Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Progress Report on My Reading of FOOL'S QUEST

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            I consider myself to be a slow reader. I have a tendency to linger, to reread the parts I like or the parts that I find rich with information, and I set aside my book periodically to mull over what I’ve read. So when I tell you that I’ve read 374 pages of FOOL’S QUEST by Robin Hobb in a week, believe me when I say that that means something. Because I don’t stop doing things the way I usually do them because I’m fascinated. I’ve still been rereading, going back to revisit the scenes I like, drinking them in like good wine. There was one particular part that I loved so much that I read it three times. And yet, I’m 374 pages deep. If you added in the number of pages I’ve reread, it’s probably something closer to 500. I have been reading this book in a fever, and that fever won’t break until I've finished.
           The other thing I am moved to say at this point is that as much as I’ve always loved this series and urged it upon anyone who would listen to me, I’ve always cautioned people that it’s not for the faint of heart. Fitz is one of those characters who just can’t catch a break, and it’s hard sometimes to watch how things play out for him. Then something happened in this book, and I no longer feel compelled to add the disclaimer. I get the sense that everything Fitz has been through is going to mean something in the end, and that it will all be worthwhile. Somehow, that one moment of euphoria-- well, it didn’t wipe away all the pain that came before it, but it gave the kind of joy that is all the more beautiful because it was earned through such pain. 
           So without any caveats, I say to anyone who stumbles across this blog the same thing that I plan to say to all the fellow fantasy readers I encounter from here on out: read these books. Read them all, and read them more than once. They’re brilliantly written, the characters are rich and complex, and the world-building is amazing. Basically, if you’re not reading about FitzChivalry Farseer and you don’t plan to, then I simply cannot agree with your life choices.
          And yes, this is without even finishing this book, or the last book in this particular trilogy. Trust me. They’re just that good.