Author: Robin Hobb
Series: Fitz and the Fool Trilogy #2
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Synopsis excluded for potential spoilers of previous books.
|I should just be able to write ‘It’s Robin Hobb’ with a 5-star rating because that should explain everything. I’m convinced she possesses some of the magic she writes about because how? How?!
I didn’t think I’d love this book more than Fool’s Assassin but I did. There were so many things Hobb addressed in Fool’s Quest and once again, I’m in awe and she is incredible.
If you’ve read all of the previous books in the Realm of the Elderlings (ROTE) series, you will find this book both emotional and rewarding. There was a brief moment in the book that I loved so much because I had fancied the possibility of it since Assassin’s Quest, 11 books ago! And then there was an event that happened that I’ve been hoping for for a very long time, and it was more satisfying than I could’ve imagined.
Oh and can we talk about the revelations in this book?! Some I saw coming, but the others took me by complete surprise! This is another reason I highly recommend reading ROTE in order because just when you think you’re keeping up with Hobb, she surprises you with twists that will have you shaking your head for not seeing it sooner. I’ve said this before and it remains true: Hobb expands her worldbuilding with each book and makes each one richer for it. She still provides enough information for readers who haven’t read the previous books, but reading them in order produces a synergistic effect that you’ll be extremely happy with.
Fool’s Quest is a long book and may fall short for readers who like to see a lot of plot advancement. While there wasn’t a lot of things that drove the plot, I still enjoyed the book. Hobb has always been great at setting up characters and events in her books. One of the biggest reasons I love her work can be summed up in one word: authenticity. Because Hobb spends time on writing chapters that invests on the authenticity of future events, readers are able to understand, relate, and feel more for her characters. This is why I didn’t mind that the story dragged a little; it paid off and didn’t overshadow my overall enjoyment of the book. If Hobb’s slow burn wasn’t purposeful, that’s another story.
Speaking of authenticity, Hobb once again gets me with her characters. Fitz went through a lot of emotional turmoil in this book and it led to many mistakes and decisions he made. There were also instances when I found myself frustrated with how slow he was in seeing things but as much as I felt that way, my appreciation for Hobb grew. Here was a character I’ve been with for a long time and flaws and all, I still loved him. Did some of his actions surprise me? Absolutely. Were they so far fetched that he felt out of character? Not at all. Hobb’s characters feel so real that you accept their shortcomings because you don’t love them for what they do but for who they are. Will we fault a friend or family suffering with grief because they failed at being perceptive? More often than not, we’d understand them. It felt the same way with the Fool and his reactions to everything after all he went through. My point is, Hobb gets complexity and still manages to make it all real. Her characters, like people, disappoint and that’s why she’s such a great author for me.
Overall there were definitely parts of this book that were darker and more violent than Hobb’s usual. However, I also found it happier in many places! This book was another emotional roller coaster and what a ride it was. I’m both excited and intimidated by the next book! With a title like Assassin’s Fate, I can almost guarantee tears.