Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb Review: Fitz & the Fool have a Magical Love Child

Massive Spoiler Alert again. 
For the first book in the new series, Fool’s Assassin, and The Farseer Trilogy and The Tawny Man series.  Oh, and the Rain Wild series too. Isn’t that some kind of record, spoiling three prior series in one book?

Cover of Fool's Quest by Robin HobbI totally called it in my review of the first book: Bee is, in fact, Fitz and the Fool’s magical love child, and the “son” of the prophecy. Not sure how much role Molly played in that — but that makes it a three-way creation. Pretty kinky!

We still don’t know as much about the Fool’s race and their possible hermaphroditic biology. Or maybe they are just really laid back about cross-dressing?

Things I loved:

  • That creepy “mind fog” kid who can erase minds, literally make a mother forget a child.
  • Elfbark as a cure for mind fog? Awesome. I think of elfbark as herbal speed, since Fitz talks about crashing off of it. Of course, taking it backfires on Fitz. Almost everything backfires on Fitz, come to think of it
  • Plotting was faster than in the first.
  • Fitz gets recognized for his years of service. Although it could seem like pandering, it makes Fitz’s life harder in some ways
  • We find out more about Clerres, the place the Fool is from. Turns out, the people who can see the future are completely corrupt and using that for power and wealth. The Fool pretty much hosed their plans in the last 3 series, so it’s no surprise they were a bit mad at him and tortured him and his friend, the oddly named Prillkop.
  • Hobb didn’t flinch from showing Chade being diminished by his dangerous trip (so to speak) through the pillars, not to mention his past abuse of the Skill. Even Fitz seems a bit fried after that experience
  • Ash/Spark – This character, Chade’s new apprentice, who sometimes appears as a girl, and sometimes appears as a boy, was a nice touch. It showed that Fitz’s culture is a bit more uptight about that kind of thing than the Fool’s culture. I found it believable that Fitz was thrown at first but adjusted faster than others – he’s been hanging with the Fool and Chade, who have both done that in the past.

Not so much:

  • Maybe I was just being slow, but it took me a while to realize “Lant” was short for FitzVigilant
  • I’m a bit nervous about the move to include the Rain Wild characters at the end. That series was not my favorite of the three preceding series, although the ending book was strong. Hobb can probably pull it off, but the Rain Wild series was five books long and bogged down a bit in the middle books.

Really, there was not a lot I didn’t like. Looking forward to the next one!