Because of the high quality of the previous two volumes, and because this series is also linked with both The Farseer and The Liveship Traders trilogies, it is with very high expectations that I plunged into this final volume of The Tawny Man trilogy. And this novel lives up to those expectations, and then some!:-) Fool's Fate is a terrific read!
Not only does this book mark the stunning conclusion to an excellent series, but it is also the culmination of an incomparable saga.
The characterizations are once again top notch. The deeply involved humanity that characterizes each character is quite predominant. Robin Hobb is a truly gifted author in that regard. She captures the true essence of each emotion, positive or negative, like no other writer in the field today. Moreover, all the characters remain true to themselves till the very end, in their choices and their actions.
All major characters return. Plus, there is amazing character development throughout the book. I don't want to include spoilers because this final volume contains several emotionally charged scenes. And each and everyone of them is executed masterfully.:-) Although I always knew that Burrich, Molly and Nettle would somehow make appearances, I was pleased to see Patience and Lacey, even if they don't play major roles. The developing relationship between Prince Dutiful and Elliania is well-done. And the addition of Thick is also interesting.
We finally catch a glimpse of the Out Islands, which is also a treat.
Fool's Fate is full of intriguing plots and subplots, and it ends with unexpected final revelations. It brings this series to a satisfying end, but leaves the door open for a lot more. There is a bittersweet sense of completion, however. I was so sorry to see this series come to an end. . .
Mrs. Hobb has somehow managed to raise the bar even higher, which is quite a feat. Those 9 volumes are a great achievement, an outstanding work of fantasy. And as the final chapter, Fool's Fate is compulsively readable. Taken as a whole, this wonderful saga deserves its place among the best fantasy series of all time. Deserves the highest possible recommendation.
The final verdict: 10/10