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Fool's Errand

(The Tawny Man #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  69,292 ratings  ·  1,807 reviews
For fifteen years FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him. But now, into his isolated life, visitors begin to arrive: Fitz’s mentor from his assassin days; a hedge-witch who foresees the return of a long-lost love; and the Fool, the former White Prophet, who beckons Fitz to fulfill his destiny.

Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Published November 26th 2002 by Random House Publishing Group (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…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)
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Start your review of Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1)
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
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
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
Em Lost In Books
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, 2000-09, 2018
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
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
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
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 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 ...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 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
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! I’m serious!“
„And you think
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
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!
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
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 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 ...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.
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
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.
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 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
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,
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
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!
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is my third Robin Hobb book. The previously read ones were 4 and 5 stars. This particular book is only three stars for just two reasons. Her other books moved at a much faster pace than this one. I still enjoyed the writing, but it definitely felt slow going. It also seemed very singular in plot focus. But with that being said, those are my only two complaints.

I love her writing. It is vibrant and clear. She does world building well. She gives the reader wonderful characters you can root
Cass Burton
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-fantasy
Simply put, this is a love letter to Farseer fans.
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the most absorbing in the series yet... this is definitely a miss-your-subway-stop, sneak-it-at-your-desk-at-work, stay-up-way-too-late kinda book!
It's been 15 years... FitzChivalry has taken on the identity of Tom Badgerlock, and has been finally living the simple life he always wanted, a near hermit in a rural cottage, alone except for his adopted son Hap, and occasional visits from the minstrel Starling. But events seem to conspire to end this quiet time... Fitz says no to Chade's
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
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

The Tawny Man (3 books)
  • Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)
  • Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3)
“Stop longing. You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow.” 186 likes
“Death is not the opposite of life, but the opposite of choice.” 150 likes
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