Saturday, August 15, 2009

Golden Fool

I've a pretty decent tan, but I'm not golden.  But boy do I feel like a fool.  I'd feel robbed if I had actually purchased this book, but since its on loan from my sister inlaw I can only encourage her to return it and demand a refund.  Before I get into the book itself I have a small soapbox to mount.  There is a definitive trend among authors these days to write a storyline that spans at least 3 books, but I'm seeing 4 or more books in a lot of cases (just wait until I move back to reviewing StarWars books).  Its all a money making ploy.  Typically, these authors don't have material for more than one book typically, but they stretch them out as far as they can to maximize their profits.  Regardless of who's fault this is, the publisher or the author, this tactic sucks.  The reader is left unsatisfied, but there is enough there to keep us coming back for the next one.  I don't know when this Crack publishing began, but I've had enough.  I should have seen the signs before I started reading this series.  3 books for Farseer, 3 books for Liveship Traders, 3 books for Tawny Man, etc., etc.  I had thought Robin Hobb above that sort of tactic, as the Farseer trilogy actually built upon itself as it went and gave a spectacular finish.  This series so far is not impressing me.  I truly expect to be wow'ed in diffent ways with each additional book.  I'm ok with history building and I love to see the entirety of a character, but when the book is only about that, then I'm rather disappointed.  I look at my favorite authors and I see how the cream rises.  I mean can anyone name a trilogy by Neil Gaiman (and the Sandman series doesn't count)?  I should count my lucky stars that this wasn't written by Terry Brooks otherwise the story would be exactly the same with different characters.  Ok, I'm getting off topic now so I'll step down off this box.

The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb is the second of three books in the Tawny Man series.  After rescuing Prince Dutiful, both Fitz and the Fool are back at Buckkeep.  Fitz becomes the Skillmaster, much to his chagrin and begins to train the new coterie.  The Queen begins negotiations with the Witted and eventually creates a Witted coterie for Dutiful.  At the same time Kettrichen and Chade find a bride for the young prince from the Outislanders, the same folk who warred against them with the Red Ships some 15 years prior.  The bulk of the book contains itself around the storyline of the Witted and the Piebalds and the betrothal.  Honestly, I was bored.  The only exciting part was when the future bride of Dutiful challenged him to slay a dragon.  That was interesting, but come on!  He's only 16, how the hell is the boy supposed to slay a dragon.  He's a typical teen, full of angst and insecurities and lust.  Useless!  Nevertheless, he accepts and the book ends with the anticipation of the next book where he goes to slay the dragon.  What a waste.  I'm so disgusted that I wasted my time on this book.  I'm more disgusted because I immediately picked up the next one so I could see how the Prince slayed the dragon.  Pathetic!

I have a confession to make.  In the third book of the Assassin series, Starling felt that the Fool was actually a woman disguised as a man who was in love with Fitz. But after reading 5 books with Fitz as the first person, I'm beginning to think that Fitz is the woman instead.  I don't mean this in a bad way to women, but I don't know any men at age 35 who are as insecure as Fitz is.  For someone who has done as much as he has, either as a soldier or as an assassin, to continue to be so damned whiny is starting to make me sick.  Grow a set already!  Sigh, I thought I put away that soap box.  Ok, one more to go.  One more to redeem yourself Robin.  You can do it, make me proud.

I give this book 1 star out of 5.