Fool's Errand: Tawny Man, Book 1
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Fool's Errand: Tawny Man, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,677 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 25 hours and 18 minutes
Author Robin Hobb
Narrator James Langton
Whispersync for Voice Ready Release Date July 15, 2014
Publisher Brilliance Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank #8,013 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#54 in Arthurian Fantasy (Books)
#231 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#565 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,677 global ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2019
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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A. Whitehead
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of fantasy adventure and melancholic introspection
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of fantasy adventure and melancholic introspection
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2018
Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War. FitzChivalry Farseer is believed dead, with only a few knowing the truth that he survived and helped end the war and the threat of the cruel King Regal. Living a comfortable life as a smallholder with his wolf Nighteyes and an adopted son, Hap, Fitz occasionally has strange dreams. He dismisses these, until his old friend the Fool visits with news: Prince Dutiful, the son of Queen Kettricken and the late King Verity, has vanished in a very strange manner. Reluctantly, Fitz returns to Buckkeep and a life he thought he'd left behind.

Fool's Errand is the fourth novel featuring the adventures of FitzChivalry Farseer, picking up after the events of the original Farseer Trilogy. It's also the seventh novel overall in the Realm of the Elderlings setting, which now extends across sixteen books. It's a bit of a fresh start in the series, as although it follows up on events in the Farseer books (and a brief mention is made of the Liveship Traders trilogy), it also introduces new characters and new storylines.

Fool's Errand is a slow book, at least to start with. The first 200 pages - more than a third of the novel - are taken up by Fitz's home life and routine, with lengthy ruminations on chicken-farming. Fitz's main concern isn't war, death or assassinations, but instead raising enough coin to find his adopted son a good apprenticeship. Some may find this sequence interminable, but Hobb uses this sequence to establish Fitz's good, comfortable and quiet life away from the mayhem of the court, and what it means when it is taken away when a new crisis erupts.

The rest of the novel is more familiar: a prince has gone missing, the Witted people of the Six Duchies are rebelling against the persecution and murder of their kind by forming an armed resistance and a new peace treaty between the Duchies and the Outislands is in jeopardy. Keen for people to not realise he's survived, Fitz adopts a new identity (the uncouth Tom Badgerlock) and undertakes clandestine mission for the crown. This results in some splendid, classic epic fantasy elements such as an awkward cliffside sword fight against superior enemy numbers, the experimental use of magic and the gradual teasing and unravelling of a labyrinthine conspiracy.

This doesn't mean that Hobb's straying too far from her established tropes. When in doubt about what to do next, she just makes Fitz's life more miserable and horrible than ever before, killing off loved ones and finding ways to put him in as awkward and painful a situation as possible. It's all vaguely depressing, which is an odd juxtaposition given that the second half of the novel is as lively and swashbuckling as Hobb has ever gotten.

Still, if you're in the mood for a beautifully-written, somewhat melancholy fantasy where the focus is firmly on the characters rather than magic or battles, Fool's Errand (****) is a very fine novel. It's also surprisingly stand-alone: you'd definitely miss a fair amount if you hadn't read the Farseer trilogy, but the plot is focused on a new story and situation. Also, whilst the story clearly is set to continue after the final page, there's no major cliffhanger ending. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.
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4 people found this helpful
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Swords and Spectres
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a great trilogy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 9, 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars skill -tug
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good to be back
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2013
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2 people found this helpful
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