• Fool's Fate

  • The Tawny Man, Book 3
  • By: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 32 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (5,153 ratings)

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Fool's Fate

By: Robin Hobb
Narrated by: James Langton
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Publisher's Summary

FitzChivalry Farseer has become firmly ensconced in the queen’s court. Along with his mentor, Chade, and the simpleminded yet strongly Skilled Thick, Fitz strives to aid Prince Dutiful on a quest that could secure peace with the Outislands - and win Dutiful the hand of the Narcheska Elliania.

The Narcheska has set the prince an unfathomable task: to behead a dragon trapped in ice on the isle of Aslevjal. Yet not all the clans of the Outislands support their effort. Are there darker forces at work behind Elliana’s demand? Knowing that the Fool has foretold he will die on the island of ice, Fitz plots to leave his dearest friend behind. But fate cannot so easily be defied.

©2004 Robin Hobb (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Fantasy as it ought to be written.… Robin Hobb’s books are diamonds in a sea of zircons." (George R. R. Martin)
"[Robin] Hobb’s rich, vibrant and unique world [is] filled with sentient ships, magical beasts, and fascinating characters.… Highly recommended." ( Library Journal)

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What listeners say about Fool's Fate

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The Boring Years Part 3

I DID NOT WANT TO LOOK FOOLISH
Perhaps you read my reviews for the first two books in this trilogy and your wondering why, I bought this book. Well, I fell for one of those sales, where you buy the whole trilogy. I love Robin Hobb. I have read and reread and listened and listened again to THE LIVESHIP TRILOGY, THE FARSEER TRILOGY, THE SOLIDER BOY TRILOGY AND THE RAIN WILDS CHRONICLES and until this series I did not think Hobb could write a bad book. In those books the magic was strange and wonderful, somebody's life or a group of people lives were in jeopardy. In this book looking foolish seems to be the biggest problem.

TOO WEARY
This also seems to dwell on people being sick and tired. I have enough of that in real life, it does not interest me in a fantasy novel.
The narrator is okay, but I miss Anne Flosnik.
I have the first book in the Fitz and Fool trilogy, I will give it a try, but not buy any more than book one. I am also seeing that no one seems like the change in narrator.

30 people found this helpful

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Don't waste your time.

Would you try another book from Robin Hobb and/or James Langton?

James Langton’s narrative style is excellent. I would read another book narrated by him. However, the Robin Hobb’s story is cumbersome and lacklustered. Never again will I waste my time on reading her books.

What was most disappointing about Robin Hobb’s story?

I used to think Hobb was a great author, be it she did use a tad bit too much repetition. However, this book has made me reconsider any auccolades I’ve given to her in the past. The third book should really be called the “The Babysitting of Thicke.” It seems that a majority of the book is spent worrying, taking care of, and teaching the so-called ‘half-wit’ who has more trouble travelling than any real person. Half way through the book, the aggravation of wanting the story to move past Thicke’s seasickness, his outcaste status, and the complaining of Fitz to this matter grates on your pscyhe. The reader is very good and perhaps that is why you feel even more annoyance any time you hear Thicke’s voice. If Hobb was trying to win any sympathies towards a disabled character, she fails miserably by casting him as a petulant, moaning imbecile. Not to mention the number of times she summarizes the entire last six books again and again! It’s just too much, and makes me wonder if she really had any relevant plot to share. The amount of fluff and filler is unbearable. It just drags on and on, and Fitz’s constant nagging and inability to communicate is just plain ridiculous and childish. Hobb has lessened Fitz to a feable character rather than the hero a reader would expect. If one wants to lament his or her own life, and be in a state of depression, they should read this book. Else, after the first trilogy, just don’t waste your time reading or listening to the second trilogy. The character development in this book is weak especially for Elliania who to the very end comes off a whiny child not fit to ever been a queen. And with this book I end any desire to keep reading Hobb books.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene which actually contributed to the story. These are few and far in between.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The tales of Fitz Chivalry started off well, but this book has dwindled him to a grovelling servant and so, no, there are no redeeming qualities.

Any additional comments?

To anyone who is thinking of venturing out and reading this trilogy -- just stay away. It's horrible.

9 people found this helpful

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Get Ready for Hours of Nursing a Sick Thick

Hours of taking care of all of the needs of a seasick and petulant man with developmental disabilities. Hours, seriously.

As an aside, I have worked with adults with developmental disabilities for years, and Thick does not strike me as an accurate depiction of these individuals.

Many of the characters' personalities have become grating, including the central protagonist. The entire dragon-slaying journey seems like an ad hoc contrivance to get the story moving, though it fails at this.

I have enjoyed the previous novels, though with diminishing returns. This over-long novel is a slog to get through and I am beginning to not care about the fate of the characters.

I miss Nighteyes, who was the most sympathetic character of the entire series. The humans are, by and large, childish and annoying.

On the up side, I enjoy the narrator, who is a skilled voice actor.

7 people found this helpful

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Review: The Tawny Man #3: Fool's Fate

If you could sum up Fool's Fate in three words, what would they be?

Beware self-fulfilling prophecy!

What did you like best about this story?

Oh this was a tough story - the loss of Nighteyes is still troublesome. The loss of some pivotal characters was heartbreaking, and while necessary to the plot, no less easier to bear. Fitz's efforts to save the Fool were probably the most bittersweet moments for me.

Have you listened to any of James Langton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes - the previous two books in this series. He is a slipping genius. His accents/character voices cover the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and is such a pleasure to listen to. I will definitely be looking for more narrations/performances by him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

FitzChivalry and the Fool's goodbye scene(s). They were heartbreaking and endearing in turns.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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A triumphant ending to the trilogy!

This is a story of pain, of adventure, of intrigue and, ultimately, of love. Love of country, love of monarch, familial love, romantic love and brotherly love. Most especially love between the closest of friends. A fateful connection binds these two friends. It's a relationship all at once heart-rending and tender, pleasing and difficult.

This book has most of the characters that we have come to love in these two book series, as the life of FitzChivalry Farseer comes to a triumphal climax. All six books in the Fitz series are well worth reading and wonderfully narrated.

This trilogy is read by James Langton and he comes as close to the most excellent reading of the first series by Paul Boehmer as I could have hoped. He always portrays the character with just the right level of emotion.

Well done Robin Hobb! I'm looking forward to a great experience with the next Fitz trilogy that begins with "Fool's Assassin."

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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James Langtons performance is amazing

The third trilogy in the elderling universe might be my favorite. I couldn't wait to get back to it whenever I left it.
When I first started the Tawny man trilogy I didn't like the change in pronunciation from the farseer trilogy but James Langton wins you over so easily, every character sound different and you always know who is talking and the changes are so seamless.

3 people found this helpful

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Continuation, not a stand alone.

I liked it a lot and think the narrator did a good job. Not the greatest story ever, and sometimes dry and lengthy ramblings about mundane events, but good and long continuation of Fitz and his adventures. It resolved well finally, and has some great moments. I like long stories that are will written and descriptive. Hobb does well in this regard.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the great fantasy series

Would you consider the audio edition of Fool's Fate to be better than the print version?

I think I would consider it better. James Langton did an outstanding job narrating the book!

What other book might you compare Fool's Fate to and why?

I consider the Fitz books in the top 10 of fantasy epics. I was very pleased to see the Tawny Man trilogy released as audiobooks! I've read the hardcopy books twice and have now gone through the six (7) audiobooks. One of my favorites!

Have you listened to any of James Langton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

His range of voices, accents and inflections are masterful! Langton brings each character to life.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Sexist

I have read this series thinking and hoping that Robin Hobbs would finally let Fitz have the courage to start voicing his mind instead of always allowing anyone and everyone else tell him how to think and what to do but I find that in my opinion the author is a sexist and this series is only about how women rule and control the men

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • TJ
  • 07-11-19

Ended well, but...

I've rarely been so frustrated with a protagonist before... He got better, thankfully, but only near the very end of the book. I'm actually quite surprised that I pushed on to the end; and I'm presently trying to figure out if the decent ending was worth all of the countless moments that made me curse Fitz's name, aloud. I don't think that I could ever bring myself to listen to the series again (at least, not the books from either this or the first trilogy)... And, perhaps, somewhere therein lies my answer. Of course, there's always the possibility that the passing years will effectively dull my memory, and thus my aversion to them; but, of that, only time will tell.

1 person found this helpful