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Fool's Fate

The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 3
Narrated by: Nick Taylor
Series: Realms of the Elderlings, Book 9, Tawny Man, Book 3
Length: 31 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (238 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The triumphant conclusion to the Tawny Man trilogy, from the author of the best-selling Farseer and Liveship Traders trilogies. The moving end to the tale of the Farseers, in which kingdoms must stand or fall on the beat of a dragon's wings, or a Fool's heart.

A small and sadly untried coterie – the old assassin Chade, the serving-boy Thick, Prince Dutiful, and his reluctant Skillmaster, Fitz – sail towards the distant island of Aslevjal. There they must fulfil the Narcheska’s challenge to her betrothed: to lay the head of the dragon Icefyre, whom legends tell is buried there deep beneath the ice, upon her hearth. Only with the completion of this quest can the marriage proceed, and the resulting alliance signal an end to war between the two kingdoms. It is not a happy ship: tensions between the folk of the Six Duchies and their traditional enemies, the Outislanders, lie just beneath the surface.

Thick is constantly ill, and his random but powerful Skilling has taken on a dark and menacing tone, while Chade’s fascination with the Skill is growing to the point of obsession. Having ensured that his beloved friend the Fool is safely left behind in Buckkeep, Fitz is guilt-stricken; but he is determined to keep his fate at bay, since prophecy foretells the Fool’s death if he ever sets foot on the isle of the black dragon. But as their ship draws in towards Aslevjal a lone figure awaits them…

©2003 Robin Hobb (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

“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 writes achingly well” ( SFX)
“Even better than the Assassin books. I didn’t think that was possible” (George R R Martin)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Nice follow up

Fills in gaps and ties up loose ends. Builds nicely on the previous trilogy. The plot also thickens.

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Wonderful extension of the farseer trilogy

Great story. and it took it's time to unwind and finish which was nice. No need for cliffhangers.

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good shit

good narration, lovely story. nice quality in the production. i recomend this over the other version

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  • Katrina
  • East Lismore, Australia
  • 01-20-15

Terrible quality production

This is yet another totally brilliant series by Robin Hobb, building perfectly on the previous Liveship Traders and Assassin series.

But the audio editors left MANY instances of repeated lines often with the narrator giving a sigh of frustration before starting the line again.

The first time gave me a giggle, but it happens repeatedly throughout the book as though the editing job was rushed. By the end I felt truly annoyed. I've not had an audio book from here with so many issues like this.

I hope it will be re-edited. Robin Hobb books so rock and Nick is a fair narrator.

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  • Mimi
  • 05-02-14

The Harrowing and Epic Conclusion

Would you listen to Fool's Fate again? Why?

I certainly would. Hobb has made me care so much about these characters.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I don't want to give away spoilers but I have to say the ending is exceptional. At so many points while listening to this I thought the situation was beyond redemption. But the conclusion was perfect. Hobb has a genius for knowing exactly what needs to happen to her characters and why.

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

I almost did! This is a deeply addictive trilogy (so I recommend you listen at a time when you need a VERY sizeable distraction). I cannot wait for the next Robin Hobb release this August, I'm desperate to know what happens next.

Any additional comments?

This book, like many many of Hobbs writings, does not shy away from fantasy stereotypes. If you were to pick apart the events of her "Realm of the Elderlings" saga, I'm sure you'd find many of them. However, please do temper your judgement, Hobb doesn't just manage to reinvent these tropes but uses them as weapons. Her narrative is enthralling, rich in detail yet open to the imagination. She tackles epic high fantasy, rooted in real modern society issues, and anchored by a rich multitude of developed and colourful characters.This book makes for an intense listen (many fans get emotional about it, and rightly so). I cried like a child. Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster, though do trust in Hobb's dazzling prowess. She's an author that, no matter how convoluted the situation, never loses her absolute control of the story, finishing the Tawny man has left me in no doubt of that.I must also say that i found Nick Taylors narration to be spot on. I loved Beomer's farseer but Taylor was even better. He pronounces "Burrich"'s name properly (i.e. the way the author does) and even starling's voice is closer to what I envisioned. The ageing up of Nighteyes' voice was appropriate to his 20 years: unnaturally old for a grey wolf. And the rest of the cast is wonderfully distinct! Well done!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Dawes
  • 12-11-13

Excellent timing....

in the sense that it won't be long before we get further tales of Fitz and the Fool from the wonderful pen of Robin Hobb.

Needless to say that you should just stop whatever it is you are doing and listen to all six of these glorious books. I think you would be hard pressed to find any novelist anywhere quite as good. Immense and immersive, lovingly read, and chock full of life.

Treat yourself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Redwing
  • 05-23-14

Loose yourself in this amazing story!

I have not lost myself so deeply in a story since I was a child. Robin Hobbs intricately woven story of Fitzchivalry Farseer and the Fool Fate was so heart achingly , beautifully written, that i found myself going to bed early to get 4 or 5 hours listening before resigning to sleep. I have fallen so in love with the characters of Fitz and the Fool, their trails throught quests and deepening of the relationship is incredibly moving and poigniant. I have cried more with this book than any other i can remember, and am kind of dazed now I'm at the end. I am in awe of Robin Hobbs writing. It may sound over dramatic and sentimental, but this book has changed me. I heartily recommend the journey!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Northern Boy
  • 09-18-19

Great story and performance but badly edited<br />

The title said it all.

The editing issue is repetition of sentences and phrases. At first I thought I had a fault with my phone or a faulty download file but realised that sometimes the intonation was different.


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  • J E.
  • 08-29-19

Robin Hobb does it again

Once again, Robin Hobb has created a masterpiece of intricate detail and astounding literary prowess. We follow Fitz on his attempts to secure the Farseer throne for his King in Waiting, facing down dragons and reacquainting himself with friends we thought only committed to memory. Hobb creates a stunning scenery with her descriptive and passionate writing style, and this book will have you laughing and crying in equal measure. Well worth the time to read or listen - but what else can we expect from such an author?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-27-19

She does it again

Again another stellar book in the series and most probably my favourite of the entire elderling series.

This has left me feeling content the story gave closure to a lot of things from the first series.

The narration was good I have given the narrator 4 stars as the pronunciation of the words varies from the first series.

If your this far in your robin hobb adventure I guess there is not much else to say apart from enjoy and live in your NOW.

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  • Kelly
  • 06-17-19

Great with one small caveat

I have enjoyed the series though I do wish that the publishers would keep the same narrators or at the very least have them use the same pronunciations of names as it jarring to hear the names changed.

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  • bdg
  • 06-05-19

Whiny, melodramatic and disappointing.

I’ve read or listened to works by most of the major fantasy writers over the years but rarely have I been this disappointed by a trilogy

The initial assassins trilogy was fun. Not exceptional but had an engaging story, good pace and whilst there was a reasonable amount of whiny, teenage angst involved, the main character was a teenager so it was entirely understandable.

Fast forward to the same teenager grown into a man and he’s now metamorphosed into a……. whiny, somewhat pathetic adult, full of teenage angst! Great!

And it’s not just the main character, before, there was levity in some characters and diabolical evil in others, the current batch all seem to be self-centred, melodramatic and love a good whinge! Just over half way through book three and I’m pretty close to giving up as I just can’t stand all of the patheticness that I’m bombarded with!

Now don’t get me wrong, whilst I absolutely lay a good deal of this at the feet of the author, the clumsy, adolescent narration has a lot to answer for as well. Gone is nuance and inflection to help you recognise the voices of the different characters and now he just resorts to stereotyped accents from the far flung corners of our world to try and achieve the same. If I could give zero stars for the performance element of my review, I would.

And the treatment by both the author and narrator of “Thick” in this is horrible! The personification of someone with mental difficulties has been reduced to a mean-spirited, playground ridicule that reminds me of nasty kids picking on some poor unfortunate. Truly pathetic and raises a lot of questions about the mindset of the author and narrator.

Oh, and as a plea to the author, STOP PADDING! The entire second book was padding. It went nowhere. It set up a couple of story lines (clumsily) and if this trilogy had been written as one large or maybe two smaller books, momentum would have been maintained and left you less time for the melodramatic, self-indulgent whining that has entirely ruined this trilogy for me.

If I had one bit of advice to give to the prospective reader? Don’t bother. Read the first trilogy and leave it there then go find something else to read.

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  • Siobhan
  • 04-04-19

Great book

I loved this book so much. I recently discovered Robin Hobb's work, and have slowly been making my way through all of it. This was the first book I listened to, and only because I was too impatient to wait for the physical copy to arrive. I really enjoyed listening to it, and I think the narrator fit Fitz quite well. In later chapters there were a few places where the beginning or end of a sentence was repeated, but otherwise there were no problems with it.

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  • Julie
  • 03-25-19

a beauty of a tale

I loved the story and the twists and turns linking bit of the story together.
only downside was that there were some passages where the narration seemed to lapse and repeat itself as though it had to be recounted again.

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  • toni
  • 06-28-15

excellent story

loved the trilogy but annoyed at bad editing - many pauses and repeated phrases

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • thomas
  • 03-28-17

a hearty tale

this is one of the most complete stories I have read.
beautiful writing. great narration.
thanks for this experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Angie
  • 03-04-17

Bravo Robin Hobb, bravo!

I couldn't get enough. Wonderfully flawed characters. Fans of Fitz will love this book. There was nothing I didn't like.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kitty
  • 09-11-16

Lovely, but disappointing narration edits.

Great and rewarding book, and series, but utterly woeful editing! So bad at times that it brings one right out of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-19

excellent conclusion to amazing series

satisfying conclusion to the trilogy though the climax is oddly smake bang in the middle of the book rather then the very ending. near the end will make you laugh and teary.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-20-19

Geat Conclusion . Lousy production

Editing was not good with many repeated sections and obvious retakes that distracted from the flow.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-18

Marvelous, Epic and by far the best Fantasy novels

It was so wonderful, could not stop listening to it! they're the best stories ever!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean Franklin
  • 10-17-18

great stories, great performance.enjoyed listening

great reading, the reader was excellent. I enjoyed listening while being able to work. loved it all.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaydn
  • 07-11-18

fantastic

Great books, the whole trilogy
The only problem I've found was the narrator repeated lines a few times

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Murphy
  • 07-04-18

Brilliant Story as always

Robin Hobb always writes an excellent story and her character development is second to none. I have read this book a number of time, but it was a different experience listening to it. I must admit I prefer Nick Taylor, to the narrator of the first trilogy. for anyone who likes a good story, take a listen!