“The Golden Fool” by Robin Hobb

This is my favorite book by Robin Hobb.

I’m buddy-reading the Realm of the Elderlings books with Emily from Embuhlee liest and am enjoying them so much! They are entertaining and moving reads and whenever I complete one, I have to take a break to reflect on the story before moving on.

That’s what I did with this book and because I loved it so much, it took me a longer time before I could jot down my thoughts. I couldn’t organize them. I kept jumping from scene to scene in my mind, still excited and giddy about what happened and what’s to come in the next book. So my review below will be nothing but gushing about this book and exclaiming about unexpected plot twists that I didn’t see coming.




October 2002

Goodreads summary:

The second book in Robin Hobb’s thrilling fantasy series returns readers to the Six Duchies and the magical world of the Fitz and the Fool.

Fitz has been persuaded back to court, posing as a servant to the decadent Lord Golden (who is the Fool in disguise). In secret, he will train Prince Dutiful in the magic known as the Skill.

The peace remains fragile, so the diplomatic wedding between Dutiful and the Outislander princess is a crucial alliance. But when Elliania arrives she challenges the prince to undertake an impossible quest before she will accept him.

He must kill Icefyre, one of the last true dragons. And Fitz and the Fool must go with him… (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I considered writing my own summary, but I’d totally spoil the book if I did and I don’t want to do that. The summary from Goodreads makes it seem that Fitz and the Fool embark on the quest to kill Icefyre in this book, but that bit doesn’t happen. By the end of The Golden Fool, the characters are making plans to begin the quest.

This installment was thrilling. It has a slow build because Fitz is sad about Nighteyes, but once the story takes off — WOW! Some things occurred that I didn’t expect at all and others excited me so much that I had to read the passages twice!

There’s not much I can say other than that the story is great and you should totally read it if you haven’t started on them yet. I like how everything progressed in this installment and how secrets and unknown characters are revealed and how old characters and newish ones interacted with each other. It was great and the writing was great and I loved it all.

Time for the SPOILER SECTION!!! 😀

All the stuff I loved:

  • That part where Dutiful’s Coterie is formed by “the old man, the golden lord, the prince, and the idiot” coming together to save Fitz. AHH!!! I LOVED THAT PART!!!
    • I think the main reason why I love it so much is because of how it’s written. I just love Fitz’s voice and in this scene he is mildly sarcastic as he observes from the grave (sorta but not really since he is dying/dead) Chade, the Fool, Dutiful, and Thick skill to save his life. There are all at different levels in the skill: Chade an enthusiastic student but weak in the skill and is learning the ability late in life; the Fool, who doesn’t know how to skill; Dutiful, who is strong in the ability but lacks focus; Thick, who is also strong in the skill but reluctant to learn; and Fitz, their somewhat blind teacher who gropes his way forward trying to learn as he teaches them.
    • Fitz sees how comedic and impossible their group is. They can succeed, but it’s highly possible that they might fail badly too.
    • Anyway, I love this section for what happens and how they heal Fitz and what becomes of him for undergoing that experience. However, I’m always wary of such healing in fantasy novels. It always happens to a character that has an injury that disables them in some way. The healing is done to sort of wipe their slate clean and reinvigorate their body to make their body less of an obstacle in accomplishing their goal. I’d love to read a story where this doesn’t happen since it’s become a trope now.
    • OMG! That part when Chade cried (I imagined him crying) “No, oh no. Not my boy, not my Fitz. Please, no,” made me shed a tear. I had to pause the first time I read the section and catch my breath. Fitz just doesn’t know, or refuses to see, how much these people care for him.
  • When the Liveship Traders showed up, I lost my shit. I was like AHH!! I KNOW THOSE GUYS!!
    • I get really excited when characters from a series or book I like pop up in a different series or story, so I was mad happy to see Selden and loved it when he noticed Fitz and Tintaglia told him to seek out Fitz because I BELIEVE Fitz will bond with a dragon. That’s my huge prediction. AND he’ll learn that the wit and the skill can be used together — to talk with DRAGONS!!!
    • 😀 😀 😀 = my excitement needs its own bullet point
    • Also loved that Jek reveals that Amber is in love with Fitz, though I don’t like that it causes a rift in the Fool and Fitz’s friendship. I believe the Fool is Fitz’s true love and vice versa. The Fool knows this and Fitz is aware of it, though he doesn’t want to admit it. That’s what I think.
    • Glad to know that Paragon is carved to look like Fitz. It makes loads of sense since Fitz is the Fool’s true love. 🙂
    • (I always have to correct myself from saying the Fool and the Fitz, lol!)
    • I wonder if Icefyre is real (I bet he is) and if he can help to save the baby dragons. Will the Six Duchies step in to help save an endangered species too?
  • When Dutiful learns who Fitz really is (though not that Fitz is technically his father)
    • Aww man! That made me so happy. Fitz deserves the admiration.
    • OMG! If those Witted and Piebald folk should ever learn who exactly the Witted Bastard is who they’ve regarded almost as god… It would probably break them. I wonder how Civil would react if he should learn who Fitz really is.
  • The Narcheska challenges Dutiful
    • Oh…. I loved the tension in that part!
    • Total foreshadowing that she’ll become Dutiful’s queen and be a great leader.
    • I’m both excited and unenthusiastic about this quest. Excited because YAY a dragon and a quest! But unenthused because the Outislands are in the north and I assume it will be cold and wet and miserable, conditions that I hate. And though I’m reading from the comfort of spring/summer season, I will feel a chill from the conditions the characters endure because that’s how imagination works.

I’m forgetting the other stuff I loved but these are the major ones that I wanted to highlight and squeal over because I enjoyed reading them.

Overall: ★★★★★

Five stars of course! I loved it and am so glad that I buddy-read it with Emily so we could get excited about the story together. We’ve decided to imagine Fitz as a rugged Henry Cavill because Fitz is very handsome, even with scars and a broken nose.

Back when Fitz lived in the woods with Nighteyes.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass

Buy it! Read it! Enjoy! 😀


20 thoughts on ““The Golden Fool” by Robin Hobb

  1. I’m yet to get into Robin Hobb, but I loved your review – and the enthusiasm about the book! I may have to give it another go 🤔


    1. Thanks! I love Hobb’s books because of how detailed her story and writing is. I hope you’ll enjoy it. If you decide to give her books a go, I suggest you start with the Farseer trilogy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂 everyone raves about Robin Hobb, so I feel I should give it a go…


  2. I’ve only read the first book Assassins Apprentice by Hobb – I really do need to read the rest but it seems such a daunting task now being so far behind.
    Lynn 😀


  3. Oooh, I loved reading your review, I remember I was being so hype about it as well, especially the ‘cross-over’ 😀

    Fitz & Fool have one of the most beautifully written relationships ever!!


    1. Cross-over!! That’s the term I was trying to think of when I did the review. Couldn’t remember it at all.

      Totally agree. Can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope they get back to being close friends.

      Liked by 1 person

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