(The Tawny Man, Book 1) by Robin Hobb
The first book in the series that returns to the characters and world of The Farseer trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin's Quest). This takes place about 15 years after Assassin's Quest. We are reunited with FitzChivalry and his life after he has left the spotlight.
This book revolves around Fitz (now known as Tom Badgerlock) and the Fool as they search for the prince of the Six Duchies. Stress has grown between the Old Blood (the Wit magic) and that of the rest of the country causing dangerous political divisions, and a missing heir to the throne two weeks before his betrothal.
As with The Farseer trilogy, the Fool's Errand superbly provokes our emotions, especially that of sorrow and grief. These books work so well explaining the sacrifice and loss that accompanies service for something greater (in this case, the state). It should come as no surprise to any reader of her books that this one succeeds just as well as the others, if not more so. Robin Hobb has done a superb job with providing more a mature progression of personalities of the same characters we grew to know as part of The Farseer trilogy, something few other authors do well.
I strongly recommend this book, and that of its predecessors to anyone who enjoys good fantasy. I will make a point of warning all that this series must be started from Assassin's Apprentice to properly understand the characters, their histories and the emotions that are attached to relationships that continue throughout the series.
Unless you are Forged, you will find parts of the book to be heart-rending. This is a book that is impossible to put down once it is started - go to bed early when reading this book as night reading so that you will finish it before the sun comes up. Remember to have some tissues near by - you will cry.