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Publisher's Summary

Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife, Molly, these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.

But behind the facade of respectable middle age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more....

On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead and one long-missing. Then one Winterfest night, a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger? Suddenly Fitz's violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.

©2015 Robin Hobb (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"In today's crowded fantasy market Robin Hobb's books are like diamonds in a sea of zircons." (George R. R. Martin)
"Hobb is superb, spinning wonderful characters and plots from pure imagination." (Conn Iggulden)
"Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers…what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics." ( The Times)
"Robin Hobb is without question among the two or three finest writers of fantasy working today." ( SFX)
"Fantasy writers don't come much bigger than Robin Hobb." ( Independent)
"Fantasy as it ought to be written." (George R. R. Martin)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Utterly brilliant

What a delight to be back with Fitz and the Fool! I have sorely missed them. Robin Hobb has crafted another masterpiece! Can't wait to read the next one!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • kdsshrub
  • 02-23-16

Pity about lee and avita

Good book to set the seen, but narrators lacking in Quality, past narrators have made these books amazing - everyone sounds the same in these :(

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 03-19-16

Not as engaging as the previous books

This felt like one long intro to the new series. The narration could have been better, the narration of fitz seemed young and lacked depth for me and the female narrators little girl voice could be grating at times.
I don't regret buying, as I think the story will hot up in the next book and Hobb is always good, but I had very high expectations that weren't quite met.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Adrian
  • 06-28-17

good but a bit harder going with new narrators

I enjoyed the previous books and got used to the narrator and characters so this change made the book a bit of a drag to start but great story all the same

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • B.Watson
  • 12-05-16

Spoiled by narrator

The narrator isn't bad but is unfortunately handicapped by not being the same narrator as the previous series. No matter how good they are they are not the same as the previous books so it is jarring, unfortunate as the performance is actually pretty good they are just set up to fail by being compared to previous narrators. Characters have different voices and it is hard to get used to.

The book is just as good as you would expect in all other aspects, the narrator isnt a deal breaker in this instance and its well worth buying.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-24-16

Awful Narration of a Frustrating Story

The narrator, Lee Maxwell-Simpson is truely the worst I've ever heard. He somehow manages to put the incorrect inflection on everything, and reads each word without context, as if it isn't part of a sentence, or like he has no idea what he is reading. I had to speed him up to a silly degree just to get it over with.

Unfortunately the story isn't up to much either, very little happens, and somehow since we last joined Fitz he has lost the ability to reason or make good decisions, becoming frustratingly short sighted.

I sped through this in the hope that the sequel would be better, but I didn't enjoy it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frances
  • 08-21-16

Not my favourite narrator

The story is great but the male narrator could have been better. He often lacked expression.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Steve W
  • 08-04-16

Nit the best

Lots of repetition, very slow to get started, narrators sucks hairy Goats balls. Nit the best book . Shame it was a return to Robin Hobb after the assassins apprentice trilogy, which were excellent. Bring back the old narrator.,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jack C
  • 04-27-16

Good book

Let down by the narraters at first but once you get used to it being different from the other books its okay.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Alun Williams
  • 04-16-16

terrible

This is the worst narrator ever he has succeeded in making an excellent book awful

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • RedMonkey80
  • 11-26-15

Fitz & The fool return

Fitz and the Fool return to one another. But this book brings together years of Fitz living out his dream. time passes quickly through the beginning of the book like no other chapter in their lives. This almost feels like it is from another author. But eventually once the story catches up with the time line the great storytelling returns. This book is focused on Fitz and his daughter Bee and takes time to get going but like all the chapters I have moved straight on to the next installment with anticipation.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • V
  • 08-01-17

more Fitz and fool

loved this ...as with all Robyn Hobbs...but not the narrators, very sorry but not at all well read😐

4 of 4 people found this review 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
  • Jo
  • 02-10-17

Highly recommended!

Fantastic book, would recommended to anyone. however, even though it's book 1, felt as though you're reading the story from the middle. That being said, easy to follow and the narrators where lively, well spoken.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel Graham
  • 08-01-17

Great story. Mediocre reading

Story was fantastic but the readers really emphasised some sentences incorrectly which detracted from the reading. Would still listen again simply for the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-14-17

Total waste of money and time

I can not see any redeeming features of this book. Remarkably boring, apart from some pointless “magic” it’s just an old man prattling on about his far to many feelings. And the narration sound like it’s done by a primary school teacher reading a children’s story, who constantly misreads the emotion conveyed in whatever sentence he’s reading. it’s as if he just gambles on happy, angry or sad

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan Marr
  • 09-05-18

Fitz great book, but...

Fitz has gone a bit soft in his old age! Slower going than the usual storyline, with barely any action/excitement until the last few chapters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Blue Star
  • 08-01-18

So very disapointed that the Narrator was changed

After having made it this far into all of Robin Hobb's books and having thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them I was very looking forward to this series also. And then I read the comments about the narrators and thought to myself surely they can't be that bad...? I was wrong. Having come straight out of listening to the Tawny man trilogy narrated by Nick Taylor (whom I loved) and straight into this one I was horrified by the change in narrators. Accents were wrong, pronunciation of characters names were wrong, it was so off putting. I wondered if the narrator (Lee Maxwell-Simpson) had even listened to the previous books to get a grasp of what, we the listeners, had been experiencing previously. I really believe continuity in narrators is a must when listening to continuing series. The story was still great.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Peter J. Wilcock
  • 07-11-18

I expected more

The book doesn't really start until about 3/4 of the way in. Feels extremely slow and more like a recap of the entire series. Power your way through it so you can get onto books 2 & 3.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-11-18

bit slow to start but couldn't put it down

slow to start but couldn't put it down by the end. can't wait for the next one

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 02-06-18

Not as good as the previous books.

I enjoyed the book, but it was not as gripping as the previous novels... and some big plot holes.... like why wouldn't Fitz query his daughter more when he discovers her ability to sense emotions/the skill?

Still worth a listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-11-17

loved this book

I really enjoyed this book and will read the rest in the series. Cannot wait to read more