Assassin, spy, and Skillmaster, FitzChivalry Farseer, now known only as man-at-arms Tom Badgerlock, has become firmly ensconced in the queen's court at Buckkeep. Only a few are aware of his fabled, tangled past - and the sacrifices he made to survive it. And fewer know of his possession of the Skill magic. With Prince Dutiful, his assassin-mentor Chade, and the simpleminded yet strongly Skilled Thick, FitzChivalry strives to aid the prince on a quest that could ultimately secure peace between the Six Duchies and the Outislands - and win Dutiful the hand of the Narcheska Elliania.
For the Narcheska has set the prince on an unfathomable task: to behead a dragon trapped in ice - the legendary Icefyre, on the island of Aslevjal. Yet not all the clans of the Outislands support the prince's effort to behead their legendary defender. Are there darker forces at work behind the Narcheska's imperious demand? As the prince and his coterie set sail, FitzChivarly works behind the scenes, playing nursemaid to the ailing Thick, while striving to strengthen their Skill - ultimately bringing his unacknowledged daughter into the web of the Skill magic, where the truth must finally unfold.
The quest emerges amid riddles that must be unraveled, a clash of cultures, and the ultimate betrayal. For knowing that the Fool has foretold he will die on the island of ice, FitzChivalry has plotted with Chade to leave his dearest friend behind. But fate cannot so easily be defied.
About the Author
Robin Hobb lives and writes in Tacoma, Washington. Robin is best known as the author of the Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest.) Other works include The Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, and the Soldier Son trilogy. The Rain Wilds Chronicles is now complete, published as Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven. A story collection, The Inheritance, showcases my work as both Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm. In April of 2012, City of Dragons was published as the 3rd volume in the Rain Wilds Chronicles. That tale will conclude in April 2013 with the publication of the final volume, Blood of Dragons. Robin Hobb also writes as Megan Lindholm.
A short story, Words Like Coin, is available as an illustrated e-book from Subterranean Books. Soon, a Six Duchies novella, The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince, will also be published by Subterranean.
A satisfying end to the author's Tawny Man trilogy. As before, the story is narrated by FitzChivalry Farseer, the royal bastard trained as an assassin. Prince Dutiful, heir apparent to the throne of the Six Duchies, has promised his fiancee, an Outisland princess, that he'll bring her the head of a dragon frozen on an isolated northern island. Now, Hobb (a.k.a. Megan Lindholm) explores the consequences of that promise, both for the young couple and for those required to help the prince fulfill it. Lord Golden, the former royal fool, has foreseen his own death on the island where the dragon is buried. Fitz, whose life is deeply entangled with the fool's, decides to prevent his friend from taking the journey. On the trip to the Outislands, the prince's companion Thick, a half-witted peasant gifted with extraordinary telepathic powers, becomes convinced he'll die of seasickness; the prince puts him in Fitz's care, no light burden. And upon arrival in the islands, the royal party learns that the dragon-slaying that Dutiful has promised is opposed by a significant faction among the island notables. Dutiful shows his growing maturity by negotiating the diplomatic hurdles skillfully; the compromise solution is that the prince will take only a token force with him, escorted by a wicked band of island warriors who will witness his deed and report it to the full council. And, as it turns out, the dragons have something to say about things, too. Hobb works this complex situation into an atmosphere-filled adventure on the glacial island, with a fair quota of surprises. As in the first two entries, much of the tension comes from the interaction of a large group of characters with conflicting agendas and considerable power to enforce their wills. A winning combination of strong characters and colorful societies. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Tawny Man
Number Of Pages: 816
Published: 29th September 2004
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 18.1 x 11.1 x 5.5
Weight (kg): 0.44