Book Review: Fool’s Quest by: Robin Hobb
I give this book three out of five stars for its beautiful language, the lovely imagery of this twisting tale, and learning more about what happens to Fitz Chivalry, his young daughter Bee, and old friend Fool. I’m a fan of Hobb’s work, but some of the annoying repetition common to the Rain Wild’s Chronicles, surfaced in this series as well. This books redeeming qualities revolve around fleeting moments of action, a few fun surprises, and a trip that involved dragons. Other than that, be prepared for a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth, especially from Fitz. A good sixty percent of the book is Fitz giving monologues about how guilty and depressed he is. Normally I would not call this out in my into paragraph, but I think it’s important for readers sensitive to graphic rape or violence against women to be warned about the high amount of sexual violence in this book. There is actually a character Bee refers to as, “the handsome rapist.” There are multiple scenes where it is depicted, later discussed, and also scenes where more victims are interviewed or made to remember.
What I liked about the book:
1) Seeing Killisengre from other character point of views. I liked seeing little bits about the dragon keepers who were followed in Rain Wild Chronicles, presented in this book. I also liked the bits about King Verity and the stone dragons.
2) It was good to see Chine’s character evolving. I liked learning more about her history. It was good to see her and Bee working as team.
What I didn’t like about the book:
1) There are too many characters sitting around making poor decisions or just being stupid. Could one of the protagonists, besides little girl Bee, have their wits about them? Why do they ALL need to be making such poor decisions?
2) There’s so much talking, rehashing, and endless monologues about events from prior books. Then something new would happen, but within the same chapter or the next, characters are rehashing that action as well. It just bogs down the books pacing, and for me it was everything I hated in the Rain Wild Chronicles all over again. There really must be a high expectation for stupid fans when constructing this book. As if the majority of us readers don’t retain anything read prior.
3) Fitz is such a whiner in this book. He’s a grown man but he will not shut up, and when he does shut up, we then have to read all about his emotions, so it just never ends. Add the misery in Fitz’s scenes, to the sexual assaults in Bee’s scenes, to the graphic torture and recovery of the Fool and you have one huge mess of depression.