Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1)” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Fool's Errand
Robin Hobb
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fool's Errand (Tawny Man #1)

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  46,913 Ratings  ·  977 Reviews
In Fool's Errand, first of the "Tawny Man" trilogy, Robin Hobb brings back Fitz, hero of her emotionally powerful and intrigue-filled Assassin trilogy, from 15 years of self-imposed exile from his royal relations and from the world of power. Hobb is particularly good at the passage of time and the things it does not change; Fitz plausibly thinks of himself as older and mor ...more
Published (first published October 15th 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fool's Errand, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Cree I would definitely start with the Farseer trilogy. There are a lot of references to the past that, if you read the first trilogy, will be more…moreI would definitely start with the Farseer trilogy. There are a lot of references to the past that, if you read the first trilogy, will be more powerful. Plus, I loved the first trilogy. (less)
Lars Liveships is a bit of an undertaking, but it's a wonderful series and I'd definitely suggest that you read it in between. Just within the first…moreLiveships is a bit of an undertaking, but it's a wonderful series and I'd definitely suggest that you read it in between. Just within the first hundred pages of Fool's Errand there are references that make more sense, and maybe this is just me, but there were even some nuances to Fitz's narrative that made more sense when informed by the Liveships trilogy. It's interesting to have a grasp on the changes the world is going through, even though the time covered in between doesn't have anything to do with Fitz himself.
I also think it makes the return to Fitz's narrative sweeter for having spent so much time away from him. It's nice to have occupied the fifteen years in between the Farseer and the Tawny Man doing something else instead of jumping right back into his life after so much has changed. I think it's written as a linear series and should be read as one! (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Bookworm Sean
The characterisation of Fitschivalry through the series is brilliant; the books are told from the first person, almost entirely, thus the reader witnesses the change in his thoughts as he grows into a man. In this book, he has developed a new persona: Tom Badgerlock. This is set fifteen years after the Red Ship wars and King Verity’s reawakening of the Dragons.


Tom Badgerlock is the person Fitschivalry has evolved into: the one he always wanted to be; he is the man with a simple life, a small fa
Aug 29, 2013 Hanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is more or less what I look like whenever FitzChivalry Farseer is involved:

So many books later, and I’m still feeling überprotective of Fitz. I got furious with his neighbour when he attacked Fitz in the market place, I wanted to kick Starling out of the door (and none too gently), and I was even too angry to cry when the inevitable happened (view spoiler).

What Robin Hobb manages to do is quite amazin
David Sven
Aug 29, 2013 David Sven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
Again, Robin Hobb demonstrates that you don’t need to write grimdark to generate realism, high drama, or sinister undertones. Now I love my grimdark as much as Hannibal loves liver *phphpht*, but Hobb’s realism is expressed in believable characters, complex relationships, detailed worldbuilding...wait wait wait a minute now...what about blood and guts? Yes, there will be blood too, but the joojoo is not in the gore - the joojoo is in the sustained threat of violence - the joojoo is in the way th ...more
Dec 13, 2015 Kaora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do not you sense it? A crossroads, a vertex, a vortex. All paths change from here.

This book made my cry. Multiple times.

I don't often cry while reading books. I takes a lot. And I might blame it on pregnancy hormones except Hobb made me cry in her last two series Liveship Traders and Farseer Trilogy and when I read those I wasn't pregnant.

But this book again has ruined me. In a good way.

Robin Hobb is the type of author that slowly builds her story. She introduces her character and you live their
Franco  Santos
Entre dolor, soledad y desconsuelo trato de escribir estas líneas para intentar describir lo que me dejó, o más exactamente lo que me sacó, este libro.

Death is not the opposite of life, but the opposite of choice.

Hay historias que están muy bien contadas pero son vacuas, no son capaces de llegar a los corazones de sus lectores; hay otras que transmiten la más potente vorágine pero no tienen gran calidad narrativa. Sin embargo, en las profundidades reposan joyas que cumplen con todas las caracte
Nov 18, 2012 Hanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed

GAAH! These books frustrate the hell out of me! Absolutely and wholly.
But I love them. The plot. The characters.

I think I hate them like I do because they are so damn realistic. Never the happy ending to anything. Only the harsh and brutal reality.

The main character is brave. And good. Lovable. He is also a fool. A wimp. That makes mistakes. That you yell "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" at.
Same for other characters. One moment you scream your head of at them. The next you sit there grinn
Jul 22, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book #1 in the Tawny Man series, which follows on from the events of the Farseer books and the Liveship books. This series relates a lot more to the characters from the initial Farseer books such as Fitz, the Fool and various other characters, both old and new, who are local to Bukkeep. We are told that the main character (first-person again) of Fitz is now 35, so it's about 15 years after the Farsser series.

As we follow Fitz we don't actually know an awful lot about the life he's been l
Fool's Errand picks up 15 years after the events of Assassin's Quest. Fitz is living a quite life in a cottage with a boy he adopted and his loyal wolf Nighteyes. Naturally, things can't stay quiet for poor Fitzy Fitz. Adventure comes to his door in the shape of Chade, followed by the Fool.

The first 5 chapters or so deal primarily with catching up with Fitz and finding out what's been going on in his life. In any other writer's hands this would be tedious but Hobb slowly reveals his past in a ta
This is my third time of reading this series and it still remains my absolute favourite! Fitz, Fool and of course Nighteyes are absolute heroes and can do no wrong in my eyes.

Wishful thinking below, but who cares and I may get my wish come true in the new series, you never know!

I see that I still haven't reviewed this, and I'm already 40% into the second one.

Well, there isn't a lot to say, really. If you like Hobb and her previous two trilogies about the Elderlings Realm, you'll want to continue. Here, we're back to the first person narrative of Fitz himself, and it's great to catch up with old friends.

The story itself is decent enough, but what struck me about this particular book was the slow build. True, this is a staple of long Hobb books, but here is where it real
Eddie Costello
The first half is meh; second half better meh

While I did end up enjoying it, it was just so slow and boring yet it still manages to bring a major case of the feels.(still reeling over that one)

The characters are,like always, excellent but they're different and while it's more realistic I still wanted more of younger Fitz.

Hopefully the next book is much better but after 6 book I fully trust Robin Hobb and am extremely excited the next two books in the trilogy
Kat  Hooper
Aug 12, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Updated August 2014.
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

“Alone again. It isn’t fair. Truly it isn’t. You’ve the saddest song of any man I’ve ever known.” ~Starling Birdsong, minstrel to Queen Kettricken
I squealed with delight when I recently opened a box from Brilliance Audio and found a review copy of Fool’s Errand inside. This is an old favorite that, for years, I had planned to re-read. Since Hobb’s new book comes out next week, this seemed like th
May 05, 2012 Maurinejt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read Fool's Errand, I would not have given it 5 stars. I read it when it came out--actually before, since I had the advance. I wanted to know what happened to Fitz and his friends so desperately, and the story doesn't go anywhere fast. I finished it disappointed and dissatisfied. And Robin Hobb tends to backload her books. I noticed starting with this one, but Ship of Magic suffers from it too. It seems as though it is hard for her to get started and there is time more or less s ...more
May 13, 2008 Qt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
While this is the first book in a trilogy, it seems that there are a couple of other trilogies that precede it, and I think it would have been quite helpful had I read those first. I didn't feel lost--I could follow the plot well enough--but there was so much backstory, so much interesting history that I think it would have added to the experience, and helped to understand the characters and their motivations better, had I read those other books first.
Still, I enjoyed "Fool's Errand." I'd never
Jun 26, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Astounding. More please!
(view spoiler)
Jamie Collins
Dec 08, 2009 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I had lost my taste for swords-n-horses fantasy until a few years ago, when I was persuaded by many enthusiastic recommendations to read George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series. I enjoyed it so much that I began to sample this genre again, and Robin Hobb is one of my favorite discoveries of this year.

I can see where not everyone would enjoy these books. They're long and slowly plotted, with more character development than action. The medieval setting is pretty standard and there's nothing part
Feb 21, 2016 Oly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lo de esta mujer sí que es Habilidad y Maña para escribir. ¡Vaya librazo!
Necesito más de ella. Me da igual lo que sea; el siguiente de esta trilogía, el primero de Las leyes del Mar, su lista de la compra... Cualquier cosa.
Eso sí, mi corazoncillo la odia un poco ahora mismo. Me ha hecho sufrir mucho.
Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb is the start of The Tawny Man Trilogy, a series that I have been wanting to read for years. I waited until a great time and this year, after reading The Liveship Trader Trilogy, it seemed like the right time.

Fool’s Errand is the first book in Robin Hobb’s third trilogy in her Elderling Series and is an epic fantasy in first person. The first trilogy, Farseer Trilogy, is one of my favorite trilogies of all time and Fitz, The Fool, and Nighteyes are some of my favorite
May 09, 2015 Zayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fifteen years after the last trilogy, an older Fitz is living in a small home with his son and his wolf Nighteyes. He lives a quiet life, tending to his home and garden while raising his boy. Of course, things never stay too quiet for Fitz. Chade and the Fool come knocking on his door. Prince Dutiful is missing, and it's up to Fitz to save him.

The book starts off catching up with Fitz. For the first couple hundred pages, it's all about Fitz and his past and what he's been up to in the last fifte
Apr 21, 2016 KostasAt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Returning once again to the adventures of Fitz Robin Hobb still manages to make an exciting start in this trilogy as her writing continues to be very good but, at the same time, also being beautifully captivating.

Fifteen years has passed since the end of the first trilogy and Fitz has now grown up and lives alone, far from anyone that really knows him as he tries, in his personal exile, to find his own life in the world after all that he had to sacrifice for the salvation of the Six Duchies.
Aug 23, 2015 Geekritique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Find this and many other reviews over at Geekritique!

Robin Hobb has written many books in her far-reaching Realm of the Elderlings series. Her most notable, perhaps, would be the novels chronicling the life of FitzChivalry Farseer, the bastard son of Prince Chivalry and all the trials and struggles beset him. Fitz is one of the most tormented souls in all of fantasy, giving even the Starks a run for their money. Introduced first in the Farseer trilogy, Fitz' story continues in the Tawny Man tril
Aug 02, 2008 JoAnna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Robin Hobb book yet. I really related to the older FitzChivalry more and also like the story line. I was glad he wasn't going to spend the entire rest of his life in hiding.
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
Another buddy read with the fantabulous and marvelous David Green!

 photo buddyread5_zps3d0b43e2.jpg

“The truth, I discovered, is a tree that grows as a man gains access to experience. A child sees the acorn of his daily life, but a man looks back on the oak.”

“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.”

Somehow I have
Mar 15, 2016 Ashleigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is probably closer to a 3.5 star.

I picked this up without reading any of the Farseer books or the Liveship books or indeed any of Robin Hobbs other Books.

I regret this majorly and if you are reading this review and are in the same situation GO BACK! Read the other books first.

Saying that did enjoy this book a lot –Nighteyes reminded me so much of my Dog, Scamp, who sadly passed away last year it was bitter sweet to be reminiscing of her whilst reading. I really loved his humour and thought
Marta Montell
Apr 07, 2016 Marta Montell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite, favorites


Nota: Después de leerme el libro, NO recomiendo que lo leáis sin antes haber leído la Trilogía del Vatídico, es como empezar la casa por el tejado.
Nota 2: Quien se lo lea entero, le doy un caramelo! XD
Ante todo; agradezco que Fantascy haya publicado el libro, y a los traductores por su gran trabajo. No hubiese podido leer el libro sin ellos XD (y no, no es peloteo, es la realidad; sé que no tengo suficiente nivel de inglés para leer libros, pero aunque supiese hacerlo, l
I really enjoyed this story. I have wanted to read a book by this author for years, and finally got around to it. I did a buddy read of this and don't remember exactly why we started here. This story takes place 15 years after another trilogy that starts with Assassin's Apprentice. I'm actually glad we started here. While there were a lot of references to the "past," I really enjoyed getting to know the characters at these ages. Now, before we go on, we will go back and read the first one. I'm e ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Executive Summary: This is another great entry in the Realm of the Ederlings. It picks up not long after the Liveship Traders and 15 years after the Farseer Trilogy.

If you enjoyed those previous books, I imagine you will enjoy this one as well. If you haven't read those books, I highly recommend you do before starting this one.

Full Review
Like all the previous books in the Realm of the Ederlings books, this starts off slow without much indication as to what the main plot will be.

In a lot of boo
Mar 18, 2008 Myridian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This series returns to the world of FitzChivalry Farseer. Only now he has renamed himself Tom Badgerlock. Ten years have passed since he retired from court intrigue and politics, but (of course) there is need for him again and he is drawn back. He is required to go and save his son (of his body only). The agent of this change is the Fool, also known as the White Prophet, who also has a new name, Lord Golden. While the story felt a bit pedestrian, the familiar characters drew me along and made me ...more
Andrew Wilson
Mar 28, 2016 Andrew Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robin Hobb's writing is brilliant. She goes into so much depth and detail with the characters and their interactions that even though this is a fantasy universes, the characters seem so real. The conversations are some of the most realistic I've read and the dialogue is incredibly well done.

For roughly the first 200 pages we are catching up with Fitz and not a whole lot really happens. I don't think any other author could do this and make it as interesting as Hobb does. She manages to be captiv
Lise Grimnes
Nov 19, 2015 Lise Grimnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read Robin Hobb chronologicly - first the Farseer, which I truly enjoyed, then The Liveships, which I enjoyed but found a bit too tedious, and now I have read Fool's Errand, and I must say this book is one of the books I have enjoyed most during my entire life. No kidding! This book ... it's like it's written just for me (thank's Robin H!) - like the author followed just my receipt for The Perfect Book.
And the main reason for my enormous love is the characters we follow. I am utterly in lov
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Revelation (Rai-Kirah, #2)
  • The Oracle's Queen (The Tamír Triad, #3)
  • Prince of Dogs (Crown of Stars, #2)
  • An Autumn War (Long Price Quartet, #3)
  • Harpy's Flight (Windsingers, #1)
  • The Fire Dragon (Deverry, #11; Dragon Mage, #3)
  • Watcher of the Dead (Sword of Shadows, #4)
  • Lord of the Shadows (Second Sons, #3)
  • Peril's Gate (Wars of Light and Shadow, #6; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #3)
  • The Lady of the Sorrows (The Bitterbynde, #2)
  • Midnight Falcon (The Rigante, #2)
  • The Forbidden Land (The Witches of Eileanan, #4)
** I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 st ...more
More about Robin Hobb...

Other Books in the Series

Tawny Man (3 books)
  • Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)
  • Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3)

Share This Book

“Stop longing.You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow.” 121 likes
“Death is not the opposite of life, but the opposite of choice.” 108 likes
More quotes…