even from the Prince. Because he is supposed to be dead, and if anyone finds out otherwise it will spell big trouble. Once the Prince is rescued, well certain things happened during the rescue, and Fitz can’t go back to his old life. He has to train Dutiful in the Skill, their other shared ability. Which went so well for Fitz whe he was being trained he is still damaged from it. Joys.

Tawny Man 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 are A) Fitz is an idiot (but you likely already knew that) and B) Everything Goes Wrong (but you likely already knew that).

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.) A lot of the problems in the series are related to how much of a fool Fitz can be, and how much of a fool the Fool can be. And I love them both but christ they need to just get together. It’ll solve every problem they have.

Tawny Man is Robin Hobb’s best work yet. I don’t understand how she took the events of Assassin’s Quest and turned them into this series. Into this ending! Every single book written to date played into the ending of this series. And I just don’t understand. I read every book. I read every word. And now we’re here, and I’m just so confused at this perfect payoff. Wow. This was everything I expected and wanted it to be.

The way Hobb manages to tie everything together the way she does is unreal. The worldbuilding is unreal. I thought I was shocked at what happened to the world and me in Liveship Traders. I just didn’t know what was in store for me in Fool’s Fate. She is the master at creating a world where I simultaneously want to live in it and not. It just feels so real.

Throughout the series, there has been something happening. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. At first, I couldn’t figure out where it was going at all. I wondered why we were being showed these things we had been shown. It was interesting, but not quite what I always expected. Then I learned more and I was sure I knew what was up. As a reader I’m very cocksure in the personal theories I have in my head. We learned a few little pieces and I was like “alright! I got this! Awesome series, Robin Hobb!”

I should have learned by now.

Because the ending to the Tawny Man trilogy was just amazing. And perfect. And I feel like I’m repeating myself, but just how did Robin Hobb pull this off? I don’t understand. All I know is I love it.

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