Fool’s Errand is the first volume in The Tawny Man series, the follow-up trilogy to Hobb’s immensely popular Farseer Trilogy.
As in the original trilogy, Fool’s Errand is written in the first person. It’s a style that I do not usually like but once again Hobb uses it to great effect here as the reader is fully exposed to all that Fitz the narrator feels and experiences.
Set 15 years after Assassin’s Quest (the last book of the Farseer Trilogy), Fitz is forced to come out of his self-imposed exile to find the missing Prince Dutiful and bring him back to Buckkeep in time for the ceremony that will see Prince Dutiful promised in marriage to an Outisland princess, thus securing peace between their two previously warring lands.
We don’t get to see fantastic creatures or even witness much magic being used as we accompany Fitz in his quest to find the Prince. Instead we get to share in Fitz’ often overwhelming feelings of sadness and loss as he finds himself once again making sacrifices for the family that had already caused him much pain. This is what makes this series unique: it is as much a family saga as a fantasy adventure. The book examines what it is to be a member of a family as it explores loyalty, expectations, responsibilities, and conflicts.
Veteran readers of Hobbs will know that she is not afraid to break her characters’ hearts and she does so a few times in this book. The book ends with a tragic loss but I will be coming back for more regardless. Roll on the next two books!