So if you thought that book one of the Fitz And The Fool series was epic, brace yourself for this beast of a follow-up. Fool’s Quest is an arm-breaking 739 pages, but what pages they are, featuring glorious and beautiful storytelling from Robin Hobb as the story of Fitz, the witted bastard continues.
No time has passed since the cataclysmic events of Fool’s Assassin, Fitz’s joy at being reunited with the Fool whilst at Buckkeep juxtaposes painfully with the abduction of his strange little daughter by the white people at Withywoods.
Now, you would think being something of an intuitive so and so, that Fitz may well have an inkling that all is not well at his home at Withywoods, but he is too busy trying to heal the Fool and attending royal gatherings to catch a whiff of the devastation left in the wake of the white people.
It has to be said that the build-up to Fitz finally cottoning on is quite drawn out, but a maddeningly clever device as from this moment on, Hobb lets rip with revelations (some a bit obvious, but this can be forgiven), treachery, vengeance, sword fights and full on magical mayhem.
This is not just a simple tale of a father seeking his daughter; it is, after all, the Fool’s trilogy too, and he has a mission of his own: one that will require Fitz to divide his loyalties and become the assassin he put to rest long ago.
Any newcomers to the world of Hobb and her beloved characters may wish to do themselves the greatest favour and start at the very beginning.
To pick up at this point would not only be confusing beyond belief, but could also be likened to literary adultery – imagine reading Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows without entertaining the other six first: a travesty. Once you have discovered Robin Hobb and the world of the Six Duchies, leaving is not an option.