Author: Robin Hobb
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Tawny Man Trilogy Book Three
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Fitz Gets His
(Spoilers for the Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Trader's Trilogy, Fool's Errand, and Golden Fool are below).
In order to secure a long lasting peace with the Outislands, Prince Dutiful has agreed to bring the Narcheska the head of the dragon Icefyre. For Fitzchivalry Farseer this task puts his loyalties to the test, remove the head of the dragon and remain loyal to the crown, or set the dragon free and fulfill the Fool's prophecy of saving the world.
The Tawny Man Trilogy by any other author would be an excellent, very well written trilogy. Unfortunately for Robin Hobb it means it has to stand next to The Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders, and while it's certainly worthy of standing with them, it will never be able to surpass them.
The quest to find another dragon bares too much similarity to Assassin's Quest. To be fair the book doesn't rush to a quick conclusion once this part of the plot is over. The dragon killing/saving quest is the main driving force behind this plot, but the vast majority of the results are all to predictable. It's very strange to read a book where you're more heavily invested in the relationship troubles of Fitz with Burrich, Molly, and Nettle, than you are with a quest to kill a legendary dragon, but that is definitely the case.
Moving Molly, Nettle, and Burrich into the subplot once again, may have been the most logical choice in terms of plot. But I believe the main plot at the very least has to rival the intrigue and suspense of this subplot, and the dragon quest simply does not do that. Nearly four books of emotional tension have been building towards Fitz confronting the people he loves most, and that's a tension that may not be able to be topped by any author. Or in other words Hobb dug herself into a hole that was impossible to dig out of.
Fool's Fate has all the emotional power readers have come to expect from Hobb. It's still a very enjoyable story, but it is the concluding story to a trilogy that falls shy of her greatest works.