“He came one late, wet spring, and brought the wide world back to my doorstep.”
– Fool’s Errand, opening line –
What better way is there to start off April Fool’s Day than by gushing about a trilogy named after the Fool? The Fool, whom I have always absolutely adored, but who has now, with these three books, wormed his way into my heart as my absolute favorite Realm of the Elderlings character ever?! 🥰 Of course I had to give you this review today!
As you’ve probably gathered, I positively ADORED this trilogy. Or most of it, anyway 😅 I did have a few issues with the ending, but we’ll get to those later, once we start straying into spoilery territory…
For the most part, though, The Tawny Man Trilogy gave The Liveship Traders some serious competition regarding that coveted Naemi’s-all-time-favorite-Realm-of-the-Elderlings-series spot. I loved being back with so many of the characters I had grown insanely attached to while reading The Farseer Trilogy. I found myself laughing, crying, grinning, gnawing my teeth in frustration, and downright sobbing over these books. I connected to 35-year-old Fitz far more than I ever would have thought possible considering the annoying teenager he used to be, and found my soulmate in the Fool. I was absolutely engrossed in this series, and just couldn’t put it down!
Some Basic Info:
Series: The Tawny Man Trilogy / The Realm of the Elderlings #7 – #9
Author: Robin Hobb
Page Count: 584 (Fool’s Errand) + 632 (The Golden Fool) + 805 (Fool’s Fate) = 2,021
Publication Date: October 15, 2001 (Fool’s Errand), October 21, 2002 (The Golden Fool), November 1, 2003 (Fool’s Fate)
Date Read: March 2, 2022 – March 20, 2022
Fool’s Errand: 5/5 Stars (I mean, it made me cry, so what do you expect me to rate it? 😭)
The Golden Fool: 5/5 Stars (This one might be tied with The Mad Ship for my absolute favorite Realm of the Elderlings book. Honestly, guys, I loved it so, so much! 🥰)
Fool’s Fate: 4/5 Stars (This one had some of my favorite scenes in the whole entire series. But it did delegate a major plotline to the background, conveniently had characters not questioning something I firmly believe every sane person would have questioned, overpowered magic to a degree I’m not a fan of, and had an ending I detested for quite a number of reasons, though probably not necessarily the ones you might think… 😅)
So yeah, with that out of the way, let’s get into some of my more detailed thoughts, shall we? If you’re still here in spite of my spoiler warning, this is the point in this review where I sincerely hope that you’ve actually read these books – because I’m about to confront you with the live reactions I had while reading, and you bet there are going to be spoilers!!!
My more general, overall verdict on the trilogy can then be found in the following section. And yes, that will include spoilers, too 😜 SO LEAVE IF YOU HAVEN’T READ TAWNY MAN YET!
Or a slightly edited version of them, anyway… For the sake of full transparency, I must admit that my notes got more and more unintelligibly cryptic the further the series went on because I just didn’t want to part from the books long enough to take notes in full, grammatically correct English sentences! This reaction log is my best attempt at decoding what I think my notes meant, but if anything is still super confusing, I apologize! Chaos is simply my brain’s most natural state of being! 😁🤷🏻
😼 Here I was, super excited about seeing Fitz and Nighteyes again, and then Starling comes along on page 2 😅 I swear to God, if she starts whining about wanting to sleep with everyone and everything in her path again…
😼 I just cannot take Fitz seriously as Tom Badgerlock! 😂
😼 Nettle sounds cool already! But gosh, Burrich probably has his hands full with all those children!
😼 Wait, what?! Prince Dutiful is Fitz’s child??? 😳 Did I miss something in Assassin’s Quest??!
😼 Chade still loves Fitz 😭😭😭
😼 Great, a whole chapter named after Starling 🙈
😼 Lover??? 🤮 Ugh, no, Fitz, why??! Why did you give Starling what she wanted all along? 😫 You do realize she’s just using you, right?!
😼 Shit – Fitz’s regrets kinda hit home.
😼 Yeah, I fucking hate Starling 😤🤬 LIKE, SERIOUSLY, YOU WERE MARRIED ALL ALONG AND THOUGHT FITZ WOULD JUST BE OKAY WITH BEING KEPT IN THE DARK ABOUT THAT?!
😼 Aiiiiiiieeee, rumors of Bingtown and dragons!!! 🤗🐉🤗
😼 I like Hap 😊
😼 The howling bitch 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Nighteyes, I love you. That is the best nickname for Starling anyone could ever have come up with!
😼 Starling, you are so obtuse! I wanna slap you even more badly than I originally wanted to slap Malta, and that is saying something!
😼 Being Witted sounds even less fun now than it did in the times of The Farseer Trilogy. Why can’t people just accept this magic? 😥
😼 Wow, Robin Hobb is really intensifying my Starling-hatred way more than I ever thought possible 😡 How dare you blame your own mistakes on Hap and say something that hurtful to him!
😼 Please don’t let Jinna be our new love interest 😰 She actually seems pretty nice, and I don’t want that to be ruined by any of Fitz’s weird romantic notions!
😼 Wow, this Baylor guy is a huge asshole! Is this book just gonna introduce a heap of other horrible characters now that we’re finally rid of Starling?
😼 “My thoughts on Starling were not charitable.” – Same, Fitz, same!
😼 “‘By your left hand, I’d say you’d had a sweet and true love in your short life. A love that ended only in your death. Yet here in your right hand, I see a love that wends its way in and out of all your many years. That faithful heart has been absent for a time, but is soon to return to you again.'” – Ahhh, is this love the Fool? 😍
😼 Shit, Fitz, stop being so fucking relatable with all of your depressed waiting and regret!
😼 This reunion 😭😭😭 I can’t!!! If the rest of the Fitz & the Fool scenes in this book are anything like this one, I’m gonna be sobbing throughout the whole thing, aren’t I?
😼 The Fool named a horse after Malta?! I mean, on the one hand, I love that this fits with my “Amber = the Fool” theory. But he named the horse after Malta?!
😼 Oh my God, Fitz was the person who repelled Lavoy from Amber! 😍 It all fits! This is all the confirmation I need for my Amber theory, and also all the confirmation I need for the fact that Fitz is simply too dumb to realize he literally has the love of his life sitting right in front of him!
😼 Lololol, “Beloved” – I love you, Fool! 🥰 And, oh my gosh, all this angst between him and Fitz! 😫 I can’t take this! Fitz, you are so obtuse!!
😼 “When you cut pieces from the truth to avoid sounding like a fool, you end up sounding like moron instead.” – I’m not normally one to pay much attention to quotes, but boy, does Fool’s Errand have some good ones! Why is everything in this book so beyond relatable?
😼 The crown!!!! 🤗 That’s it, even the dumbest person alive has got to have realized that the Fool and Amber are one and the same person at this point…
😼 I love that we’re getting so much more background on the Wit!
😼 Oooh, this whole arranged marriage thing regarding Dutiful is super interesting! Does that mean we’ll finally get to see more of the Out Islands? BECAUSE I’VE LITERALLY BEEN ASKING FOR THAT SINCE ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE! And also, does the title “Narcheska” indicate that the Out Islands might be Slavic-inspired somehow? That would be awesome! 🤩
😼 NOOOOOOOOOO! Nighteyes! YOU CANNOT DIE ON ME! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FREAKING MUCH I LOVE YOU?
😼 Thank God 😅 Holy shit, Robin Hobb, how dare you to give me a scare like that! You can’t just make me think Nighteyes is gonna die like that!!! (EDIT AFTER READING EVERYTHING: Gosh, past-Naemi, you were so adorably naïve 😭😭😭)
😼 Stop being such a hypocrite, Fitz! The Fool just saved your life! On the other hand, I love how both Fitz and Nighteyes are being all angry and huffy about their innermost soul having been invaded like this…
😼 Are cindin and elfbark made from the same plant? Just curious because the effects seem a bit similar… 🤔 I do really love how these books depict the struggle of addiction, though!
😼 Yes!!! More Wit stuff! I’m thoroughly loving this! Please spill all the details on what Black Rolf taught you, Fitz!
😼 I just adore Nighteyes 🥰 Him appearing all docile by laboriously making a den for himself to placate Rolf – while secretly sleeping next to Fitz’s fireplace anyway – is everything! Nighteyes has definitely mastered the art of being subtly cunning much better than Fitz has, that’s for sure! 😂
😼 “‘It’s the elfbark,’ he said quietly.
‘Elfbark,’ I conceded irritably, but could not convince myself that the hopelessness that swept through me was completely the aftereffect of the drug. Did not at least some of it stem from the pointlessness of my own life?”
– Shit, Fitz, stop making me this emotional! 😭😭😭 How the hell did you go from an annoyingly obtuse teenage boy I wanted to strangle at times to someone so frighteningly relatable that I just want to reach through those pages and give you a hug?
😼 The dragons are stunted?! Noooooooooo! Why? 😫😢
😼 “‘Death is always less painful and easier than life! You speak true. And yet we do not, day to day, choose death. Because ultimately, death is not the opposite of life, but the opposite of choice. Death is what you get when there are no choices left to make.'” – Fuck, did the Fool just put into words how I feel about death? You can’t just drop deep philosophical stuff like this in random conversations and expect me to not fall in love with your book, Robin Hobb!!
😼 Fitz has been to Bingtown?! 🤗 Also, getting a Witted person’s thoughts on liveships is super interesting!
😼 Ugh, yeah, I definitely did NOT fully understand everything surrounding Dutiful’s conception while reading The Farseer Trilogy 🙈 And I’m not sure how I feel about this. I mean, I get that the Six Duchies needed a Farseer heir to bring stability, but ummm… am I the only one feeling slightly iffy about how Verity used both Fitz and Kettricken? 😅
😼 I love how the Fool has taken it upon himself to redecorate Fitz’s whole cabin 🥰 If Hap is so interested in woodwork, couldn’t he just learn from the Fool?
😼 Who is this other White Prophet?!? Tell me everything!!! Is this the key to fully unlocking the Red Ships War? Will it help me understand the Elderlings better?? You can’t just say something like that and not give us more details, Fool! 😫 (Although I must say, I loved getting a bit of a glimpse into your childhood 😇)
😼 Fitz asked the Fool to wear his earring!!! 😭🥰😭
😼 “You can be the dead fish. I’ll be the old stick.” – Nighteyes’ sense of humor is the best thing ever; I just love that wolf so much!! 🐺❤ And I really like Hap as well (even though I wish he would stop pushing Jinna at Fitz)!
😼 They’re going to Buckkeep!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!! 🤗
😼 Oooooh, so the Out Islands are sort of like this cold, Scandinavian-ish ice nation? They sound more interesting with every tidbit we learn about them, and I really hope these books will continue to throw more information at us! I’m finally learning everything I blamed The Farseer Trilogy for not telling me!
😼 Fitz is gonna be the Fool’s pretend servant!! I am loving this new development so much already!! And Fitz’s reaction to his austere chamber was hilarious. I have a feeling having to follow orders is going to be very good for him! 😁
😼 Dutiful is Wit-bonded to a cat! That is literally the coolest thing ever, so he’d better turn up again so I can actually meet him! 😻
😼 As much as I hated Starling helping Fitz disguise himself in Assassin’s Quest, I can’t deny that I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing the Fool do it here! (And yes, I unashamedly admit that might be a bit biased 😁)
😼 I like Fennel. But I’m a little bit worried Jinna might turn out to be another Starling 😅
😼 Is this reaction log just turning into me gushing about every single interaction Fitz and the Fool have? Maybe… 🙃 BUT FITZ’S FLUSTERED APOLOGY FOR GOING INTO THE FOOL’S ROOM AND THE FOOL’S REACTION TO FITZ’S CHARM ARE EVERYTHING, OKAY?! YOU CAN’T EXPECT ME TO NOT GET EXCITED ABOUT THAT!!
😼 Finally, Kettricken!! And I’m pleased to announce that I love her just as much as ever 🥰
😼 It’s heartbreaking to see how much Chade loves Fitz and how much it hurts him that Fitz doesn’t fully trust him. But at the same time, hearing Fitz say that the only person he does fully trust is the Fool goes a long way towards healing a broken heart! 😇
😼 Laurel is already very intriguing. I’m sure she has a secret of some sort, and I want to find out what it is! (She’s not Jek, is she? Because I’ve definitely thrown my “Jek is Starling” theory overboard by now, and I still need to figure out how the Fool and Jek met!) Still, I’m also wary of her being too nice to Fitz – my poor precious boy needs to realize he is in love with the Fool already and doesn’t need any mysterious animal-loving women distracting him!
😼 In all honesty, Fitz, you do look like an idiot. How did you ever survive as an assassin with lying skills like this? “That wolf is not a wolf but my dog – oh wait, he’s a wolf after all and not my dog, and I definitely don’t know him!” is worse than every pathetic “I don’t have my homework” excuse I’ve ever heard 🙈
😼 I want a mistcat! 😍 I would even be willing to put up with the more than suspicious Bresingas in exchange!
😼 Watching how uncomfortable Lord Golden is making everyone is tremendously enjoyable! 😂
😼 Is Fitz jealous that there might be something going on between the Fool and Laurel? 🤗
😼 Actually, I don’t much like Dutiful’s cat at all. She’s super self-centered and manipulative, and I am beyond positive that she is part of some bigger Old Blood/Piebald plan to use the Prince to their own advantage…
😼 AAAAAAHHHH! THIS SCENE! IT’S EVERYTHING! My Fitz-and-Fool shipping heart just can’t take so much vulnerability! 🥰 The way the Fool is taking care of Fitz and holding him and letting him sleep in his bed while he has that fit… I just can’t! 😭😭😭 Please tell me those two are eventually going to end up together??!
😼 NOOOOO, NIGHTEYES IS HURT!!! Now I really don’t like your stupid cat anymore, Prince Dutiful! 😤
😼 Actually, come to think of it, what if Dutiful’s cat isn’t actually a cat? 🤔 We heard that cautionary tale from Black Rolf about that Witted woman who clung to her deer when she died and completely took over the poor animal’s life. What if the same thing happened to Dutiful’s cat?! It might not be a cat at all but a dead, scheming Piebald politician trying to manipulate the Prince into achieving her own ambitions! That would explain why Nighteyes thinks the cat is “wrong” and so much more, too!!
😼 WHAT IS THIS CHAPTER TITLE?!? “FOOL’S KISS”???? I am so beyond intrigued now, even though I’m 99% sure Robin Hobb is just toying with us…
😼 Gosh, this “indiscreet plan” of the Fool’s is turning out to be awkwardly uncomfortable for me as well. I’m cringing with second-hand embarrassment here!
😼 WHAT?! Now the Fool went and kissed Civil 😳 But I love, love, love the awkward and horrified way the Fool is recounting all of this to Fitz! 🤣 I’m not even disappointed that this was the “Fool’s kiss” we ended up getting because all of this is just so politically brilliant and hilariously stupid!
😼 Laurel’s hatred of the Wit and her conflicting hints as to whether or not she thinks Fitz has it have me more intrigued about her past than ever!
😼 More memory stone!! Apart from the fact that the way it’s affecting Fitz is super interesting, I love how it gave yet another opportunity for the Fool to be concerned about Fitz, for Nighteyes to be bitingly sarcastic, and for Fitz to cause problems that are going to make Laurel even more suspicious of him.
😼 I am getting more and more convinced of my Dutiful’s-cat-has-been-possessed-by-her-dead-evil-Wit-partner theory!!! That mysterious green-eyed woman he’s so infatuated with in his dreams is his cat-usurper, right?
😼 Uggggghhhh!! How can humans do this to one another?! 😥 Even if they think the Witted are abominations, how can ordinary, kind-hearted people be so cruel as to give them a death like this and revel in it?
😼 Holy shit, Fitz, your evil I-need-to-torture-this-dude-to-save-my-Prince personality is really freaking me out! And the Fool and Nighteyes, too, apparently. Watching how much you’re still suffering from what was done to you and how helpless everyone around you feels is breaking my heart! 😭😭😭 Thank Eda Nighteyes was eventually able to get through to you! 😨
😼 Noooooo, now they’re leaving Nighteyes behind 😭😭😭 Poor Nighteyes!! He’s so loyal, and so good-hearted, and so sarcastically funny, and I just feel so bad for him! (Besides, I also have a horrible, horrible feeling that what with all the close shaves he’s had and how old he’s getting, Robin Hobb might be foreshadowing his death… Please, please, please let me be wrong about this! I LOVE NIGHTEYES!!! I AM NEVER GOING TO SURVIVE IF HE DIES!!!)
😼 This seems like a terrible battle plan – aren’t you dreadfully outnumbered and out of combat practice, Fitz? Something is bound to go wrong, I just know it.
😼 I mean, sure, Dutiful might be less than thrilled about being “rescued”, Fitz, but do you really think being as unfriendly to him as humanely possible is going to improve the situation? 🤨
😼 Nighteyes’ entrances always have the best timing ever! 🤣 I don’t even blame Dutiful for being confused and angry right now. Honestly, with the way you infatuatedly pined after Molly in your youth and felt super betrayed about how Burrich had tried to keep you from the Wit when he had it himself, you should have at least some understanding for how the Prince is feeling, Fitz! He’s basically you in miniature, but with a better-mannered upbringing!
😼 Dutiful’s mystery girl is totally in his cat 😇 But gosh, his infatuation with her is even worse than Fitz’s obsession with Molly!! What is it with the men in this family?
😼 Finally!! It took Nighteyes and Fitz forever to catch on, but I’m glad we’re on the same page regarding Dutiful’s horrible cat-lady!
😼 Nooooo, Fitz can’t just go through the pillar and leave Nighteyes and the Fool to be slaughtered! This is such a horrible plan, but I’m sure Fitz is going to end up making this sacrifice because ultimately, he always does what is best for the Farseers 😢
😼 Oh my gosh, this is Others Island, isn’t it?! And Fitz found the feathers to the crown!!!! 🤗 Of course, I still don’t really understand the significance of anything, but that doesn’t stop me from being thrilled about all these connections!!
😼 Is this relationship between Fitz and Dutiful going to turn into one of the best hate-to-friendship arcs ever? I think there’s a ton of potential here! 🤩 Because as annoyed as Fitz is with his son/cousin/whatever-you-want-to-call-their-weird-relational-status, Dutiful doesn’t seem all that different from Fitz at that age. He’s a bit naïve, yes, but he doesn’t seem like a bad person!
😼 Poor Dutiful – Fitz is really doing a great job at kindly breaking the news to him that he’s in love with a dead conspirator who is controlling his cat against her will 🙈
😼 Do we want to find out what happens if you actually take treasure away from Others Island? 😅 Whether we do or not, I have a feeling we’re going to…
😼 “It gave me time to reflect. I had killed when I was told to kill. It had been part of my loyalty to my king, part of my bargain with my grandfather. He would educate me if I would be loyal to him. I discovered I did not want Kettricken’s son to be that loyal to anyone.” – Yes!!!! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for Fitz to do some thinking in that direction? Finally he’s beginning to wonder if his blind loyalty to the Farseers was always justified!
😼 Nighteyes!! 😭😭 Nooo!! Why is he in this much pain?! WHAT DID THEY DO TO HIM?!?!
😼 The mistcat sacrificed herself for Dutiful 😭😭😭 I can’t take this! It’s all so horribly sad and pointless! 😭 What did that poor animal ever do to deserve a bond partner like Peladine?
😼 Wow, that was a timely rescue indeed! And Nighteyes is there! 🥰 I mean, he looks terrible, but he’s alive and that’s what matters, right? (EDIT: Gosh, past-Naemi, you were truly naïve, weren’t you? 😅)
😼 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! WHY?????????? NIGHTEYES!!!! 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 I am sobbing so much I can barely see the pages; why did Robin Hobb do this??
😼 Yeah, and being hit in the face with Fitz’s grief really isn’t making this any easier, so the sobbing continues…
😼 Holy fuck, Starling, Fitz tells you Nighteyes is dead and your response is that you’ve got a room to yourself at the river end of the inn???? 😤 The only good thing about this is that I’m so angry at your self-centeredness that it’s at least somewhat distracting me from the fact that Robin Hobb just killed off one of my favorite characters in this whole series and left Fitz far lonelier than he ever was before!
😼 Dutiful thinks Fitz is Chade and Lady Thyme’s son 🤣 This and the fact that Fitz and Dutiful are starting to understand each other is definitely cheering me up. In a sad sort of way, if that makes any sense.
😼 “Tears flooded warm under my closed eyelids. I opened my mouth to breathe silently through my constricted throat and lay on my back.
I heard the Prince shift in his bedding, and shift again. Very quietly, he rose from his bed and went to the window. For a time he gazed out at the rain falling in the muddy innyard. ‘Does it go away?’ He asked the question in a very soft voice, but I knew it was meant for me.”
– Yeah, well, here we go again. I think we can safely assume that I will be a red-faced, blotchy mess by the time I finish this book 😭 Robin Hobb sure knows how to write her grief scenes in a way that absolutely destroy you; I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much over a character death since Sirius Black! Or ever, really…
😼 Fitz and Dutiful telling one another that they don’t hate each other was everything I didn’t know my wounded soul needed right now. And the Fool barging in and actually kind of holding Fitz’s hand – depending on how you look at it – isn’t bad, either 🥰
😼 Well, yeah – Chade being very emotional while not explicitly telling Fitz how much he loves him and the Fool being jokingly nonchalant while telling Fitz that he loves him is enough to ensure that I am super emotional while finishing this, too. I guess it’s straight on to the next one because I just need to know what happens!
🐦 Great, this one starts off right where Fool’s Errand left off – I’m never gonna get a break from being wrecked by Fitz’s grief over Nighteyes, am I? So yeah, obviously this means I’m already loving this book, too!
🐦 “‘I perceive something about myself now; I came because I wanted you to know that I knew you were in pain. Not because I could heal you of it, but because I wanted you to be aware that I shared that pain through our connection. I suspect there is an aspect of selfishness to that; that I wished you also to be aware of it, I mean. A burden shared not only can lighten it; it can form a bond between those who share it. So that no one is left to bear it alone.'” – Oh Fool! 😭😭😭
🐦 No, Fitz, please don’t go around kissing Jinna! You have other options! Tawny options!
🐦 Yeah, leaving those scrolls containing all of the Farseer family’s secrets lying around in your cottage probably really wasn’t the greatest idea, Fitz. But on the other hand, your sudden panic is giving the Fool a reason to be really concerned for you, so I can’t pretend I’m not enjoying this…
🐦 Hmmm, Elliania is already plenty intriguing! Despite being stifled by her role as Narcheska, she does seem pretty headstrong, and I like that she doesn’t seem keen on marrying Dutiful. I don’t particularly need another Malta-esque situation where an eleven-year-old is already betrothed to the love of her life…
🐦 Ooooh, and Thick is possibly even more intriguing than Elliania! How did he get skill-magic that strong? Is he also related to the Farseers somehow? I want to know more!
🐦 We’re getting so much Out Islands and Six Duchies politics! 🤩 You guys know I’m just lapping this stuff up!
🐦 How can Blade not recognize Fitz?? This is so sad; wouldn’t Fitz at least seem a bit familiar to him? 🥺
🐦 I love how much Fitz’s guidance clearly means to Dutiful and how poorly the Prince masks his jealousy of Hap – this relationship is going to get wonderfully complicated and awesome, I just know it! And I’m super interested to learn more about Civil Bresinga as well. I must admit, I don’t fully trust him, either, but maybe Fitz’s paranoia is just wearing off on me. He does seem to have been a good friend to Dutiful thus far!
🐦 If this twisted ankle is a real injury, then I am a horse. This is obviously a front so Fitz can attend the betrothal ceremony!
🐦 I knew it! But it’s adorable how long it sometimes takes Fitz to catch on to the Fool’s escapades!
🐦 How do you expect me to not ship Fitz and the Fool when I’m continuously bombarded with scenes where the Fool is helping Fitz dress and Fitz is admiring the Fool’s “long ringlets of gleaming gold”, huh?
🐦 Lady Patience!!! Fitz, just go ahead and tell her you’re alive already, won’t you? Hasn’t she suffered enough thinking that you’re dead? Besides, you could probably use a good motherly talking-to every once in a while… 😁
🐦 Ah, finally, we’re getting to see Nettle in action! And considering the strength of her Skill, I highly doubt Fitz’s plans to have her peacefully live with Molly and Burrich in their cottage until the end of her days are going to work out…
🐦 Kettricken’s grief for Nighteyes is tearing me open all over again, but I’m also glad Fitz finally has someone to share his pain with. Still… was that kiss really necessary? Maybe this is just me being super prude, but a kiss on the lips is straying a bit too far from friendship territory for my tastes 😅 I always loved that Fitz and Kettricken were just friends, nothing more!
🐦 I really like that Kettricken decided to give Rosemary another chance! Fitz, you’re just the worst at holding grudges!
🐦 These chapter intros! 🤣 Honestly, they’re not getting enough credit, I love seeing how distorted the truth gets when you hear it told through different sources. Like, the dragon Tinnitgliat?? Priceless! I’m sure Tintaglia would have a fit if she ever found out about this!
🐦 This Piebald threat does not sound good. But I’m glad Laurel has apparently come around to Fitz enough to trust him with such news!
🐦 Ugh, this is the most awkward sex scene ever. I did not need these images in my head!! 🙈 Please, Fitz, just stop romping around and realize you’re in love with the Fool already!
🐦 Oh boy, Fitz is in way over his head with Hap 😅 Now you should have some inkling as to how frustrating your teenage exploits were to read about, Fitz!
🐦 I am already loving these Skilling lessons!! There’s so much magic! And the developing bond between Fitz and Dutiful is the cutest thing ever!
🐦 But Fitz, would it really be so bad if there were something going on between Lord Golden and Tom Badgerlock? 🥺 Stop being so freaking blind and appreciate what you have already!
🐦 Chade so proudly pretending that he isn’t getting old and that his memory isn’t failing him has me loving him all the more. And I also love that Fitz is smart enough not to mention any of this to his face.
🐦 Oh Chade 😭 Him wanting to Skill so badly and having secretly tried to teach himself for all these years is so heartbreaking! Please, Fitz, can’t you try to teach him, too? I don’t think leaving Chade to his own devices is the best idea here…
🐦 Lolololol, I love how frustrated Fitz is over Hap’s besottedness with Svanja 😁 Like you were any better when you ran after Molly back in the day!
🐦 Oh my gosh, poor Laurel! Who could be so sick and do that to her horse? Especially if they’re Witted? These Piebald politics are getting more and more sinister by the day 😰
🐦 Also, can I just say that I am extremely schadenfroh about Jinna seeing Fitz hug Laurel? 😈😇 I don’t even care that she drew the wrong conclusions; I am not a fan of this relationship, and Fitz’s unwillingness to fix things doesn’t give me any reason to believe he is, either!
🐦 Gosh, Dutiful, only you could get yourself into such incredibly dumb girl trouble 🙄 Why didn’t you just win that last game of stones or at least go and apologize on Civil’s behalf when he made that stupid comment to Elliania?
🐦 I’m starting to really love Thick! Maybe he’s a little different, but then again, isn’t everyone? His heart is in the right place and he has such a unique way of seeing the world! And fine, I just love how much it annoys Fitz when Thick calls him dogstink 😂 But still! The way other people treat Thick because of who he is is just so heartbreaking!! Honestly, I love Robin Hobb for including a character like him, especially since you rarely see any kind of disability representation in fantasy novels. Unless the disability is caused by a character being maimed in battle or something, and even then, it is often magically healed away 🙄
🐦 Whatever is going on behind the scenes in Elliania’s life, it seems horrible and I want to know about it! Why is she so determined secure this marriage, even if she hates the idea of being with Dutiful? What are people holding over her that would make her willing to do anything to secure an alliance, and who the fuck is this Henja person?
🐦 Well, we’ve definitely got a much more badass Elliania now! Poor Dutiful doesn’t know what’s hit him! 😂 Also, while I’m slightly relieved that I’m not supposed to root for a romance between an eleven-year-old and a fourteen-year-old, I’m not sure if making the eleven-year-old and almost-thirteen-year-old is really that much better…
🐦 “Perhaps the gods punish us by bringing us face to face with our own foolish mistakes, condemning us to watch our children fall into the same traps that crippled us.” – Truer words were never spoken 😂 Somehow, I highly doubt that Hap will really end up marrying Svanja and that Fitz and her dear old dad will end up as in-law-besties…
🐦 AAAHHHHHHH A LIVESHIP FROM BINGTOWN!!!! I mean, it would’ve been even better if it were Paragon or the Vivacia, but I’ll take anything I can get!! 🤗🤩🤗
🐦 Oh my gosh, Serilla and Selden are here!!! And the Fool TOTALLY knows them. He’s being way too nonchalant about this whole thing. Aren’t you, Amber? 🧐
🐦 The arguments over who has the better dragons are golden 😂 Also, this whole war with Chalced has me super interested, and I really want to know more about all of the developments there! Please don’t tell me I’m going to have to wait all the way until the Rain Wild Chronicles for that!
🐦 Finally, the Fool is at least telling Fitz about some of his Bingtown exploits and dragon knowledge!! 🤗 Like, seriously, Fool, why do you have to be so secretive all the time? (Probably because I wouldn’t love and relate to you as much if you weren’t, but still! I just want to know everything Fool-related!!)
🐦 Jek!!! Oh my gosh, I love this!! First of all, I can now put my suspicions of everyone else at rest because clearly, Fitz has never seen Jek before. But, more importantly, Fitz is about to find out a shit ton of stuff the Fool has kept private!! And I just know the repercussions of this are going to be good 🥰
🐦 Yup she’s already mentioned Paragon. This is going to get interesting 😅
🐦 This is even worse than I thought it would be. Poor, poor Fool! I’m cringing so badly, but at the same time, seeing the Fool so vulnerable and exposed is making me love him all the more 🥺
🐦 How is it possible to simultaneously have your heart break for the Fool, be mad at Fitz for his utter obtuseness, and be thrilled about getting news of Althea and Brashen at the same time? I AM NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE THIS MANY EMOTIONS ALL AT ONCE! 😭😭
🐦 “And like cooling tar, my feelings for the Fool hardened as they grew colder. The injury grew in me as I thought about it. He had excluded me. The heart knows but one reaction to that. I would now exclude him.” – Really mature, Fitz 🙄 But do I understand where he’s coming from? Yes. Yes, I do. Reading this is destroying me!!!
🐦 Why does Elliania have sea serpents and dragons tattooed on her back? Is she somehow connected to the Elderlings? I am so curious as to what is going on here but still have no clue whatsoever!
🐦 Oooooh, so Fitz has caught Tintaglia’s attention! This is getting better and better!
🐦 Can we have a single Starling interaction after which I don’t end up hating her even more than before? Apparently not 🙄
🐦 Wait, what? Why does Elliania want Dutiful to slay Icefyre? I thought she said the dragon was peacefully asleep and only woke when he had to come to the God Runes Islands’ aid?? Why would you kill a peaceful creature that was known for protecting your people??? Something does not make sense here! Who is forcing Elliania to demand this, and why?
🐦 Also, of course Dutiful would blindly rush into this without thinking things through first. He is so like young Fitz, it’s astounding! And the fact that he’s so like young Fitz probably means that he’s absolutely furious now that he knows about the Skill-command. Fitz, you’re really doing a tremendous job at alienating all of your closest friends… 😅
🐦 “‘Open your eyes, man and see what could be yours.'” – Jek, I whole-wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment, but Fitz is such a stubborn idiot that I’m very much afraid telling him this is doing more harm than good 😥 I know you mean well, but you’re really betraying Amber’s confidence here!
🐦 Ahhh, yes!!! No matter how reluctantly, Fitz and Thick are finally starting to connect!
🐦 “‘Did you ever truly believe I might seek from you something that you did not share my desire for? Well do I know how distasteful you would find that. Well do I know that seeking that from you would irreparably damage all else that we have shared. So I have always avoided this very discussion that you have forced upon our friendship. It was ill done, Fitz. Ill done and unnecessary.'” – Oh Fool! 😭😭😭😭😭😭 My heart is being torn apart, and I don’t think I’ve ever, ever loved a Robin Hobb scene more than this one 😭😭😭 If the Fool wasn’t already my favorite character in this series, he definitely is now. The quiet suffering, the wanting something so badly that you are sure you can never have… WHY IS THE WORLD SO UNFAIR???!!! 😫 (Still, I am not giving up hope. Fitz could still come around eventually, and I am clinging to that thought for all it’s worth!)
🐦 Oh my gosh, and now Fitz is putting the sick Fool to bed and being super tender and they’re both so angry at each other and I JUST CANNOT TAKE THIS!! 😭
🐦 Kettricken is just such a good person – she’s always kept her humanity and never let her power go to her head, and I love that about her! Still, I do really want to meet Nettle outside of a dream at some point, no matter how badly Fitz wants to keep her away from Buckkeep…
🐦 Ahhhh, and now Fitz is super heartbroken and lonely and missing the Fool, and it’s all his own fault 😭😭😭 I’m enjoying this way more than I probably should… 🤔😈
🐦 Thank the gods Fitz finally apologized to Dutiful! And the dynamic between Dutiful and Thick is absolutely wonderful! 🥰 I think Skill lessons just got even better.
🐦 Oh Fitz, why didn’t you just tell Burrich you were alive back in the day 😭 Seeing how much he blames himself for what happened to you is devastating, and now he hates the Wit even more because of it!
🐦 Now Fitz is getting roaring drunk and starting a barfight 🤣 Well, I can’t say I blame him. Between Burrich and the Fool’s coldness towards him, that actually seems like a very reasonable course of action…
🐦 Awww, and Hap got Fitz out of this! Hap might be a love-sick idiot, but he has his heart in the right place, and I love the bond he has with his foster father!
🐦 The Fool trying to hide how worried he is about Fitz’s barfight bruises is so adorable that I can hardly stand it 🥰 But at least they’ve finally taken a first step towards making up! Honestly, men, do you always have to be so stupidly proud?
🐦 Ahhhhh, this is Tintaglia Skilling, isn’t it?!! What is her purpose here? I am so intrigued and also kinda worried 😅
🐦 Holy shit, Chade’s pyromanic tendencies have finally spiraled out of control completely 🤯 Please tell me this loss of hearing isn’t permanent!
🐦 Wait, what? The figurine from Others Island is Elliania? What the fuck does that mean??
🐦 This blossoming friendship between Dutiful and Thick is everything! 🥰
🐦 Oh no, oh no, oh no – Thick was the one who unknowingly betrayed Fitz’s secrets to the Piebalds wasn’t he? 😢
🐦 Honestly, if I were in Dutiful’s shoes, I would have tried to learn as much as I could about the Old Blood, too. I don’t blame him at all for sticking with Civil! Fitz needs to stop being such a freaking hypocrite!
🐦 Why do I never, ever suspect Rosemary of anything when she’s always the super obvious answer? 😅 Her being Chade’s apprentice makes so much sense, and here I was, looking in the completely wrong direction again, because somehow, I got the idea stuck in my head that Chade’s apprentice must be a child. I would make the worst assassin/spymaster ever 🙈
🐦 “‘Enough! I don’t care what your grievances with one another are right now. This is a threat to the Farseer throne, and I won’t tolerate any nonsense. Fool, keep quiet. FitzChivalry, report.'” – Sometimes you just gotta love Chade 😇
🐦 “‘Stop showing off for the Fool. He isn’t impressed,’ Chade responded gruffly.” – Yeah, I absolutely love Chade 😂
🐦 Fitz giving Thick a bath and a haircut and clean clothes is somehow the most heartwarming thing ever! I just love when Fitz’s more caring side comes out beneath all of that grumpiness!
🐦 Am I supposed to feel sorry for Starling because her husband might be cheating on her? Okay, fine. I am kind of sad about how pathetic her life is. But I’m not gonna lie – I’m also enjoying seeing her get a taste of her own medicine 😁
🐦 Oh, Civil! 😭 You are so stupidly brave coming here! Why didn’t you just tell someone your mother was being used against you?
🐦 Fitz saved Civil! And of course the last thing he would think before blacking out would be to tell Nighteyes to keep watch 😭
🐦 The Fool tried to visit a half-dead Fitz in jail and come to his aid 😭 Of course, when it truly matters, all anger between them is forgotten 🥰
🐦 Chade going frantic and refusing to let Fitz die is the most touching thing ever! And of course I love how he accidentally let Fitz’s real name slip to Dutiful!
🐦 The Fool was holding Fitz’s hand the entire time 😭🥰😭🥰😭
🐦 And now Chade, Dutiful, Thick, and the Fool are healing Fitz and it’s just the coolest thing ever!
🐦 Why the fuck does Kettricken have to keep kissing Fitz on the mouth?? This is super weird!! How come Fitz has a problem with people thinking he and Lord Golden might be having an affair, but not with his uncle’s widow continuously smooching him??
🐦 Fitz has agreed to teach Chade how to Skill! And Fitz and the Fool are tentatively starting to regain their old closeness!
🐦 Poor Hap! But honestly, I think not having Svanja in his life will be much, much better for him!
🐦 Ugh, Fool, Fitz, stop being so freaking stupid!! Of course the Fool would be too proud to show how interested he is in those feathers, and of course Fitz would be too proud to tell the Fool how much his disinterest hurt him and how much he missed his friend 🙄
🐦 Dutiful finally knows who Fitz really is! 🤗
🐦 Yes, thank God. Whatever this thing was with Jinna is finally over 😅
🐦 AAAAAAHHHH, THIS SCENE!!!! The Fool being all scared and unsure and letting Fitz into his room and showing him his tattoos!!
🐦 Also, speaking of those tattoos – why does the Narcheska have them? What is the Pale Woman’s plan? Does she want to overthrow the Farseers and thwart the Fool’s visions for the future? Why? And why are Elliania and her family going along with this? Does the Pale Woman have something she can hold over them? Is she maybe threatening a family member of Elliania’s? After all, it is kind of weird that only Elliania’s uncle came with her, right? And was the Pale Woman the one behind the Forging? We still haven’t learned how that works and I desperately want to know! Please tell me we’re going to find out more about this!!!
🐦 The Fool sobbing over his tea and Fitz being super freaked out but pretending to stay strong for his friend is even better than the tattoo scene 😭🥰😭 But, excuse me, DID THE FOOL JUST SAY HE WAS GOING TO DIE ON ASLEVJAL???!! THAT IS NOT ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!! YOU ALREADY KILLED OFF NIGHTEYES, ROBIN HOBB, YOU ARE NOT GETTING THE FOOL!!!
🐦 I’m glad Fitz is freaking out about that death proclamation as much as I am! Although I highly doubt Chade and Fitz will be able to keep the Fool away from Aslevjal if he puts his mind to going there…
🐦 More Skill lessons!!! 🤗 And Chade is here and doing stupid risky shit this time!
🐦 “‘FitzChivalry. He entrusted his cat to me. If you knew you were going forth to die, and you did not want Nighteyes to die alongside you, where would you leave him? Who would you entrust him to? A man you had willingly betrayed? Or a friend whom you trusted to see past all shams?'” – And this, my friends, has convinced me that I absolutely adore the friendship between Civil and Dutiful 🥰
🐦 Yes, yes, yes!! They’re finally trying to reach out to the Old Blood, and I am loving these negotiations! Also, I’m very intrigued by Web. I think I like him.
🐦 So much is happening! Swift is here, Civil is becoming hella cool, Tintaglia is trying to spy on Nettle’s dreams, we’re about to go see the Out Islands, and Fitz called the Fool “Beloved” 🤩 I am definitely more than pumped for the finale!
🐉 Despite Fitz and Chade’s scheming, I am absolutely positive the Fool will end up on that glacier.
🐉 These lessons with Swift are already great! Both Fitz and Swift are so huffy to one another, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it 😂
🐉 While I’m not so sure I’d be particularly excited about Thick’s boogers, I love the friendship that has sprung up between him and the Prince! And all of these Tintaglia dreams are also very interesting. I can’t imagine she’d approve of this quest to chop of Icefyre’s head, particularly when she needs a mate to keep her species alive… So I’m sure there’s trouble brewing! They can’t keep this from her forever!
🐉 Web knows who Fitz is! Please, Fitz, can’t you at least try to be friends with him and learn what he knows about the Wit? You don’t always have to see a potential enemy in every new person you meet!
🐉 Nooooo, Hap, you’re not seriously taking Svanja back!! You’re even dumber than Fitz was at your age 🙈🙈🙈
🐉 Oh Fitz… I get why you’re doing it, but it still pains me to see you pushing the Fool away when you’ve just started to mend your relationship! 😭
🐉 The Fool coming to check in on Fitz and being all insecure and Fitz feeling super guilty about planning to betray him but making Swift wait just so he can spend more time with the Fool is just so wonderfully, adorably awkward 🥰
🐉 “My awkwardness with him was because of our recent quarrel, and because I knew I deceived him. I did not fear his death, because I knew I had already prevented it. But his discomfort had a different root. He spoke to me as a man who knew he faced death would speak to an old friend who seemed indifferent to that fact. How callous I must have seemed to him, avoiding him all those days. Perhaps he had thought I was carefully severing the contact between us before his death could do it suddenly and painfully. The words burst from me, the only completely true thing I’d said to him that day. ‘Don’t be stupid! I’m not going to let you die, Fool!’ My throat suddenly closed. I picked up my cooling cup of tea and gulped from it hastily.” – 😭😭🥰🥰😭😭
🐉 Fitz, if you want me do believe that you have no romantic interest in the Fool whatsoever, maybe don’t say your Skill-connection to him is “more intimate than a kiss and deeper than a knife thrust” and compare it to “sexual coupling” and “a lover’s mouth upon mine”…. Just saying!
🐉 Chade fighting with the Fool over who loves Fitz more is the cutest thing ever! 😄
🐉 AHHHH, FITZ AND DUTIFUL EXCHANGED THEIR FATHERS’ SWORDS!!!! I JUST LOVE BOTH OF THEM SO, SO MUCH! 😍
🐉 Yeah, Fitz, I’m sure telling Swift that he’s supposed to go back home is going to solve this problem immediately… He is obviously going to listen to you despite never having listened to his family.
🐉 Oh no, the Fool did actually believe that Fitz would help him get on board 😢 I thought he had probably already foreseen that Fitz would try to keep him safely home in the Six Duchies, and the fact that he’s about to be faced with the full brunt of Fitz’s betrayal is so, so sad! 😭
🐉 Poor Thick!! I don’t even blame him for Skilling his misery out at everyone because being that seasick sounds absolutely horrible! 😨
🐉 And of course Swift is on board, too. Fitz, how could you have been so dumb as to thick he would actually listen to you?! I really hope you’ll at least have the sense to listen to Web at some point, though. I really like him!
🐉 Oh gosh, no, poor Burrich! 😢 He’d better be okay! But I love that Nettle – who I still think is awesome, by the way – is helping Fitz with Thick, and I am also beyond curious to find out what will happen once she relays Fitz’s message to Burrich! Somehow, I highly doubt that is going to go quite as smoothly as Fitz thinks, either…
🐉 Yup, Nettle’s message has thoroughly rattled Burrich. Seriously, Fitz, what did you expect?? But I am really looking forward to seeing Burrich again!! 🤗 (The only problem is, I don’t see how he’s ever going to keep this from Molly, and I really don’t need a super awkward reunion between her and Fitz…)
🐉 Chade, you are so freaking biased against the Wit – just go ahead and admit it already!
🐉 Ahhhh, we’re finally getting to see the Out Islands and their culture in more detail! 🤗🤩🤗
🐉 WHY IS NO ONE QUESTIONING THAT DUTIFUL SHOULD KILL THIS STUPID DRAGON??? Honestly, has everyone lost their minds? Why is a man’s honor held more highly than peace between two nations? And why is NO ONE, not Dutiful, not Fitz, and not the other Outislanders, questioning why the Narcheska would ask the Prince to slay the Icefyre in the first place? This makes no sense whatsoever, and I really hope Robin Hobb will deliver a reasonable explanation for this gaping plothole at some point!
🐉 That was a very crude but effective way to end this meeting – well, everyone has to pee at some point, I guess! 🤣
🐉 Thank god, Fitz and Dutiful are finally questioning the Narcheska’s motives! But why are they still so keen on slaying the dragon? Couldn’t you two be a bit more suspicious?!
🐉 Poor, poor Thick 😥 They’re really making this trip absolute torture for him, aren’t they?
🐉 “What I received was worse. He cried. The kitten wept inconsolably, in a small child’s voice. I felt the gulf of his disappointment that I could betray him so. He had trusted me. I picked him up and held him, but still he cried, and I could not comfort him, for I was at the base of his sorrow.” – Oh Thick! 😭
🐉 Burrich says Fitz should have come home a long time ago 😭😭😭
🐉 I’m also starting to worry about Chade. He’s become a tad too obsessed with the Skill and putting way too much pressure on himself!
🐉 I love Fitz for telling Riddle not to call Thick “the Prince’s half-wit”! 🥰
🐉 Are Oerttre and Kossi the Narcheska’s mother and sister? And if they’re not here and the reason for all of this, does that mean someone is holding them hostage so the Narcheska will do that person’s bidding and get Dutiful to slay Icefyre? 🤔
🐉 Ummm … okay…. I guess we’re now fetishizing a thirteen-year-old’s breasts 😅 Keep your eyes to yourself, Fitz and Dutiful!
🐉 Lestra seems like such a “friendly” cousin 🙄
🐉 Does this dream mean that the Fool is on his way to Aslevjal on Girl on a Dragon?
🐉 Dutiful and Nettle finally “met”! I love that Nettle isn’t having any of Dutiful’s princely airs, and also that Dutiful is now furious that Fitz never told him about Nettle 😇
🐉 Oh please don’t tell me I’m about to watch some nightly tryst of Dutiful and Elliania’s through lurking Fitz’s eyes 😅🙈 Why do Robin Hobb’s books always have to have these children who are wildly in love with one another?
🐉 Stop mooning after Molly, Fitz! She’s married to Burrich, and besides, the Fool is way better for you anyway! He’s the only person who ever truly understood you!
🐉 Oh Thick 😭 I don’t even blame him for making Fitz’s life and absolute misery; he must feel like the whole world is united against him!
🐉 Seeing how angry Dutiful is about Fitz having kept Nettle’s existence secret is so satisfying 😊 As are Fitz’s attempts to explain himself and Chade’s uppity I-told-you-so attitude!
🐉 Of course the Fool is already waiting for them at the island 🥰 I said Fitz would never be able to stop him from going, didn’t I? But I sure as hell expect him to be able to stop the Fool from dying!
🐉 A chapter intro about Forging!! Does that mean we’re finally gonna find out more? 🤗
🐉 Ooooh, this memory stone dragon and its connection to the Pale Woman and the white ships is super interesting! Did they Forge people by forcing them to put their memories into the stone somehow? I’m dying to find out more, but at the same time, I want Fitz to stop walking around the beach and freaking visit the Fool already!
🐉 Fitz agrees with my Forging theory! I was right about something! 🤗
🐉 Fitz finally went to the Fool’s tent and the Fool wasn’t even there?! 😫 Anticipating this confrontation is killing me!! But I love how Fitz is taking care of Thick and trying to mend the rift between them, and also that Nettle knows about Fitz being her father and is pissed at him!
🐉 I wanna know more about the Black Man and why you need to give him offerings! Fitz, please pay attention to this!
🐉 AAAAHHHHHH, FITZ AND THE FOOL ARE FINALLY TALKING!!! And I absolutely love how mad the Fool is at Fitz and how coolly he’s treating him 😊
🐉 Fitz is finally acknowledging Web’s offer to teach him more about the Wit! Our broody assassin is making some people-skills progress!
🐉 I love that Swift and the Fool seem to be getting along!
🐉 This glacial hike sounds positively exhausting – I’d probably have fallen into a crevasse and died about ten minutes in 😅 I don’t blame Thick for one minute for taking it slowly and carefully! And I love how Fitz is staying at Thick’s side and helping him!
🐉 Now Fitz is jealous of Swift and the Fool’s friendship 🥰 This is all so wonderfully awkward!! And so interesting!! Why did the Fool give Swift that wizardwood arrow? Whom is Swift fated to shoot with that?
🐉 Lolololol, this is the most hilarious misunderstanding ever! First, Civil thinks Fitz and the Fool are sleeping with each other; then, Swift thinks Civil’s outrage means he believes Swift is betraying the Prince by conspiring with the Fool to keep Icefyre alive; and now Civil is so confused that he doesn’t understand anything anymore 🤣
🐉 I’m not going to pretend I don’t love how concerned Fitz is for the Fool during this fistfight with Civil 😇
🐉 “‘Please, Fitz,’ he protested feebly and reached up, bare-handed, to seize my wrist in the same moment that my fingertips brushed his cheek.” – AHHHHH, DID I EVER MENTION HOW MUCH I LOVE THE TROPE WHERE A CHARACTER GETS HURT AND THEN THE CHARACTER I SHIP THEM WITH GENTLY TAKES CARE OF THEM AND THEN ACCIDENTALLY TOUCHES THEM WHEN TENDING TO THEIR INJURIES??? 😍🥰😍🥰😍🥰😍
🐉 Ohhhhhhh! I was so caught up in everything going on between Fitz and the Fool that I wasn’t paying much attention to the Sydel stuff at all, but this makes so much sense!
🐉 And this Black Man stuff is beyond intriguing, too! Like, why can’t Fitz sense him? If the Fool doesn’t think he’s Forged, does that maybe mean that the Black Man is a Prophet like the Fool or the Pale Woman? Because we know Fitz can’t sense the Fool either! And with the Fool having been white at some point and now being tawny, maybe that means Prophets change shades during their lifetime or something? There could be a black Prophet, right? 🤔
🐉 “‘Do you see how stupid this is? I cannot possibly stand by and watch you die, Fool. I know that and you know that. You’d be asking me to be profoundly different from who I am. You’d be making the change, not me. And didn’t you once tell me that precipitating the change was my task, not yours? So don’t ask it of me. If fate demands that you be dead, well, then I’ll probably be dead, too.'” – Oh Fitz!! 🥰😭 You seriously have to stop making speeches like this if you don’t want people making assumptions about your relationship status to the Fool…
🐉 “As I lifted the tent flap, he spoke again. ‘Fitz. I’ve really missed you. Don’t go. Sleep here tonight. Please.’
So I did.”
🐉 Who is this person trying to pit Thick and Fitz against each other? Isn’t the Skill a magic associated to the Farseer bloodline and dragons? Why would someone in the Out Islands have enough skill strength to tamper with Dutiful’s coterie?
🐉 I didn’t know elfbark could be this potent!!! Who is behind this??? I have a feeling that Peottre definitely knew what he was dishing out here – he doesn’t seem the least bit fazed by Fitz’s weird shouting after he tried the cake, and it’s not like Fitz’s ad-hoc explanation was super convincing… What is going on here, and what are Peottre and Elliania really planning? Who gave them the cake??
🐉 Of course I love that Fitz instinctively went to the Fool in his distress 🥰 And all of this ridiculous babbling is the best thing ever!! 😂
🐉 What is wrong with me? Why do I love Fitz even more for rambling on and on and on about his youthful excesses, past mistakes, and suicidal thoughts to Chade and Dutiful? 😩 I guess I’m just an absolute sucker for scenes where normally very private characters unwillingly lay bare their tortured soul to the people who care about them 😭😭😭
🐉 I love Web! Please don’t let him be too good to be true, Robin Hobb; the way he never gives up on Fitz, continuously reaches out even when Fitz meets him with total stand-offishness, stays behind with Fitz because he is worried about him, and always does his best to teach and comfort Swift and Thick makes him the most precious cinnamon roll I have encountered in a while! 🥰
🐉 I JUST WANNA KNOW WHY NARWHAL CLAN WANTS TO DUTIFUL TO KILL THIS DRAGON SO BADLY!!! 😩😩😩
🐉 “‘So, this time, as your prince, I command this, FitzChivalry Farseer. Keep your vow, to yourself. Be as true to your own heart as you were to Verity’s, and to King Shrewd’s before him. That is the command of your king.'” – I think my love for Prince Dutiful has just quadrupled! 🥰
🐉 And now we get the Fool explaining to Fitz how he understands the pain Fitz put into Girl on a Dragon, and Fitz and the Fool falling asleep next to one another, and Fitz reaching for and holding the sleeping Fool’s hand throughout the rest of the night 🥰🥰🥰 My already overflowing heart can’t take all of this all at once!!
🐉 Are they really planning on digging through the whole glacier? Didn’t one of those tales in the chapter headers say you had to sail under the ice to get to Icefyre?
🐉 The fact that Fitz, Thick, and the Fool are being separated from the rest of the group has me thinking something ominous is going to happen to either them or the people they left behind any minute now… If there’s anything reading fantasy and watching horror movies has taught me, it’s that splitting up is never a good idea!
🐉 Okay, yeah, the terrible thing happened. Fitz and the Fool are now stuck in some creepy ice tunnel! And what’s going to happen to Thick?! They can’t just leave him there all on his own! 😨
🐉 Hmmm, Fitz gently wrapping his cloak around the Fool to keep him warm has me thinking that maybe the two of them being stuck in these tunnels all on their own isn’t such a bad thing after all…
🐉 Never mind, this place is beyond creepy! Why are there icy dungeons with a Forged Riddle and Hest down here?! 😨 WTF is going on??
🐉 Poor, poor Icefyre!! Who did this to him?? And why do they want to kill him? Please, Fitz, Fool, you have to save this dragon!
🐉 I love that the Fool is now the hopeless one and Fitz the one who keeps them both going 😭🥰😭 They’re just so good for one another! Please, Fitz, can’t you come around and see that already?
🐉 Noooo, who are all these people? Why are Fitz and the Fool suddenly being taken captive? All of this is happening way too fast!!
🐉 I am so, so confused right now. What is the Pale Woman’s agenda here? Why is she Forging everyone and giving weird suggestions to Fitz that they should have a child together and why does she hate the Fool so much and why does she want to kill Icefyre? I DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!! 😩
🐉 NOOOOOOOO, NOOOOOOO, NOOOOOOO YOU CANNOT DO THIS TO MY POOR PRECIOUS FOOL!! 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 PLEASE DO SOMETHING, FITZ! 😭😭😭😭😭
🐉 I was right about Elliania and Peottre being controlled through Elliania’s hostage mother and sister, but honestly, I don’t even care about that all that much. Just stop torturing the Fool and get him out of there! 😭😭😭
🐉 Wait, what? They just let Fitz go? Why did they let Fitz go?
🐉 “Heart of the Pack was here and he had never let us come to harm.” – You’re really confronting me with Nighteyes-y thoughts on a Burrich reunion while I’m dying with worry for the Fool? What is wrong with you, Robin Hobb, my emotions are already a mess! 😭😭😭
🐉 Yes, Web, thank God!! I don’t think you’re a traitor at all and I’m so glad you sent for Tintaglia! Someone needs to do some thinking here and stop blindly following orders no one understands the reason behind. Seriously, Fitz, quit babbling about killing Icefyre, that’s exactly what the Pale Woman wants!! You don’t honestly think that she’d let the Fool go either way, do you? You need to stop whatever she’s planning and rescue him yourself!!
🐉 Why isn’t Burrich more emotional about seeing Fitz again? This reunion is a bit more anti-climactic than I was expecting, although I guess Burrich did have several weeks to get used to the idea of Fitz being alive… But still!
🐉 Why didn’t Elliania and Peottre ever tell anyone about the Pale Woman’s coercion before, though? Like, she had already done the worst possible thing to Oerttre and Kossi, so what was stopping Narwhal Clan from asking for help? Even if Elliania’s tattoos wouldn’t let her speak directly, couldn’t she have hinted? And couldn’t Peottre have spoken out on her behalf? I’m not sure this fully makes sense, especially since the Outislanders were literally risking war with the Six Duchies over this…. 🤔 And why is LITERALLY EVERYONE still sure that they need to kill the dragon??? Surely someone would be questioning it by now!!!
🐉 Poor Icefyre 😢 But at least Fitz has finally, after weeks of not thinking, used his brain and asked himself who actually benefits from killing the dragon! Now will you please hurry up, free Icefyre, and go save the Fool, you idiot!
🐉 “Such hate and virulence knows no bounds, and I knew that I had won for the Fool every coin of pain she could wring from him before his mind was gone.” – NOOOOOOO! DON’T YOU DARE AND HURT THE FOOL ANY MORE THAN YOU ALREADY HAVE, YOU SICK, EVIL, TWISTED WOMAN!!!! 😭😭😭😭😭
🐉 Chade is literally going around telling everyone who Fitz is by accident 🤣 But I love how unimpressed Civil is!
🐉 I guess Chade is finally getting to live his pyromanic dream…
🐉 Hmmm, Burrich’s family backstory is tragic and all, but I’m with Fitz here – is that really enough to force someone to condemn the Wit altogether? And besides, it does look like Burrich was taught a lot about it… Is there more to the story than Burrich is telling us? 🤔
🐉 Oh boy, they’re almost killing Icefyre in their attempts to free him, and Tintaglia is about to arrive…. I guess this is gonna get good? 😅
🐉 And now Icefyre is trying to eat everyone, and the stone dragon is alive – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FOOL? 😨 – and trying to kill Icefyre, and Tintaglia has arrived and is furious, so I guess I can never complain about Robin Hobb making her finales too uneventful again!
🐉 NOOOOOOO, BURRICH!!! 😭 But also, Swift has killed the stone dragon in what might’ve been the most epic shot in the most epic battle I’ve ever read about in a Robin Hobb book! And people can be Un-Forged again! Fitz, you need to save the Fool!
🐉 No way am I believing that the Fool is dead!!! We haven’t seen a body! Fitz, don’t you dare believe a word Peottre says; go look for him, dammit! (But also, Fitz reaction to thinking the Fool is dead is so wonderfully, heartwarmingly sad to read about 😭)
🐉 Burrich isn’t dead! At least, not yet 😅 Please, please, don’t make me slowly, torturously have to watch him die, too, Robin Hobb!
🐉 How dare you give me hope like this, have the coterie try to heal Burrich, and have it not work?!! 😭 This is so beyond cruel, and now Burrich is gonna die, too 😭😭😭 And why hasn’t Fitz gone to look for the Fool’s body yet, huh? Surely he would at least do that, even if he believed the Fool was dead!
🐉 I just love how everyone is in awe of Thick and his healing skills now! 🥰 If anyone deserves a bit more love and attention, it’s him!
🐉 Oh, Riddle 😭
🐉 Yes, finally! Fitz is going to look for the Fool! And Thick is going with him! 🤗
🐉 The Black Man! He’s a bit weird, but I like him already, particularly since Thick also seems to approve. AND OMG, I WAS RIGHT! He IS a former White Prophet!!!
🐉 Shit, they flayed the skin off the Fool’s back 😨 But it’s fine. We haven’t seen a body. Surviving this is possible, and Fitz has the Skill. He can still heal him! Right?!?!
🐉 Ummmm, okay, I guess we have a body now, BUT I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS! The Fool cannot be dead!! 😭😭😭 There are more Realm of the Elderlings books with his name in the title, for crying out loud!! Maybe Fitz has somehow confused the Fool with the Pale Woman in his grief?
🐉 Oh no, the Pale Woman is here, so that can’t be her body… But… But… THE FOOL CANNOT BE DEAD!!! 😭😭😭😭 Maybe Fitz just hasn’t checked properly! Or maybe White Prophets have special regeneration skills? Or maybe you need super-powered dragon Skill to revive him? I don’t fucking care what it is, but I need the Fool to live!!!! 😩
🐉 “My dream was dead in my arms.” – 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 Fitz, you can’t say stuff like this and claim you were never in love with the Fool. You just can’t! Must you destroy my heart like this??? 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
🐉 Whatever is on the other side of that Skill-pillar, it had better be able to save the Fool!!
🐉 Fitz called the Fool by his own name 😭😭😭
🐉 Well, I’m pretty sure there are also more Realm of the Elderlings books starring Fitz, so this suicidal crowned funeral rite is probably not going to end in death, either… Right? 😅
🐉 I’m not sure I like that the Wit enables its wielder to reverse death… That kind of magic seems a bit overpowered, particularly if there are no horrible consequences to using it that way. But then again, I want the Fool to be alive so badly that I’m willing to accept anything!
🐉 Fitz and the Fool are in each other’s bodies now?! 😨 But the Fool is so scared and cradling Fitz, and Fitz is so happy and content and calling the Fool “Beloved”…. My heart is about to burst!! 😍😍😍
🐉 “For a moment, our gazes held as we mingled in unity. One person. We had always been one person. Nighteyes had voiced it long ago. It was good to be whole again. I used my strength to pull myself up, to press his brow to mine. I did not close his eyes. Our gazes locked. I felt my frightened breath against his mouth. ‘Take your body back from me,’ I bid him quietly. And so we passed, one into the other, but for a space we had been as one.” – I’m not gonna say this sounded suspiciously like a kiss, but this sounded suspiciously like a kiss!
🐉 Oh my God, watching the Fool suffer, and watching Fitz sleep next to him and comfort him and trying to make the nightmares go away is tearing my heart apart in the absolute best way possible!!!! 🥰😭🥰😭🥰😭🥰
🐉 “Mindful of his raw back, I drew him close, tucked his head under my chin and wrapped my arms around him. I kissed the top of his head gently. ‘Go to sleep, Fool,’ I told him gruffly. ‘I’m here. I’ll take care of you.’ His hands came up between us and I feared he would push me away. Instead, he clutched the front of my shirt and clung tightly to me.
All that night, I cradled him in my arms, as closely as if he were my child or my lover. As closely as if he were my self, wounded and alone. I held him while he wept, and I held him after his weeping was done. I let him take whatever comfort he could in the warmth and strength of my body. I have never felt less of a man that I did so.”
– If it weren’t for that stupid last sentence, this would probably be my favorite scene in any Robin Hobb book, ever. Like, come on, Fitz! Quit pretending it’s just the Fool who’s in love with you!!! He’s so obviously your soulmate, the one person you can share anything and everything with, and you still continuously whine about how much you miss Molly! How can you be this fucking blind??
🐉 Why are you this cruel, Robin Hobb?? Why??? You finally give us a Fitz & the Fool kiss and it’s just so the Fool can give Fitz’s memories back to him?? Why?? 😩😩😩
🐉 Am I the only one who is super fascinated by this language that the Black Man and the Fool are speaking to one another? 🤩 I want to know everything about it!!
🐉 Lololol, I love the way Nettle and Thick got Icefyre to fulfill Elliania’s challenge! 🤣
🐉 Ugh, no Fitz, quit pining after Molly like this!!! It’s like getting your memories back has reverted you back to your stupid 15-year-old self 🙈🙄🙈
🐉 Fitz, you are so dumb!!! Of course the Fool isn’t really asking you whether you’ve decided to go back to Buckkeep and Patience and Molly, but whether you’re leaving him behind! And you’re just too freaking blind to read between the lines, just like you’ve always been! 😩😭😩
🐉 And now the Fool is telling Fitz to go home and leave him because he thinks that he’s standing in Fitz’s way to happiness and that Fitz will never be able to love him in the way the Fool hopes he will 😭😭😭😭😭 (Okay, maybe part of that is never explicitly stated… But I am interpreting it this way and nothing anybody could possibly say can convince me otherwise! 😩)
🐉 And Fitz is being so kind and caring and gentle to the Fool while being completely oblivious to how much pain he’s putting him through by eagerly running back to Molly, and it’s just so horribly, horribly sad!!!! 😭😭😭😭😭😭
🐉 I wanna know more about this civil uprising between the Old Blood and Piebalds! In fact, one of my biggest complaints about Golden Fool is that I feel like a huge deal was made out of that particular plotline in books one and two, and then it was completely dropped in this one so we could instead have everyone fixated on slaying a dragon without ever questioning whether or not they should!
🐉 “‘Burrich is gone and no longer stands between us. I will take Molly again for my own.'” – Really, Fitz?!! SERIOUSLY???? The closest person you ever had to a father just died and instead of mourning him, you’re like, “Great, he’s gone, now I get to take my girlfriend back, regardless of the fact that she herself might not want me, thinks I’m dead, and has been married to another man for more years than I had been alive back in the day when I unknowingly impregnated her”??????? ARE YOU FOR REAL RIGHT NOW?! 😡😤😡😤😡
🐉 Fitz and Nettle finally met! 🤗 I absolutely adore Nettle, so I’m glad Fitz at least had the sense not to tell her she was his daughter and babble about how much he wanted to bed her mother (again) on their very first meeting 🙄😅
🐉 “‘If I hadn’t given my pain to the stone dragon, I think I would have found a way, however risky. Maybe you have to keep your pain and loss to know you can survive whatever life deals you. Perhaps without putting your pain in its place in your life, you become something of a coward.'” – I’m not sure, but I think I hate this. Fitz’s emotions before he got his Girl on Dragon memories back felt so raw and real. Yes, they were sad, and yes, some of them weren’t pretty. But why have the big reveal be that they were somehow unnatural? That you just haven’t faced your pain properly if you’re feeling extreme loneliness like Fitz did? Why is acting like a lovesick teenager in your thirties somehow more “right” and “complete” than the emotions Fitz had before? Why should he be profoundly happy after everything he’s been through? Why invalidate his darker experiences? Yup, after careful reflection, I most definitely hate this! 😤
🐉 Lady Patience’s reaction to Fitz being alive was the absolute best, though 😂 First, she doesn’t recognize him, then she refuses to believe it’s him, then she gives him a huge telling off and refuses to let him leave until he has told her everything, and then falls asleep. I still love her as much as ever!
🐉 Has Fitz really just declared himself de facto Farseer King until Dutiful comes of age? 😳 I mean, Kettricken always having seen him that way is so touching it makes me want to cry and pre-getting-his-Girl-on-a-Dragon-memories-back-Fitz might actually have done a pretty good job at ruling, but right now, Fitz seems to be running around with a teenage brain again and I really don’t want him in a position of power!!
🐉 “‘I have to let you go,’ he said in a cracked whisper. ‘While I can. Leave me that, Fitz. That I broke the bond. That I did not take what was not mine.'” – 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 I love the Fool so, so much. And yes, I’m crying again. And no, I will never forgive Fitz for how much he is hurting the Fool without even realizing it. You’re making the wrong choice here, Fitz, and you’re just to freaking stupid to see it!!!
🐉 Since I was so upset about the Fool possibly being dead, I never commented on this earlier, but can I just say how freaking cool it is that Fitz found the Farseers’ Skill library? We’re going to learn so much more about magic now! 🤗
🐉 What is this poem in the chapter intro? 😨 Did the Fool write that about Fitz? Because it is the absolute saddest, most heart-wrenching unrequited love poem that I have ever read in my life! 😭😭😭
🐉 Travelling through the Skill-pillars finally has some consequences! I love this! (Especially since it means Fitz probably won’t be able to get back to the Fool any time soon, which makes their parting more final and far, far more tragic 😭😩😭 Because if I can’t have the ending I wanted for them, I can at least have torture, right?)
🐉 Nettle finally knows who Fitz is! (For real, this time.) And she’s mad at him 😇 And her bickering with Dutiful is also wonderful!
🐉 “It was a poem about dancing, and a farewell.”- So the poem was from the Fool! And of course Fitz, being the brainless dunce that he is, didn’t understand it at all 😭😭😭
🐉 That Fitz-Nighteyes-Fool carving 😍😭😍
🐉 Why is Starling suddenly pregnant? 😳 I thought her whole tragic backstory made that impossible? Why is everybody but the Fool suddenly getting these horribly cheesy, happy endings? 😭
🐉 Oh, thank God, at least Hap didn’t end up with Svanja. And I think life as a minstrel suits him!
🐉 I love that Bingtown and the Six Duchies are now united in trying to ensure the safety of the dragons! 🤗
🐉 Ugh, ugh, ugh, I HATE this reunion between Fitz and Molly! Fitz is being so obnoxiously inconsiderate and possessive that I would send him away immediately if I were in Molly’s shoes!
🐉 I guess I’m happy for Dutiful and Elliania? 😅 I mean, I like both of them, but they’re just so incredibly young that seeing them married is kinda weird…
🐉 Stop acting all noble and saying you want to take care of these children for Burrich, Fitz. You’re creepily stalking their mother and trying to worm your way back into her life, so quit pretending otherwise!! 🙄
🐉 Ugh, ugh, ugh, this declaration of love to Molly was horrible and totally inappropriate! 🙈🙈🙈
🐉 I can’t believe Fitz’s creepy stalking actually worked! 😤 Molly, how could you be so stupid and fall for this AGAIN? Didn’t you learn anything last time?
🐉 I do love Molly’s children, though. They all seem like a bright bunch!
🐉 This epilogue is the most heartbreaking thing ever. It’s like Fitz has written the Fool off as if he were dead, just because he has Molly now. How can you be so deliriously happy without even realizing how much someone else sacrificed for you? 😭😭😭
If you’re still here after reading all of those monstrous notes, you should probably already have a very good idea.
Overall, I loved how introspective and character-driven The Tawny Man Trilogy was, and how it gave us such a wide range of emotions. The character deaths, particularly Nighteyes’s, destroyed me. I was beyond excited about seeing so many Elderling clues finally come together. I loved being back with old favorite characters but also fell in love with new ones like Thick, Dutiful, and Nettle. And every single Fitz and the Fool scene was basically my favorite thing ever!!
Which might already have you drawing your own conclusions as to why I didn’t particularly like the ending. But, actually, despite how much I ship Fitz and the Fool, I don’t mind how that relationship was written at all! In fact, the extreme sadness of the fact that the Fool’s love was unrequited – or, as I see it, that Fitz was simply in denial about what he really felt for the Fool because he didn’t want to accept he might have feelings for a man when he lived in a culture that shunned that – made this book hit so much more powerfully. Did Fitz make the choice I wanted him to make? No. But do I think Fool’s Fate was stronger because of it? Maybe. It definitely hit me in the feels much, much more than most books I’ve read in my life.
BUT: In spite of that, I think the ending had issues. Like Assassin’s Quest, Fool’s Fate gave me the impression that Robin Hobb tried to wrap things up super quickly at the end and by doing so made certain things extremely awkward or left them unresolved altogether.
Like, come on, WTF was that Burrich reunion???? The whole point of him being in this book was so he could die and pave the way for Fitz rekindle (or should I say rebulldoze into 🙄) his relationship with Molly. Fitz didn’t even properly grieve the man who raised him!!! And then he acted like a pathetic, stalkery love-sick teenager and Molly was somehow impressed by that??? I’m sorry, but no. I’m not buying it.
Even worse, though, was that Robin Hobb somehow managed to invalidate all the things I had grown to love about older Fitz by giving him his Girl on a Dragon memories back. Maybe she thought this was some super smart metaphor for people having to face their traumata before they can truly get better, but, in my opinion, it was handled very poorly. Do you seriously expect me to believe that getting absolutely horrible memories of grief, pain, torture, and betrayal back would instantly transform a lonely and somewhat depressed young man into someone positively bursting with giddy happiness? Yeah, no. I don’t think that’s how “facing past traumata” works, either. And the implication that Fitz’s earlier feelings of loneliness and having an unfulfilled life might be somehow unnatural, only due to him having locked part of his soul away in Girl on a Dragon, seriously rubbed me the wrong way.
Also, why the hell did it take so long for everybody to question why Dutiful should kill Icefyre? Why did we have that sudden Pale Woman plotline that was barely foreshadowed in books one and two instead of a deeper exploration of the rifts in the Witted community, when that actually was foreshadowed? Why did we never learn what was up with that Elliania figurine from Others Island, and why were there never any repercussions because Fitz and Dutiful took things off that beach? Couldn’t we at least have gotten some hints?
So yeah – I’m docking a star off book three 😅 But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love these books! Because I did! So, so much! However, I feel like that part probably already came across very well in my reactions to each of the books. If I went into even more detail and tried to tell you exactly what made me love this series so much, we’d be here forever – and I feel like we kind of already have been here forever, so I’m not going to subject you to that 😁
Instead, I will simply take my leave here and say that I am beyond pumped to read The Rain Wild Chronicles! I’m in a huge Realm of the Elderlings book hangover, guys, and I just need more of it!!!
So yeah, that brings us to the end of this ginormous review! If you’ve actually read all of this – thank you, from the bottom of my heart! 🥰 While I did mostly write this post for myself so that I would have something to look back on later – because yes, I am aware that probably not that many of my followers have even read The Tawny Man Trilogy or want to read a novel’s worth of my thoughts on it – being able to share my opinions with other readers who are excited about the same kinds of books I am is a million times better!
So if you’ve read this series, I would love if you told me what you thought of it down below! Where do we agree, where do we disagree? Who was your favorite character? What did you think of the ending? Feel free to spam me all you want, I genuinely want to know!!