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

Fool's Errand

(The Tawny Man #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  70,967 ratings  ·  1,874 reviews

Fantasy as it ought to be written George R.R. Martin

Return to the world of Fitz, the Fool and Nighteyes in the first book of The Tawny Man Trilogy by international bestselling author, Robin Hobb.

Years have passed since Fitz was tortured by Prince Regal. Now he lives in self-imposed exile far from the court. Even his beloved Molly believes him dead. It is safer that way.


Kindle Edition, 593 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by HarperVoyager (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
L 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)
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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  70,967 ratings  ·  1,874 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1)
A tale of a bond between humans and animals at its finest level.

Fools Errand is the first book in the Tawny Man trilogythe third out of five subseries within Hobbs The Realm of the Elderlings gigantic seriesand it is my favorite installment within the entire RotE so far. This is seriously a lovely, memorable, and poignant return to the world of Fitz, Nighteyes, and the Fools journey. Honestly, after the disappointment I had with the last installment of the Farseer trilogy, and after the
Sean Barrs The Ultra Vegan
The characterisation of Fitschivalry through the series is brilliant. The books are told from the first person 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 Veritys 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 farm, a
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I loved the beginning but then bullshit and dont talk to me about it. Things and people could have died in peace in their shack.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Em Lost In Books
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, 2018, 2000-09
I went into this story with zero expectation. My poor heart was still very tender after the beating it got in Assassins Quest. But then I saw everyone reading one or the other Fitz book and going ga ga over. I kept thinking, did we read the same Fitz stories? to find the answer I thought why not give another chance to Fitz, perhaps he did better in this. And oh boy, this book simply blew me away. All my complaints of Fitz being whinny and doing nothing went out of the wind. Ms. Hobb what did you ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Hobbs Fools Errand is an engaging and immersive read in an expansive world that Hobbs has already created. The novel is the first book in the Tawny Man Series which picks up 15 years after the Liveship Traders and Farseer Trilogy. Some readers didnt need the background information about Fitz or the political intrigue that was woven into his story. Since this is my first book with Fitz in it (and my first Robin Hobb book), I appreciated the background. It was a slow immersion but by the ...more
Jamie Tivendale
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"History is no more fixed and dead than the future. The past is no further away than the last breath you took." - Spoilers from the first series will follow.

Fool's Errand is set 15-years after the finale of Assassin's Quest. Once again we follow FitzChivalry Farseer - the assumed dead royal bastard. In song, he is acknowledged by many as being the Witted Bastard ghost that rose from the dead to aid his uncle Verity who was the rightful heir to the throne and he helped him raise the Elderlings
Aug 22, 2013 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
David Sven
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
Again, Robin Hobb demonstrates that you dont 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 Hobbs 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 the ...more
Starting the year with a heartbreak. Stellar start.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is more or less what I look like whenever FitzChivalry Farseer is involved:

So many books later, and Im 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 amazing
Stefan Bach
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You are not Fool anymore. What do they call you these days?
What does who call me when?
I should not call you Fool anymore. What do you want me to call you?
Ah, what do I want you to call me now? I see. An entirely different question. And if I tell you, you would call me by that name?
In private only. And only if you wished me to.
Ah... Oh, but I would.
The name my mother gave me, I give now to you, to call me by in private. Beloved.
Fool! Im serious!
And you think Im not? Well if you
Much preferred to the first Fitz trilogy but maybe because the Fitz books are so well integrated into this. It also worked really well for me because I read the first trilogy nearly 20 years ago and so I have been away from the world of Buck keep as long as Fitz himself had!
My only minor niggle is that the first third of the book was very slow and by the end of that section I was on the verge of getting restless for some action.
Loved this book :)
Feb 19, 2012 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
Jul 06, 2015 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
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I am broken.
My love for Fitz and the Fool is strong as ever, but my heart is broken from the events of this book.
I didn't cry, but I screamed.
Also, Fitz and the Fool... I ship it. So damn hard!
Diana Stormblessed
When I say I couldn't put it down, I mean I couldn't put it down. This 661 page book took me about 24 hours to finish. I listened to it on audio and I couldn't disconnect myself. I listened during my commute, during work, during cooking, during putting my kids to bed. It was so great to reconnect with old characters and watch how they have matured. This book is set almost 15 years after Assassin's Quest. Fitz is no longer whiny and misguided. The Fool is no longer mean spirited. Additionally, I ...more
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!

Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a strange transition from the pace of the Liveship Traders to the pace of this trilogy, told (like the Farseer trilogy) entirely in first person from Fitzs perspective. Fitz is a thorough scribe, to say the least, and this is definitely a set-up book (the main plot doesnt begin until 200 pages in). But I appreciated this for its quiet steadiness, and found myself getting surprisingly emotional over passing moments of dialogue and introspection. I absolutely cant wait to read the next two ...more
Helene Jeppesen
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book about our hero Fitz. I especially love reading about him for some reason, and this book was no exception. I can't go too much into the story since it's a continuation of the long series Robin Hobb has created, but I can say that I liked how we get to follow Fitz at an older age - and I LOVED that this novel contains cats :D I'm definitely going to continue on with this series once Autumn really sets in.
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good to be back in the world of the Six Duchies. Fitz is a grown man now and was living a rather relaxed life for a change. That couldn't last forever. Robin Hobb sucks me right in and makes me feel one with Fitz. I love his character, what a softy sometimes haha. Rather sad twist at the end, but she was building towards it. Meh.
I woke up this morning and thought to myself... "hey, I really feel like having my heart ripped out and dashed upon the stones."
Yes, it is definitely time to reconnect with Fitz.
David S Meanderings)
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I loved it. RTC very soon.
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
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed getting back into the bastard's world, although honestly, most of the novel was pastoral and catching up with the main character after almost two decades of living without adventure. When the story picked up, the intrigue was decent and the developments hinted at greater things for the future. It was almost like enjoying his comfortable life was a well earned and just reward for what happened to him as a child. Being drawn back into the world of royalty seemed inevitable because ...more
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Updated August 2014.
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

Alone again. It isnt fair. Truly it isnt. Youve the saddest song of any man Ive 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 Fools Errand inside. This is an old favorite that, for years, I had planned to re-read. Since Hobbs new book comes out next week, this seemed like the
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 4-5-stars
I often have problems with sequels... BUT NOT THIS ONE!! Robin Hobb delivers with amazing character development, great plot, twists, and brings in great new characters in the first book of The Tawny Man trilogy!

The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin's Quest)
Liveship Traders Trilogy (Ship of Magic, The Mad Ship, Ship of Destiny)
The Tawny Man Trilogy (Fool's Errand, The Golden Fool, Fool's Fate)
The Rain Wild Chronicles (Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons,
This was one of the sadder books in the series but I have to admit, I could not put it down. There's nothing quite like reading a book that really grabs you.

I really enjoyed re-reading the first trilogy, seeing Fitz and his friends so young, but I particularly enjoy older Fitz. Lots of great new characters, grand adventure, loss, love, and all things that make a great book. Another beautiful book in a long series of beautiful books. On to the next one!
Mark Harrison
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After fifteen years alone Fitz is dragged back to help protect the Farseer line from a new threat Soon we are back with the magic of The Wit, Skilling, Nighteyes and the enigma of The Fool who has a whole new persona now. Much more of an adventure story than the first Fitz series with some nice links to the previous Liveship trilogy. Excellent story, some new characters and a moment of sheer tear scorching heartbreak. Brilliant.
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
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again Robin Hobb rips my heart out of my chest and tears it to pieces... 💔
Every one of her books so far has reached me in such an emotional way I can't even describe!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Burning White (Lightbringer, #5)
  • The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game
  • The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1)
  • Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)
  • The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
  • Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga, #1)
  • Shadow's Edge (Night Angel, #2)
  • Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #3)
  • Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
  • The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2)
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)
  • The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)
  • The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)
  • Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)
  • Starsight (Skyward, #2)
  • Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2)
See similar books…
** 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 ...more

Other books in the series

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

News & Interviews

  Mary Pauline Lowry knows a thing or two about being stuck at home when you don't want to be. After all, the premise of her newest novel, The R...
25 likes · 6 comments
“Stop longing. You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow.” 194 likes
“Death is not the opposite of life, but the opposite of choice.” 152 likes
More quotes…