Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, Art by John HoweRecently, a listing appeared on Amazon.co.uk for a novel called ‘Fitz Fool 1 Hb’ by Robin Hobb. That title refers to the two characters at the center of her most popular novels, the Farseer trilogy and the Tawny Man trilogy, and had her most ardent fans all up in a tizzy about her potential return to their tale. Though she’s been writing in that setting for the last several years, those stories, notably The Rain Wilds Chronicles, are set far to the south of the Six Duchies, where fans first fell in love her world and characters, and both Fitz and the Fool have been long absent from her tales.

It looks like this is about to change, though Hobb is rightly upset that the news broke. Hobb, on her newsgroup:

With great reluctance, I am addressing this thread, as it simply won’t go away, I suppose.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, Art by John Howe

The accidental listing on Amazon.co.uk is extremely premature. I’d say very extremely except that’s a misuse of adverbs. I’m not blaming anyone for being curious about what the listing means! I just wish it hadn’t happened at all.

Clearly, for some time, my publishers have wanted me to write a continuation of the Fitz and Fool story . It was my hope to work on such a story slowly, carefully and very privately. For years. Because if I do it badly or hastily, I will have ended my career.

[...]

But it’s out there now and there’s no dodging it.

I’m going to avoid posting about this. I’m not going to reply to any queries about it. Not because I’m trying to be a diva or an artiste, but because I need to focus on writing, not talking about writing. I think I’ve posted here before about what I see as the difference between Being a Writer and Writing. I’m not going to Be a Writer about this. There will be no hints, page counts, updates, teasers, or warnings that A Main Character Will Die! I know that many other writers use things like that to build excitement and increase internet chatter. But I don’t. For me, writing is like working on a long complicated math equation. If someone in the room is reciting phone numbers or saying the times table out loud, everything gets scrambled. So I’m going to insulate myself.

Fitz and the Fool are two of the most beloved Fantasy characters of the past twenty-plus years, and its understandable that Hobb wants to explore their stories privately, ensuring that they’re as good as they can possibly be, which takes time (just ask her friend, Mr. Martin). In the meantime, I hope that her fans can sit with proper patience and allow Ms. Hobb the time and energy she needs to finish the books to a standard she is happy with.

19 thoughts on “Robin Hobb working on new ‘Fitz & Fool’ novel”

  1. Doug M. says:

    I’m not sure why, but I was certain this has been known for quite some time. Perhaps I only dreamed it and this is just wish fulfillment!

    I’ve enjoyed the original Farseer trilogy and her recent short stories, but a lot of the stuff in between has been hit or miss (mostly miss) with me.

    Here’s to hoping this one’s a huge hit. ;)

  2. Shane says:

    The Farseer Trilogy / Tawny Man were both so amazing and endearing. I really enjoyed this address from Hobb. Well thought out and clearly defined so fans can set the proper expectations. I think comments like this do far more for an author in the eyes of fans than when things are simply ignored or expectations left unchecked (GRRM).

  3. Dave says:

    Agreed, I enjoyed farseer / tawny man but much less so the books set in the rain wilds. I couldn’t even make it through the soldier son series. Still, I’m curious where Fitz’s story will go.

  4. Scott says:

    I’m a huge fan of the series, and I will be waiting patiently. I also like Hobb’s style of wanting to write it privately with little to no updates. I’d rather not know about it until I can buy it.

    Bring on more Fitz!

  5. Vorkosigrrl says:

    Hello! Absolutely new here, I only dropped in because I have a google alert set for Robin Hobb, which led me to the above. I’m not sure whether to be delighted or wary about a new Fitz/Fool novel. She seemed to be tying up all the loose ends so neatly in Fool’s Fate, as though to say very firmly, This Is The Last Story. I do love them, but if she does another novel, I hope it turns out better than some authors who keep the story going too long. Not naming any names, just sayin’.

  6. Aliena says:

    I love the Farseer/Tawny man trilogy but I don’t really like her latest books, so I am very happy to hear that she’ll be writing more about the Fool but I’m scared that the books won’t do the characters justice now…maybe RH said all she could about them – Fool’s fate ended very…well it seemed really final and a good if sad end.

  7. Diana says:

    SO AM I! i can’t wait for her to finish the book. I love the Farseer/ Tawny man trilogies so so very much.

  8. Tina says:

    I half agree about the Fool’s Fate ending well. It ended for Fitz thats true, but it left way too much open for the Fool since Fitz disappeared and they never really got any resolved so I am glad she is making a sequel that will hopefully focus more on the Fool than Fitz since his story ended in the Fool’s Fate.

  9. Emma says:

    I was hoping for news like this! I really want to continue reading about the Fool, he has to be one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever come across. Although, reader expectations are so high after The Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, it seems that disappointment in another instalment is a real danger. Good luck to Robin Hobb, and Fitz, if he’s indeed being dragged out of his peaceful retirement for another misadventure.

  10. Bee says:

    I found out about this back when it first happened, but I’m only posting here because I’ve just been linked to it and I’ve had time to think about it. I don’t want a continuation of the Fitz books. I seem to be one of few people who actually LIKED the ending of the books. Yeah, it wasn’t the happy ending it could have been, and every time I reread Fool’s Fate I feel my heart being torn out by the last line. But it worked. It fit. Fitz was never going to have total happiness. But I loved having the freedom to pretend to myself that he might have gotten it sometime after the end of the series. The only thing I could possibly ask of a new book would be a meeting between Fitz and the Paragon. That’s it. That’s literally the only thing I want to happen, and I see no way in which it could without being incredibly contrived. Will I read this new book? Yes, of course! Do I expect to be happy with it? No. Maybe if news of it had never been leaked it’d be grand, but Hobb’s writing has gone downhill lately. Her characters no longer interest me. I feel the Rain Wilds Chronicles came to a natural end after the second book (as it was supposed to I believe) and blame pressure from fans and her publishers on her recent decline. But still. It’s too early to judge. So I’ll just cross my fingers and say no more about it until there’s actually anything to KNOW about it.

  11. Just another Fool says:

    I’ve been hoping for such news. Thank goodness and about time too! The Fool deserves more than he got. Fitz and Molly, I could (and did) puke.

  12. Anonymous Fool says:

    I have to admit that I am extremely nervous about the new Fitz/Fool books. I am unfortunately one of those whose heart and trust was completely shattered at the end of Fool’s Fate. It was (and still is, when I think it) a traumatic experience (more so than a book should be, I think), and I felt like I needed therapy afterwards. I do want closure, but it’s not my story, so I don’t know if I can invest my heart in it again . I feel like I need something to trust in Hobb’s writing once more, sadly, and I’m worried I won’t find it, or worse yet, that I’ll get my heart broken again. I haven’t enjoyed any of the books that she has written since Fool’s Fate and I don’t know if it is because I’m not willing to get invested in her stories anymore or if Robin Hobb herself is just not invested anymore, either. I know that it is unfair of me to want someone else’s story to work out the way I want it to, but I did honestly feel that the reader was misled about how Fitz and the Fool’s story would end by much foreshadowing on the author’s part, and when the story took a completely different and implausible turn at the end, I felt utterly betrayed by Hobb. That all being said, I hope that her new book(s) about Fitz and the Fool will be a resounding success. I am aware that there will always be thousands of readers who love her work so much that they will always buy her books, they will always give her 5 star ratings on Amazon no matter what, and they will never question her work. That’s fine. I just know that if I do decide to read another Fitz and Fool story, I will be very cautious but hopeful, and if my faith in Hobb’s storytelling is restored, I will be extremely happy. If not, I will move on and not read anymore of her books, ever. That would be very sad thing for me to do, but there are just too many brilliant authors out there for me to enjoy.

  13. Me says:

    The ending of Fool’s Fate was by far the worst ending of any series I’ve ever read. EIGHT books set up an arc and a natural ending…. I believe that the powers that be kyboshed that ending and Hobb took a left turn away from her “natural” per planned ending. There was an interview where she alluded as such. End the story the only way it can end: with Fitz & Fool.

  14. offria Rita says:

    I’m waiting for next novel ofa Robin Hobb because I like them all

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