I don’t often read 600 pages in a day, but when I do I’m sat by a pool in 85 degree heat and it’s a book starring FitzChivalry Farseer.
An incredibly welcome return to the world of Fitz and the Fool (how I’ve missed them!) sees us catch up with Fitz – now Tom Badgerlock – decades after their last outings. Now in his sixties, even if he looks half that thanks to the super skill healing he received last time around, Tom has settled comfortably into marriage with his wife Molly and her large family. But life changes for Tom when Molly – who’s now far past child-bearing age – winds up having a miraculous pregnancy straight from my nightmares (a two year gestation period, anyone?!) that results in an unusual child. Small and strange, Bee is viewed by all but her parents as deficient, although she slowly reveals herself to be preternaturally intelligent, all while Fitz displays some now familiar spectacular denseness in not realising what his child’s strangeness signifies.
Slowly drawn back in to the politics of Buckkeep when he’s given the care of two of Chade’s failed apprentices – both bastards, and both in dire need of a slap and some manners – Fitz can no longer ignore the world around him, and when he receives a desperate message from the Fool (from whom he’s not had sight nor sound in the decades that have passed) it seems he may finally have to pick his long discarded skills back up and enter a world of blood once more.
As usual with Hobb’s Fitz books, I tore through this like the pages were on fire, staying up long into the (incredibly hot) nights as I fretted my way back into his world. And with the climax of the book resulting in a life-changing disaster for Fitz’s family, I waited all of five seconds before diving straight into the next.