The Golden Fool is almost completely a preparation and transition book for the big conclusion in the next installment. It’s all about laying foundations and moving the characters to have the right convictions and motivation to save the world. Though, knowing Fitz, he’ll probably brood about it still. Because of this plot direction, there’s close to nothing going on in the book plot-wise even though it’s more than 600 pages long. Overall, I don’t mind this. As far as a transitional book goes, The Golden Fool is still great.
The problems that I had with the book were actually on the first 200 pages. I struggled heavily with this part. It was boring at parts and it seemed completely directionless. Also, the last three chapters were quite anti-climatic. These are really the only parts I disliked about this book.
The book picked up its pace for me once the story entered chapter 11, where a few characters from Liveship Traders trilogy appeared for a while. Starting from chapter 11, the book became wonderful to me up until the end. I was overjoyed by this crossover, it goes to show that Hobb has really created a fantastic cast of characters within all her books. Whether it’s the characters from Farseer, Liveship or Tawny Man trilogy, all of them are extremely well-written. Although it took like 200 pages to get to, it was truly worth it.
Not only these crossovers were incredible because of the characters, it also shows just how great Hobb is at world-building her the entirety of her series. The world-building keeps on improving, filled with rich lore about the Skill and the Wit, also more revelations about the dragons, the Elderlings, and every information the readers accumulated from both Farseer and Liveship do play a part here. Hobb seamlessly connects the events in Liveship Traders into Fitz’s storyline, which make Liveship a mandatory read in order to get more satisfaction out of this book and trilogy.
“We are the sum of all we have done added to the sum of all that has been done to us.”
There aren’t a lot of things left to say on this review about this book. The story continued immediately from where it left off in Fool’s Errand and the entire setting of the book took place in Buckkeep. The majority of the book was spent on Buckkeep politics, the mastery of skills, and Fitz’s interactions with all the other characters. Some of my absolute favorite parts from this book was the forming of the cotery, every characters' development, some revelations on The Fool’s past, and the complexity of Fitz relationship with him.
"Love is more than bedding, boy. If love doesn't come first and linger after, if love can't wait and endure disappointment and separation, then it's not love. Love doesn't require bedding to make it true. It doesn't even demand day to day contact. I know this because I have known love."
Overall, The Golden Fool is a transitional book and despite having some issues with it, I still love this. Tawny Man has been really solid so far and I hope Hobb can deliver the satisfying conclusion that this trilogy needs in Fool’s Fate, the book that the majority of Hobb’s fans are claiming to be her best work.
Picture: Golden Fool by Yasushi Suzuki