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Fool's Errand

(The Tawny Man #1)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  84,867 ratings  ·  2,615 reviews
Return to the world of the Farseers...Robin Hobb's best loved characters, Fitz , The Fool and Nighteyes the wolf, face new adventures and trials in the first book of The Tawny Man trilogy. When Assassin's Quest closed, Fitz was living in self-imposed exile. Wracked with pain, he had chosen to discard the magical gifts that had seen him survive the wonders and torments of n ...more
Paperback, 584 pages
Published July 31st 2014 by Harper Voyager (first published October 15th 2001)
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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 hundre…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 powerfu…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)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  84,867 ratings  ·  2,615 reviews

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Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A tale of a bond between humans and animals at its finest level.

Fool’s Errand is the first book in the Tawny Man trilogy—the third out of five subseries within Hobb’s The Realm of the Elderlings gigantic series—and 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 Fool’s journey. Honestly, after the disappointment I had with the last installment of the Farseer trilogy, and after the gre
Fool's Errand (Realm of Elderlings #7,The Tawny Man #1)
Fool's Errand is an incredibly well-written book that demonstrates just how much of a genius Hobb is. It is a slow book, at least to start with. But I enjoyed it. The mature topic covered-death and parenting-provide a lot to think about.
Stop longing. You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow.

Sean Barrs
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 5-star-reads
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 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 farm, a f
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books as soon as I finish the book.

Yet another absolutely incredible start to a new Robin Hobb series

I was a bit nervous going into this book because I thought the ending to the last "Fitz" book was the weakest book in the Realm of the Elderings that I have read up until this point. And after finishing up the Liveship Traders books, which were some of my favorite books I have ever read, I wasn't sure what to ex
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Everything hurts
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
This book made me scream, cry, and throw up, because ROBIN HOW COULD YOU??!?!! HOW DARE- IM...!!!!!!!

God it feels so good to be back here with my friends again. Even if Fitz, you sometimes get on my nerves asdfghjkl.

Literally so good, doesn't get better than this.
Also for everyone who started with this series first, what the hell are y'all doing??!!! This spoils soo much of The Liveship Traders.

Full review (non spoiler + spoilers) here:

Em Lost In Books
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2000-09, 4-star
I went into this story with zero expectation. My poor heart was still very tender after the beating it got in Assassin’s 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 ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I loved the beginning but then bullshit and don’t talk to me about it. Things and people could have died in peace in their shack.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Sheyla ✎
What an amazing journey this is turning out to be!

In order to understand how happy I am after reading Fool's Errand, you have to be a fan of Fantasy. It could be Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or insert your favorite here. Just think more books in the world you adore are available.

I’m back with FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool. What a team!

The last time we saw FitzChivalry Farseer, he had saved the Six Duchies yet no one knows he did (well almost no one). For the last fi
J.L.   Sutton
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Hobb’s Fool’s 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 didn’t 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
Deborah Obida
Fool's Errand is the first book in The Tawny Man Trilogy. Though it's book one it's actually a spin-off of Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man is the third book series in The Book of the Elderlings series. So no you cannot start from here, you have to start from Farseer Trilogy.

Addictive and captivating. Grown-up Fitz is awesome. After reading the disappointment called Assassin's Quest I couldn't bring myself to continue this series, but the awesomeness of Liveship Traders changed that.

‘When you
Apr 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-owned
It was fascinating to see a master like Hobb move her characters through time to a new point in their lives. When we were last with Fitz, he was a deeply wounded young adult who was retreating into a life of solitude to lick his wounds and try to move forward with his beloved Nighteyes. As our story rejoins him, he is slowly getting drawn back into the the politics of the Six Duchies, and the titular Fool has a task for him. As is typical in a first book in a Hobb trilogy, there's a lot of set u ...more
James 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 a
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
Starting the year with a heartbreak. Stellar start.
Jade Ratley
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
9.00 on CAWPILE
David Sven
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, fantasy
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
Stefan Bach
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
„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! I’m serious!“
„And you think
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 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 amazi
Robin Hobb is one of a very small number of authors whose work resonates very deeply within the most raw and tender corners of my soul. Her ability to bring to vivid, believable life moments of compassion, complexity, hard-earned wisdom, grief, violence, and despair moves me to my core. And her gift at depicting the love and sorrow and pain that binds people to one another, even as it occasionally threatens to tear those binds apart, is unparalleled. Fitz and the Fool and Nighteyes and all the r ...more
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 :)
Phee 💗💜💙
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!
Kitty G Books
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 l
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 grinn
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 Fitz’s perspective. Fitz is a thorough scribe, to say the least, and this is definitely a set-up book (the main plot doesn’t 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 can’t wait to read the next t ...more
Zitong Ren
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really want to give this five stars, but I feel like it’s not, despite how much I loved the second half and the characters, which, my god, were phenomenal. I first read the Farseer Trilogy about two years ago with probably more than 300 books in between then and now. I did really love the Farseer Trilogy, but I never managed to get a copy of this as it wasn’t at my local library. However, now that I have read it, I found myself to be so fully immersed in this world once again and was pleasantl ...more
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
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow wow wow wow wow wow WOW.
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!

May 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The epilogue and scene with Chade near the end were absolutely stunning. Hard to think of better writing than that. Easy 5 stars. Amazing.
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** 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

Other books in the series

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

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