The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb

(9.0/10)

The Golden Fool is the second book in Robin Hobb’s The Tawny Man series. First published in Great Britain by Voyager in 2002.

Fitz has succeeded in rescuing Prince Dutiful from the clutches of the Piebald rebels. But once again the cost of protecting the Farseer line has been dear: Nighteyes is dead.
A grieving and reluctant Fitz is assigned to protect Fitz and, at the urging of the mercurial old assassin, Chade, take on the mantle of Skillmaster. But Fitz’s efforts to locate Skill-users for Dutiful’s coterie attract some unlikely, and potentially dangerous, recruits…
Kettricken’s plans to marry Prince Dutiful to the Outislander Princess, Elliania, can now proceed, securing a lasting peace with the former enemies of the Six Duchies. But before Elliania will accept, she challenges Dutiful to undertake an impossible quest. He must travel to the Out Islands and slay a legendary Outislander dragon.

Fool’s Errand was a great beginning to a trilogy, it shared much with Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy) in that it set the scene, introduced (or re-introduced) the characters and created a perfect platform for the rest of the series. I started the second book, The Golden Fool, hoping that there may be happiness and a well-deserved peace for Fitz, but very much doubting that it was on its way, at least not until the third and final book.

The prologue is called Losses Sustained and the opening of The Golden Fool deals with the loss that Fitz feels following the loss of his bond beast Nighteyes. There is also a sense of loss for the reader; the departure of Nighteyes leaves the series without one of its major characters, a gap which new characters such as Dutiful, Hap and Jianna simply do not fill to the same degree. The opening three hundred pages are OK but not as exciting and enthralling as you would hope. It is then, however, that two trilogies collide. The Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders are separate series set in the same world. Suddenly, the major players from Bingtown (The Liveship Traders) appear in Buckkeep and the events of the two stories are like two great rivers meeting and forming a great lake.

The scaled lad advanced a step closer to the Queen. Chade made a motion to forbid it, but the boy merely dropped to one knee. He looked up at her as he spoke. ‘I beg forgiveness if I have given offence. I speak only of what I know. As you have said, I am young. But it is Tintaglia who has told us, with great sadness, that she is the last true dragon in the world. If it were otherwise, I would rejoice to bring her these tidings. Please. Let me see your dragons, let me speak to them. I will explain to them her need.

From: The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb

The first 300 pages, as I have already said, did not set my pulse racing. It is not often that a fantasy story will stay in one location (Buckkeep) for so long. The “quest” has long been a pre-requisite, perhaps a cliché also, but its main advantage is of moving the story along and introducing the reader to new locations. However, once the politics and domestic dramas of Buckkeep have been covered, Hobb gives the reader the excitement and adventure that they are waiting for.

There was time for the author to reacquaint us with an old and very dear friend in Burrich. This is a genuinely moving chapter, it still amazes me how attached you can become to an author’s creation. In Burrich, Robin Hobb gave us a person that all would like to know and it was lovely to see (read) him again and this event also opened up many more exciting possibilities for future stories.

The Golden Fool is another excellent book by Robin Hobb; the middle chapter of the trilogy sets up the story beautifully for the conclusion.

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Our interview with Robin Hobb

City of Dragons, the third instalment in The Rain Wild Chronicles, will be published in the UK on the 23rd of April 2012. In advance of the book's release, Robin Hobb has kindly taken time to expound on the inspirations b [...]

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All reviews for Robin Hobb's The Tawny Man series

Fool's Errand

by Robin Hobb

Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Since then, Fitz has wandered the world accompanied only by his wolf and Wit-p [...]

Series: The Tawny Man: Book 1
Published: 2001

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Golden Fool

by Robin Hobb

Fitz has succeeded in rescuing Prince Dutiful from the clutches of the Piebald rebels, and has returned with him to Buckkeep castle. With Dutiful safe again, Queen Kettrick [...]

Series: The Tawny Man: Book 2
Published: 2002

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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Fool's Fate

by Robin Hobb

The triumphant conclusion to the tale of the Farseers, in which kingdoms must stand or fall on the beat of a dragon’s wings, or a Fool’s heart. A small and sadl [...]

Series: The Tawny Man: Book 3
Published: 2003

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.3 | positive reader reviews

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More Robin Hobb reviews

Fool's Assassin

by Robin Hobb

Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service [...]

Series: Fitz and the Fool #1
Published: 2014

Score: 101

Our rating: 9.9 | 2 positive reader reviews

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Fool's Quest

by Robin Hobb

Happy endings never last... Years ago, they freed a dragon from the glaciers on Aslevjal. Then they parted ways, the Fool returning to far-off Clerres, while Fitz finally c [...]

Series: Fitz and the Fool #2
Published: 2015

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

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Assassin's Fate

by Robin Hobb

Prince FitzChivalry Farseer's daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield grea [...]

Series: Fitz and the Fool #3
Published: 2017

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince

by Robin Hobb

One of the darkest legends in the Realm of the Elderlings recounts the tale of the so-called Piebald Prince, a Witted pretender to the throne unseated by the actions of bra [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 70

Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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Assassin's Apprentice

by Robin Hobb

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets, [...]

Series: The Farseer Trilogy: Book 1
Published: 1995

Score: 115

Our rating: 9.2 | 19 positive reader reviews

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Royal Assassin

by Robin Hobb

Honesty is the bedrock for any relationship. But how can Fitz – royal bastard, trainee assassin, holder of secrets crucial to the security of the kingdom – bare [...]

Series: The Farseer Trilogy: Book 2
Published: 1996

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.2 | 3 positive reader reviews

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Assassin's Quest

by Robin Hobb

With the king no longer living and the heir, Verity, missing and declared dead, Prince Regal has treacherously seized the throne. Regal’s torture has left Fitz more d [...]

Series: The Farseer Trilogy: Book 3
Published: 1997

Score: 105

Our rating: 9.8 | 7 positive reader reviews

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Ship of Magic

by Robin Hobb

On the northernmost point of the Cursed Shores lies Bingtown, a bustling hub of exotic trade and home to a proud merchant nobility famed for its extraordinary vessels. Only [...]

Series: The Liveship Traders: Book 1
Published: 1998

Score: 100

Our rating: 9.7 | 4 positive reader reviews

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The Mad Ship

by Robin Hobb

Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but lives only to reclaim the Vivacia as her rightful inheritance. However, Vivacia has been captured by th [...]

Series: The Liveship Traders: Book 2
Published: 1998

Score: 102

Our rating: 9.9 | 3 positive reader reviews

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Ship of Destiny

by Robin Hobb

The dragon, Tintaglia, has been released from her wizardwood coffin, only to find that the glories of her kingdom have passed into ancient memory. Meanwhile, Malta Vestrit [...]

Series: The Liveship Traders: Book 3
Published: 2000

Score: 97

Our rating: 9.5 | 2 positive reader reviews

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Dragon Keeper

by Robin Hobb

Guided by the great blue dragon Tintaglia, they came from the sea: a Tangle of serpents fighting their way up the Rain Wilds River, the first to make the perilous journey t [...]

Series: The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 1
Published: 0000

Score: 91

Our rating: 8.5 | 6 positive reader reviews

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Dragon Haven

by Robin Hobb

The dragon keepers and the fledgling dragons are forging a passage up the treacherous Rain Wild River. They are in search of the mythical Elderling city of Kelsingra, and a [...]

Series: The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 2
Published: 2010

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

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The Golden Fool reader reviews

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