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Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3)
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SERIES—List & Discussions > Realm of the Elderlings--Fool's Fate: finished reading (spoilers)!

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message 1: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2117 comments Mod
Post here if you have finished reading Fool's Fate to round out the Tawny Man trilogy! Beware spoilers!

I have thoughts that I will share at a later time when I'm not packing for a trip :)


message 2: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3083 comments Mod
This is one of the best books I’ve read, and certainly a highlight of the series so far.

So much heartbreak! I know the death of Nighteyes earlier in this series was wrenching (and so well-written), but the Fool’s death was SO painful. It’s hard to even write about it...

I don’t know if Hobb planned out the arcs of all the books in the Realm of the Elderlings series ahead of time. This book almost feels like she was finished... the tidy little wrap-up with Fitz & Molly and all the children, the Fool going off with The Black Man, the dragons mating. I know the next series returns us to the Rain Wilds but I wonder if Hobb had initially intended to end things here. While I know there can be more story to tell, she does tie up an awful lot of threads.

I also found myself wishing that Hobb had used the multiple POVs technique in the Tawny Man books as she did in Liveship Traders. We saw everything through Fitz’s eyes, and I wanted so often to get someone else’s perspective. Especially the Fool’s!

I’m sure I’ll have more to say after others chime in.


message 3: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 491 comments Mod
I agree, Kathi, I think that this is the best book so far. I found it almost impossible to put down. I agree that Hobb wrapped up the Six Duchies loose ends, assuming a conclusion to this part of the story. As we'll see later, we'll see more Six Duchies later in our series read.

Memorable moments:
* In every book I say that Fitz is finally coming of age. In this book, he really does grow into his whole self. Really!
* The detailed and very different culture of the Outer Isles, and the conflict this represents in views of marriage and leadership
* Wonderful, wry sentences like "Dragons at a distance are amazing and noble creatures of legend. My closer experience of them makes me suspect they'd burp nobly after consuming me."
* The resolving relationship between Burritch and Swift.
* The surprising purpose of the rooster crown. We've been carrying that around for quite some time, good to see that loose end tied up.
* Heartbreak, indeed. So much heartbreak.

If I have any complaint, it's that I don't quite believe the Pale Woman as a complete villain. Why is she so compelling to the Outer Islanders that they would give in to her? I guess I understand it intellectually, but she doesn't have the filled out character of a truly great villain. But I'll buy in, to get the rest of this fantastic story. What a great read!


message 4: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2117 comments Mod
I'm home from my trip and now I can gush! I loved this installment and I had a REALLY hard time putting it down. I think my favorite moment was the reunion with Burrich, but there were so many other good ones. I enjoyed learning more about the Out Island culture, and I thought Hobb did a really nice job portraying how Dutiful and Elliana managed to reach across a significant cultural gap and find each other.

In almost every book that I read where one character carries a torch for another for years on end, I have a hard time believing that they are genuinely still in love after so long absent from one another. At that point I feel like you would be more in love with a fantasy than a real person. But in the case of Fitz and Molly, when Fitz reclaims the memories that he had "donated" to the memory stone, I totally buy the fact that his love returns as strong as ever. As a parent of small children myself I appreciated the moment when he realized that he was never going to have her to himself ever again - the kids are part of the package!

Anyway, this is where I stopped when I read the series the first time - not because I didn't want to go on, but because the rest hadn't been published yet! I remembered very little except that by the end Fitz and the Fool were at ease with their relationship. I'm kind of sad that we have to jaunt off to the Rain Wilds for four books before we get to come back to them!


message 5: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3083 comments Mod
Shel, good point about Fitz getting his memories back from the memory stone. I had forgotten how that might influence his feelings.


Wastrel | 40 comments I hated the ending of this the first time I read it - really hated it. It seemed like a complete betrayal of Fitz's "real" ending in Assassin's Quest.

Then I re-read it, when I was a little older and wiser, and realised that that was the point. The whole of Tawny Man is not just a sequel to, but an undermining of, Farseer.

That's connected to Kathi's comment about MPOV. In a way, we DO get multiple points of view in Fitz's story - we just have to wait for them. We get the foolish young Fitz who lives through Farseer, and the emo hermit Fitz who narrates it, and the troubled paternal Fitz who lives through Tawny Man and reflects on the former two, and then the theoretically wiser Fitz who narrates that in turn. They all see things slightly differently, and they all value things differently. But because we are given only one POV at a time, it's hard for us to realise that we're not seeing The Truth, only one perspective on it - that "unreliable narrators" don't have to outright lying to us to be misleading, and aren't only an issue when the author's playing postmodern games.

But this also makes Hobb's novels increasingly challenging, because as readers we get seduced by the certainties of whichever version of Fitz we're reading, and we want what he wants (or what he would want if he'd just admit it and be honest with himself, damnit). But Hobb gives her characters what they need, not what they, or we, want - and it can take us a while to understand why they're not the same.

That may be what Hobb does best (or most uniquely) as a novelist: she sets up a story we all know, but then twists it, developing it in a way that makes perfect sense in hindsight, but that subverts our expectations and instinctive desires...


message 7: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3083 comments Mod
Wastrel wrote: "In a way, we DO get multiple points of view in Fitz's story - we just have to wait for them."

This is a good way of looking at it. I have a bit different perspective now.


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