• Golden Fool

  • The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 26 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3,546 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Prince Dutiful has been rescued from his Piebald kidnappers and the court has resumed its normal rhythms. There FitzChivalry Farseer, gutted by the loss of his wolf bondmate, must take up residence at Buckkeep as a journeyman assassin.

Posing as a bodyguard, Fitz becomes the eyes and ears behind the walls, guiding a kingdom straying closer to civil strife each day. Amid a multitude of problems, Fitz must ensure that no one betrays the Prince’s secret - one that could topple the throne: that he, like Fitz, possesses the dread "beast magic." Only Fitz’s friendship with the Fool brings him solace. But even that is shattered when devastating revelations from the Fool’s past are exposed. Bereft of support and adrift in intrigue, Fitz finds that his biggest challenge may be simply to survive.

©2003 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)

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What listeners say about Golden Fool

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nothing like hanging out with Fitz

Where does Golden Fool rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This question is hard for this book. It really depends on what type of book you like. It ranks in the top 20 for character development and character relationships. But if you looking for a action packed adventure this is not it. The story is written well and if you like the Farseer Trilogy you going to like or even love this book.

What did you like best about this story?

Well its a bit beat up. But as usual Poor Fitz hits rock bottom. And the ending is where everything gets back to normal. Kind of finding a pattern in Robins writing.

Which character – as performed by James Langton – was your favorite?

James is a great narrator. He is a strong four star. The fools voice is my favorite. Being as he kind of has to do a unisex voice, I find it amusing.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I would stick with the book tittle on this one. Golden Fool

Any additional comments?

Its a must read if you love Fitzchivalry Farseer. I could see some who are use to a action packed novel not liking this kind of writing.

9 people found this helpful

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

Disappointing

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. I usually listen to books at 1.25x speed but jumped up to 1.5x to get through faster.

Would you be willing to try another book from Robin Hobb? Why or why not?

I fell hard for Robin Hobb in high school and devoured the Farseer and LiveShip Traders trilogies. Coming back to her books after over a decade, I'm more disappointed than anything else. I'm not sure if her newer work is of lower quality or if my tastes and expectations have changed.

What does James Langton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Langton's voices and tone are excellent, especially his version of the Fool.

Do you think Golden Fool needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It felt like a giant middle, so I'll say yes... but really Hobb should have just cut the fat and made this two-book series.

Any additional comments?

When I first met FitzChivalry, we were the same age. Since I took a break from the books, we're still the same age as I go through this series. There's such a strong feeling of nostalgia and of being at home with Fitz and the Fool that I want to throw myself into this series with the love I had for the original trilogy. Unfortunately, every single scene is a let-down. The overall plot is incredibly slow and uneventful, useless details are included in abundance, and Fitz spends far too much time feeling sorry for himself. If you loved the Farseer trilogy, stop there and keep your love intact.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not great

A true middle-of-a-trilogy book with little to offer itself. Could have been trimmed substantially without losing anything; leaving the pace slow.

3 people found this helpful

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

Why Am I Still Reading This Series?!

Has Golden Fool turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not the genre, but this series itself is really starting to wear on my soul. Seriously, she just doesn't know how to write a good story in my opinion.

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

I've listened to the first book in this series that her narrated. His performance is just fine, I have no issue with how he told this story, my issue is with the story itself.

Was Golden Fool worth the listening time?

No, no it was not. 21 freaking hours that could've been distilled down to about 8. Robin Hobb has WAY too much filler and descriptive text in her stories. Hours and hours of just telling me how Fitz feels about something, a something that she's ALREADY told me about. I already KNOW that Fitz is hesitant to interact with Nettle. You don't have to have 3 different Skill/Dream sequences of her in this book repeating this fact. YOU ALREADY POINTED THIS OUT IN THE LAST BOOK. Stop wasting page time repeating plot points you've already hammered home multiple times.

Any additional comments?

I really don't understand. Robin Hobb seems to think that the only way to have a heroic character, is to have him be depressed and pathetic all the time. Seriously, Fitz has never got anything good going on. He's depressed about how his son is behaving, he's depressed about everything. I could ramble and list them by point, but it would make this a huge post, and I'd rather keep it concise.

Basically, every plot point in FItz's life is terrible. He's terrible to his one true friend, and apparently almost violently homophobic for no real reason that is explained. He just...is. He stumbles through everything like an idiot, avoiding actually doing anything until he's basically forced into it by events. And then he whines about how terrible his life is, and how events work against him. Well yes you idiot, you avoid any responsibility for your actions, and avoid trying to involve yourself in anything in a way that might make it better. He hides from his children, thinking somehow that if he just ignores them, they will be fine. He ruins the one friendship he does have. He lets characters walk all over him. It gets so bad in fact, that Robin points it out in the story several times. One character calls him pathetic (which he is, though not for the reason she said), another chastises him for taking personal responsibility for everything that goes wrong around him, because he's just a moody prick that way.

When the author herself points out how pathetic and moody her own character is, I can't help but agree, but I also can't find any energy to give a crap for his problems, since they are all self-inflicted. The one time something actually improves for him, the ONE TIME, something else gets even worse, and for no reason whatsoever. One character that was perfectly fine with him, suddenly becomes super suspicious of him for no good reason. It's like the author just refuses to have anything positive happening for Fitz. She had this problem in the first trilogy of him, and it was terrible. Apparently this series is more of the same.

I really am angry with this series, but I can't seem to stop listening, because like and idiot, I keep hoping it will get better. I keep hoping I will eventually care about what's happening, but I am afraid I will be disappointed like the last trilogy.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

better written, boring story

better written than the first Fitz trilogy, but this book has little to no story. 100% filler.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Inconsistant story solve by dumb luck

Incompetent protagonists constantly working against each other while a group that formed a few years back has the coordination to do anything (i.e. kidnap a prince, discover all witted and post a million fliers without being seen ONCE). The Queen actively endangers the throne and the heir for no reason. Half the problems in this book could have been solved by anyone who knew anything about propaganda. But they decide it's better to sit with their hands tied instead. Because solving a problem is not as fun as stumbling through it relying on plot armor according to this book.

Unimaginitive solutions to boring problems and as always the end comes out of nowhere as this non existant tension that is supposed to be the backbone of the story suddenly appears and magically changes everything within the last 5 chapters.

The story is captivating otherwise. I struggled to deal with how incompentent the characters are, but I still put up with it. It's the characters acting against their own self interest that really annoys me. First off the mountain kingdom, a system where the monarch actively put themselves AND THEIR HEIR in danger as much as Kettricken does would leave you without a king or heir real damn fast. Especially if you're as complacent and incompetent as any of the protagonists in this book. Second, The queen has one councilor. ONE. WHO'S LOSING HIS MEMORY. This is a recurring theme that no one adresses. Third, the story falls together too nicely. It feels like the author started with a few key scenes and tried to string those together to make a story and it just doesn't work as well as I would have liked.

Another random thing, at one point Dutiful tells Fitz that Kettricken views him as sacrifice, as king. Which is horse shit because she wouldn't listen to him if he was telling her slitting her son's throat would kill him. These are the little consessions the author gives to Fitz to keep up his blind loyalty. As a reader you won't think about the reasons why Fitz does one thing or the other, you'll be sitting there thinking why does this character care for these people at all. It's an abusive relationship where the reader doesn't develop the stockholm syndrome that Fitz seemingly has. Which leads to a bunch of terrible decisions which are then solved by dumb luck and no skill on the part of any character.

The coming of age part of this story (the whole 9 books) is slow as hell too. If any character in this book was either self-aware or even aware of other feelings this series could have been three books. Come to think of it the whole series could be condense down to three books regardless.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magical Medieval Fantasy at its best!!

Would you listen to Golden Fool again? Why?

I would audiobook this whole series again, but probably in 2 years from now.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Since I know Fitz so intimately I feel he must be my favorite but, I loved Night Eyes and I perk up when The Fool is around! I love Hap and Dutiful too though! All the characters are great and are important to create this riveting story!

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

He is FANTASTIC! Really amazing performance! How he could create such PERFECT voices is beyond me but, I'd LOVE him to read George Martin's Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) books! It was make audio-reading them for the 5th time like new again!!!!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!! I can't and didn't but I audiobooked this whole series back to back, no breaks with other books in between and listened at every opportunity I could!

Any additional comments?

I absolutely Adored this Series! Robin Hobb is my new favorite Writer! I can't get enough of the stories, the writing, the Magic! I'd love to see this series turned into a HBO, Starz or Showtime TV series! It would have to be a Network that is willing to spend the money and time on such a grand story but I'd DETEST the Directors and writers changing ANYTHING! (as they did to Game of Thrones.)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Robin Hobb is a marvelous story teller.

Wonderful story, rich in detail, magic and feels. I have read this series multiple times and look forward to hearing it many more.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book

It leaves me wanting his next book. Once you pick up the book you can't put it down.

3 people found this helpful

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

The Boring Years, Part 2

A MINUTE OR HALF A YEAR, I CAN SCARCELY TELL WHICH
This is not the Robin Hobb, I fell in love with. No wonderful magic and heart wrenching conflict as in Liveship Traders. No dragons with complicated personalities, as in Rainwild Chronicles. No, empathy for a coming of age boy with a weight problem, as in Solider Son. No empathy for a coming of age bastard boy as in Farseer. There is a reason these books are a fraction of the cost of her other great and unforgettable series. After struggling through Fool's Errand, I let this one go after 4 and a half hours. The first time I have ever given up on one of my favorite authors, Robin Hobb. Ths most exciting part of the first four and half hours was a dance, in which everybody who shows up is described in excruciating detail, clothes, heritage, and disposition. With a 4.6 rating it is loved by some, mostly those who are happy with hearing how Fritz walks down a street. Nothing wrong with that, just not for me.

21 people found this helpful