🟡 The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb sees Fitz return to court and reunited with the Fool. He mourns the loss of his wolf, Nighteyes, and is torn between serving his Kingdom and staying true to his best friend.
🟡 This is a really hard book to review in dot points 🤷♀️
🟡 The second instalment of a trilogy is always the hardest to do well; not only is this particular book the second in the trilogy, but also the middle series in the three-part of Hobb's "Fitz books". Despite the challenges, this book does well, tying together the seemingly unconnected events of the first books while moving us forward into the next chapter of Fitz's life. Because of this, plot-wise, not a lot happens. This book (like all Robin Hobb books) is all about the slow-burning character building, developing their relationships, and setting the stage for the final act.
🟡 The reason why this book works is solely because of the characters. We're given time to adjust to the new faces, rather than being forced to like them, and returning characters are given dignified and respectful re-entrances and exits.
🟡 I loved how much the magic was built and the overall world was expanded.
🟡 My main criticism is that the world building of the Out Islander culture. It seemed as if Hobb tried really hard to make the matriarchal culture fit within a Viking-esque cultural framework. While I love seeing a matriarchal culture in ink, I don't think it worked in this context.
Verdict: a character driven story for the fans