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Fool's Errand

Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick Taylor
Series: Tawny Man, Book 1, Realms of the Elderlings, Book 7
Length: 23 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (404 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Return to the world of the Farseers....

Robin Hobb’s best loved characters, Fitz , The Fool and Nighteyes, the wolf, face new adventures and trials in the first book of The Tawny Man trilogy.

When Assassin’s Quest closed, Fitz was living in self-imposed exile. Wracked with pain, he had chosen to discard the magical gifts that had seen him survive the wonders and torments of navigating the legendary city of the Elderlings, and of raising a dragon. Now, in this the first of a new trilogy, we are returned to the world of the Six Duchies and the lives of those who managed to survive the events of the first Assassin trilogy.

Fifteen years have passed and events are about to sweep Fitz out of his quiet backwater life and into the main political current again. Persecution of the Witted has become rampant throughout the Six Duchies despite Queen Kettricken’s effort to damp it. The Witted themselves have begun to strike back. So when 15-year-old Prince Dutiful disappears, is it only because he is nervous about his betrothal ceremony to an Outislander princess, or has he been taken hostage by the Witted? Worse, is he perhaps another ‘Piebald Prince’, a Farseer tainted by Wit magic?

As the desperate situation worsens, Kettricken has no choice but to summon Fitz to Buckkeep, for who better to track the young prince down than another gifted with the Wit, together with his bonded companion, the wolf Nighteyes?

©2013 Robin Hobb (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics." ( The Times)
"A gleaming debut" ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible Performance for a great story

With a change in narrator from the previous 6 books following the story of the Farseers, words and names like kettricken and chalsed were prounced frustratingly different….
You think the new narrator would have listened to the correct pronunciation before starting, but instead had the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable and left me wondering who he was talking about.

Often there were no slight pause between the end of a chapter and the introduction of the next chapter, which removes the emotion from the story.

Also poor editing with the errors made by the narrator left in; with him restarting to read the same sentence.

I’m Frustrated

3 people found this helpful

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Poor editing

Any additional comments?

The editing was very frustrating - the last words of the chapter are hardly finished being said before "CHAPTER 2" etc booms out at you. Quite startling when the previously uttered words are quite soft. Also very annoying was the change in pronunciation of some character names - particularly Ketricken and Burrich. I found myself correcting the book each time at first lol. Otherwise I did quite enjoy the narration in this trilogy.

2 people found this helpful

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Editing was just slightly off...

The story is wonderful, the performance is too. I love this book.
As a negative, it’s an odd thing, a subtle thing... or at least it should be. At the end of each chapter instead of letting a thought linger the next chapter is announced as if by a town crier with NO pause and no chance for the ending chapter to settle.

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editing problems

there was a moment early on where the narrator repeated a sentence that should have been editted out. the chapters clip off too quickly and then he SHOUTS "Chapter 28!" and its just jarring when it follows a really sad or sentimental moment

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Amazing story, great reading, average production.

While Nick Taylor does a great job of narrating Robin Hobbs amazing stories, the production of this book is fairly woeful. Hobbs has an amazing knack for poignancy at chapter end. Whether it's a wistful lilt, a bombastic cliff hanger or a mournful dirge, all of which this book boasts in plenty, the end of each chapter requires a breath of calm reflection so the mind can process. This production lacks that. At the end of a heartbreaking chapter, as soon as the last word has been read, without half a second passing the production plows on with a neutral "Chapter X". This sounds like a small thing but i challenge you to listen to this and not take note of the savagely abrupt transitions which, in my opinion, negatively effects the product. Brilliant story, wonderful voice acting and terrible production.

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I love these books

So far I have listened to the assassin’s apprentice series, the magic ship series and this one.
I love love love them.
They are very well written, with fascinating plots that twist and turn surprisingly.
Robin Hob seems to be incredibly perspicacious when it comes to her characters and the relationships between them.
Spiced with deep symbolism, I love the social commentary, messages and teachings that flow beneath the surface.
The narrator often sounds a bit extreme with his dramatisation of the clipped, uptight, owning class accents, but he does a good job at differentiating the characters.
No respite between chapters.

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addictive and accessible

reads very well with great subtle foreshadowing. works well as a standalone. narration is excellent.

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Gripping and entertaining

A great continuation of the farseer trilogy.

Performance was good, but as others have indicated the editing of the end of chapters and the start of the next is very short and jumpy - very annoying!

Will be listening to the rest of the trilogy.

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Great story, well told, but with some bad editing.

A great continuation of the Farseer trilogy. With real highs and gut punching lows that are to be expected from Hobb.

The reader tells the story well. My only minor criticism is that sometimes different voices can lack variation between characters, and sometimes the tone of dialogue doesn't match how it is described.

For the most part the editing is fine, but it feels like it was done quickly and the editor didn't listen to it. There are a few mistakes in there, but my major issue is that there's never enough breathing room to let the events of the story sink in. A few times chapters have ended on a quite and somber tone with major events just having taken place that you need a moment to think about, but as soon as the reader has finished the chapter he's shouting (in comparison to the quietness) the title of the next chapter at you without even time for a breath.

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So good to be back with Fitz

I loved the mad ship books but it’s great to be back listening to Fitz and his adventures! As always, so well written.

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  • K.V.
  • 03-05-2017

Editing not perfect

Biggest complaint would be that there is 0 downtime between end of a chapter and start of the new one, resulting in no room to let the chapter to sink in.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas M.
  • 16-03-2019

Great book, one audio problem

I loved the book, like all other Robin Hobb books so far.
In this recording, I found it annoying that there is no break whatsoever after a chapter ends and a new one begins. For me, it destroyed some moments where I’d have wanted to think about how the previous chapter ended but there isn’t even a milisecond of space left to do that.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Raul
  • 30-01-2020

Return of the Fitz

I enjoyed, found it a bit shorter than previous ones. The matures topics covered - death and parenting - provide a lot to think about.

Even though I would've liked the previous narrator of Fitz's story to return, the different voice gave me chance to view the characters as older. I was bit chafed by the changed pronounciations of some names, but I got used to it and in the end it didn't detract from overall amazing experience.

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  • Ella S.
  • 31-10-2019

mesmerizing!

this is my first audiobook ever, so I picked a book I'm familiar with to "test the water".
i'll admit, at the begining I did not like it but I think that when the narrator begane to speak as Nighteyes; I was hooked.
I listened to it while working, and while the narrator's voice lured me in into the realm of Robin Hobb; it did not make me lose my focus.
absloutely amazing!!

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  • Evan Brauteseth
  • 18-04-2018

Change in narrator!!

Unfortunately the narrator clearly never listened to the first trilogy in the series on the same character thus pronounces many of the characters names differently. Additionally, there are no pauses between chapter headings and the end of the preceding chapter.

Great story which is to be expected from the author. Sadly the narration of this audiobook has really spoilt it for me!

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  • scott lewis
  • 03-07-2017

should of stuck with the orginal narrator.

should of stuck with the orginal narrator. but you do get use to him by the end of the book.

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  • Mikael
  • 13-09-2016

An amazing continuation of a splendid series.

Not much to say, other than enjoy your read. If the Narrator bothers you, don't worry. He grows on you over time. While not as excellent as Paul Boehmer, the narrator manages to put his own interpertation on the characters in a way that does The Farseer Trilogy justice, while setting up The Tawny Man trilogy to be the wild ride that it is.

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  • Tomas
  • 10-02-2013

Awesome. FITZ is back

What made the experience of listening to The Tawny Man Trilogy (1) – Fool’s Errand the most enjoyable?

After loving the Farseer trilogy, Fools errand puts you straight back into Buck all be it quite a few years later and delivers.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nighteyes - His wolfish way of looking at life which is more human than some of the actual human characters.

Which character – as performed by Nick Taylor – was your favorite?

FitzChivalry

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

If you loved the Farseer, you'll love this. Could not stop listening and had a few close encounters with the misses because of it. All worth it.

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  • julia harrold
  • 08-01-2017

Changes in narrators

The book is brilliant!! Unfortunately,change in narrators from the farseer books was quite annoying! Firstly unable to pronounce peoples names either correctly or as pronounced in the first books so took me a while to even realise to whom they were referring to! Secondly, confusing at times as to which character was speaking as there was no real change in voice,also confusing.lastly,poorly edited as a few mistakes were left in.the story is brilliant but i wish they could keep the original narrators as these become the voices and demeanour of the characters. Its Burrage not boregauge and Ket-trican

5 people found this helpful

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  • handymelon
  • 18-12-2019

Everything superb except the editing!

Chapters crash into each other rather and a couple of errors not edited out.
Shame, as book and reader both excellent

1 person found this helpful

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  • Happy customer
  • 06-12-2019

Excellent story poorly edited

I adore this book and was very excited to listen to it told. The story is as excellent, as I recalled from reading the story myself, but this is slightly affected by very poor editing that includes repitition and errors. Still enjoyable to listen to, as it is read well (bar mispronuncitation of Kettricken's name) but frustrating that the presentation is so poor.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-10-2019

new chapters

the abruptness of a new chapter kept making me jump....leave a little time between, me thinks.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 29-06-2017

Brilliant once again

Once again the author captured me from the beginning! My only thought is that the narrator should have listened to the series to get the name's and accents right! However this does not take away from the story!! Looking forward to listening to the rest of the series!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Loubytee
  • 22-03-2013

Bring back Paul Boehmer!

Having just finished listening to Paul Boehmer's narration of Robin Hobb's The Farseer Trilogy (which I found absolutely epic) I excitedly bought The Fool's Errand assuming (stupidly) it would also be narrated by Paul Boehmer as a continuation of Fitz's story. Instead, Nick Taylor's is the narrator and while I'm sure he's a lovely person his narration is so bad I can't even bring myself to listen past the first chapter. While Boemar's over the top English accent took a bit of getting used to in The Assassin's Apprentice, I found that in a fantasy setting, the theatrics kind of worked and three books later I was completely immersed in his creation of the Six Duchies world. Now with these new audiobooks instead of Nighteyes sounding like John Hurt whispering in your ear we've got Ray Winston after 6 pints and 20 Benson & Hedges. It's like someone told him, "just make your voice growly, that's what wolfs sound like." Not only that all the pronunciations are wrong - Burridge in now 'Burrig' and Kettricken is now 'Ktriggin' and Starling has gone from being a willowy seductively voiced minstrel to a Devon Farmer's Wife - ooooh aahhr. Wish he'd just listened to the Farseer Audiobooks before he agreed to take the gig. Anyway, rant over, I have decided to re-listen to the end of The Farseer Trilogy and while I have a proper sounding Nighteyes fresh in my mind, start reading the Fool's Errand paper book instead. I'm sure the actual book itself is grand - 5 stars etc. etc.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annette
  • 28-05-2018

A book you can’t put down, nor should you.

Nick Taylor should have been the narrator through out the nine books as he does the characters voices justice. Please re-record the others so I can enjoy them as much. I find myself listening to this series over and over again never wanting to say goodbye to Fitz. The story draws you in and you can not put it down. A worthy credit spent indeed! I have listened to this many a time and still I can’t predict what happens.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joe
  • 15-01-2020

Supremely well written...

...somehow Robin has a way of capturing things and feelings that wrap you up. She manages to bring tears of sadness and genuine joy with the characters she writes. I whole heartily recommenced you immure yourself in her world.

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  • Mr. A. J. Paice
  • 05-01-2020

Such great story telling.

If you have read the other Fitz Chivalry Farseerer books then you will love it. You might blubb a bit!

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  • Lex
  • 05-10-2019

Another foolishly wonderful book by Hobb

As ever Hobb caught my attention and imagination with the start of a new trilogy. The story is rich, the characters are complex and diverse and all have been given a proper life and thoughts of their own. And you always feel as if you're reading on at your own peril, as no-one is ever safe, befitting the day and age the story takes place in. I also thoroughly enjoyed Taylor's performance, with the only possible note that his timbre sometimes gives women and felines a older and harsher feel than befits them. Yet, is have given the performance 4.5 stars of I could have!