A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 289: Fool’s Fate, Chapter 12

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series

The next chapter, “Cousins,” offers a snippet of translated in-milieu verse before moving to the continued progress of Dutiful’s errand. Political arrangements are noted, and preparations are made to depart Wuislington for Zylig. They include drugging Thick and bringing him aboard ship unconscious, which results in a substantial upset when he wakes, as well as Fitz’s shame. He reports as much and makes his recommendations regarding Thick to Chade and Dutiful when he reports to them aboard ship while they are underway. And he finds himself the object of Dutiful’s anger.

Dutiful demands from Fitz the truth about Nettle. Asked bluntly by his prince, Fitz answers as openly and honestly as he can, Chade exulting in the revelation and noting his own objection to the arrangements that had been made. Dutiful upbraids both Chade and Fitz for their parts in the deception, but he agrees that Fitz should be the one to inform Nettle of her origins. Discussion continues, Fitz and Chade falling into open and pragmatic discussions that scandalize Dutiful, and the conversation soon draws to a close.

After, Fitz checks up on Thick, finding himself subjected to the other man’s ire through the Skill, and he surveys the other passengers on their ship. Later, he tries to contact Nettle through the Skill, failing to do so and suffering for the remainder of the trip to Zylig.

Once in port, Fitz goes to work gathering information, gaining a general sense of the situation Dutiful’s party faces. The question of Thick arises again, and Fitz learns that the Six Duchies delegation that had remained in Zylig had done well for itself. He also learns the terms on which the Hetgurd agrees to allow the challenge of Aslevjal to take place as he and Chade confer. The next morning, though, sees more trouble from Thick as the party makes to depart for Aslevjal, and Web notes in an idle aside to Fitz that he has sent Swift to retrieve Thick as a sort of test of his ability in the Wit. Web offers once again, a final time, to teach Fitz, as well, and Fitz is dilatory in availing himself of it as the voyage gets underway.

At length, the party arrives at Aslevjal, which is described–and the Fool awaits them on the shore.

As I reread the chapter this time, I found Web’s comments about Fitz not finding time to learn more of the Wit resonant. I am not possessed of any magics, certainly, nor of any particular power or importance. Even so, there seems always to be some task or another to which I can devote my attention, to which I should devote it, and they all seem to get in the way of something else. I know that something else is important, certainly, and I know I ought to attend to it. At the same time, the tasks that present themselves to me are ones that need doing, and it is easy to set aside the nebulous for the concrete.

All too easy, in fact.

Care to send a little something my way?


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