Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.

But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…

On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.

Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?

Suddenly Fitz’s violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.

Review

There is a sense of apprehension when approaching a new series with characters that you love. After two trilogies with them, you want them to have their happy ending, and when picking up the start of another series you have the knowledge that in order for there to be a story worth telling something must happen to upset that happy ending.

And so I approached this book with the fear that everything was going to fall apart in the worst possible way.

However, Robin Hobb is a good author and this fear was uncalled for. Yes, events unfold that upset the characters’ welcome ending from the Tawny Man series but it’s done eloquently, making me feel as though this is just another part of their story.

I welcome this return to Fitz and his world and look forward to the rest of the series. I’m glad to be back on this emotional roller coaster ride.

Rating


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