The Tawny Man Trilogy – Robin Hobb
Posted 7 Desember 2014on:
I just finished reading this and, as what usually happens with a good book, right now I am feeling a little bit lost, as if I just parted with my best friends. Sigh.
The Tawny Man (TTM) is the third trilogy by Robin Hobb, the first being The Farseer Trilogy (TFT), the second The Liveship Traders (TLT). It returns to the story of FitzChivalry Farseer, the bastard prince of the Six Duchies kingdom, picking it up fifteen years after the end of TFT, building on conflicts and themes hinted in the previous trilogy.
The first book, Fool’s Errand, deals mainly with the theme of Old Blood or the Witted, the people who can communicate and bond with animals, and have long been persecuted by other people who regard this ability as dirty magic. Fitz himself is Witted, bonded to the wolf Nighteyes, which is one of the reasons he went into fifteen years of self-imposed isolation. But now a faction of this people, who styled themselves as the Piebalds, are planning to fight back, and they are somehow involved with the disappearance of Prince Dutiful. So Fitz must come out of hiding and find the prince and bring him back to the Buckkeep Palace, in time for his betrothal to a princess from the Out Islands.
The Golden Fool revolves around the intrigues and mysteries brought about by this betrothal, between Prince Dutiful and Elianna of the Outlislanders (the hated enemy in TFT), whose marriage is arranged to bring peace between the two peoples. The characters and story line from TLT also make their appearance, proposing an alliance between the liveship traders of Bingtown and the Six Duchies, for the sake of the dragon Tintaglia. The story becomes more and more complicated as Fitz has to juggle his relationship with all the people that come and go in his life.
In Fool’s Fate, Fitz accompanies the Prince to the Out Islands to fulfill a challenge proposed by Elliana, before she would accept Dutiful as her husband–slay the dragon Icefyre. Behind the challenge, stands the mastermind of all attacks against Buckkeep–the Pale Woman. In the end, Fitz must choose between his friend and his duty.
The title of the trilogy itself refers to the enigmatic character known as the Fool. In TFT he was King Shrewd’s Fool, who always seemed to look out for Fitz and gave him cryptic prophecies and finally became one of his best friends. Now he appears again as the tawny-skinned Lord Golden. As the friendship between him and Fitz deepens, so does the mystery that surrounds him.
As with the first two trilogies, the reason I fell in love with this story is the characters and the relationships between them. Good novels always have good characters, but what amazes me about Robin Hobb’s books is how she can create such a different relationship between different pairs of people, each one formed by the unique experiences that they share. There are many people who love and are loved by Fitz, but the great thing is, you can always see the difference between, for instance, his friendship with Nighteyes and the Fool, or between his respect for his two mentors Chade and Burrich, for Kettricken and Verity, or between his relationship with his three children Nettle and Dutiful and Hap, or his fondness for Thick and Lady Patience. They are all completely different from one another. It is not just the characters are great and real and believable and all that, but they have histories together, and I hang on to every word to find out what their futures are.
Another good thing that comes out of this is that each character creates its own little subplots so you get a myriad of plot threads weaving in and out of the story, forming a wonderful tapestry of great storytelling. It is just brilliant.I hope I can soon find other books that are as good as these.