PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Robin Hobb’s latest series of stories about FitzChivalry Farseer and his beloved friend The Fool began last year with Fool’s Assassin. The book kicked up a bit of a hornet’s nest for both the characters and the fans of Hobb’s work, as not only did it drag Fitz out of his well-deserved domestic bliss it also introduced a new character, Fitz’s strange daughter, Bee. Fool’s Quest is the keenly anticipated sequel, and it’s just as shocking, addictive and gripping as the first book.

With our heroes now thoroughly torn out of their comfort zones, Hobb takes us on a complex and involved emotional journey. Make no mistake, all the elements of a fantasy novel are present, but they are secondary to the character development and growth of main characters. Fans of Fitz and The Fool will be pleased to know that the compelling bond they share continues to delight and fascinate. Bee’s perspective is also incredibly well handled, providing a crucial and different view to Fitz’s sardonic and miserable outlook.

Fool’s Quest is better paced than the previous book, and there’s certainly more action. Fitz’s sense of duty makes these scenes all the more fascinating. There’s also a lot more world building. Those familiar with the Liveship Trader novels will recognise some key elements as Hobb brings her world closer together. As always, there is a strong humanitarian overtone throughout the work; every life has a value, every person part of this world’s rich tapestry.  It’s impossible not to become completely immersed in these people’s lives. 

Overall, Fool’s Quest is further proof that Hobb is a modern master of fantasy. If you haven’t had the pleasure as yet, prepare to clear a shelf and start reading from the beginning; Quest is the latest in a long series. It is well worth the journey, especially if you’re looking for something different and unique. Those of us who already know about these books will be pleased to discover that it’s still an amazing series and one that is well worth your time.



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