Assassin Fitz, son of the Farseer kings, is brought out of his self-imposed exile/retirement to track down missing Prince Dutiful. Dutiful has vanished after making an illicit mind-bond (known as 'the Wit') with a hunting cat, and it's feared he has been coerced or kidnapped by a ruthless band of Witted folk calling themselves the Piebalds. Fitz, who has kept his own Wit-bond with a wolf secret for decades, is chosen as the perfect hunter to bring back the missing Prince. He is accompanied on his quest by the mercurial and enigmatic Lord Golden, who used to be known only as the Fool. Fitz poses as Lord Golden's servant to fool the conspirators among whom they search for the Prince, but in the end it is only his Wit-bond with his wolf Nighteyes, and the fierce loyalty and love of true friends, that saves the day.
This report prepared by Mercy Falconer
This book is part of an ongoing and interlinked series that explores a richly detailed universe. The youthful character introduced in the first trilogy, now older and wiser, is forced back into the thick of things when his un-acknowleged son (and heir to the throne) is kidnapped by a group of zealots who are hoping to force acceptance of their maligned powers.
Secretly wielding these same powers, our hero Fitz sets out with an old friend to quickly and quietly rescue his son. The main theme of the book is acceptance through sacrifice and loss - the hero has already suffered much, and this new book doesn't let up as he continues to have tragedy and trouble heaped on him. The strength of this main character is his ability to carry on no matter what, and his desire to do the right thing no matter what the circumstances.
This report prepared by The Reshtar
Bantam, Jan 2001, 24.95, 496 pp.
Fifteen years ago, FitzChivalry Farseer used all his unwanted powers including telepathy and the dirty magic of Wit that allowed mental ties with beasts to save the Six Duchies (see the fantastic Farseer Assassins trilogy). A reluctant hero, FitzChivalry handled his abilities and his success by fleeing into the countryside in a self imposed exiled retirement even though he was only twenty at the time. Most of his friends and associates thought FitzChivalry died during THE ASSASSIN'S QUEST.
However, top assassin Chade Fallstar visits FitzChivalry to enlist his help in finding the missing Prince Dutiful, heir to the Farseer throne. Dutiful is to shortly marry and if he fails to appear at the ceremony, the damage between the Six Duchies could lead to war. Chade believes only his former student FitzChivalry has any chance of finding the vanished royal. Though disinclined to do so, FitzChivalry begins a new quest.
If you are a fan of fantasy and have not read Robin Hobb, you are missing one of the greats, as the Farseer Assassins trilogy that is as good as the genre provides. Ms. Hobb's latest tremendous tale brilliantly combines an epic adventure with day to day living so that the audience believes that the hero is performing magical and daring deeds. FitzChivalry remains a wonderful character who has matured from the youthful optimist into a middle age recluse. Several other players return, but the audience does not need to go back to the previous series as this novel is a stand alone book. As the returning Fool would believe that only a fool would miss FOOL'S ERRAND and any subsequent adventures.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner