July 01, 2003

Golden Fool by Robin Hobb

coverThe second volume in the third clump of books by Robin Hobb. This one ties the first two trilogies together by having a delegation from Bingtown visit the Six Duchies looking for help with their war with Chalced. That and ongoing negotiations with the Outislanders to wed their young princess to Buck's Prince Dutiful form the political foreground of the book. In the political background are relations with the persecuted minority of the Old Blood who, like the main character of the first trilogy (and of this current cluster) Fitzchivalry, can communicate and bond with animals. That would be enough intrigue to form the plot of any book, but in this one, the story is told through the life of Fitz who is disguised as servant, Tom Badgerlock. This book is the first where Fitz comes to life as a truly social being. He maintains relationships with dozens of different characters in the course of this book, and in virtually every one of them he has to maintain a different level of deceit to preserve the various and sundry dangerous secrets he must keep. Watching him keep all these balls in the air (and the occasional drops) make Golden Fool a gripping read. Can't start here, though. If you want to read Hobb, you'll have to start with one of the first two trilogies which are mostly disjoint. This set won't make much sense without having read both of the previous ones.

Posted by jeffy at July 1, 2003 08:00 PM
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