Albinos and dragons are a great start to any great trilogy. Throw into the mix two royal bastards, a telepathic mentally handicap man of large proportions, and vikings and the series is sure to win.
Okay let me digress a bit then I will come back to point.
So I know I didn’t go into much detail about the first trilogy because I believe it is like telling some Bruce Willis’s character is dead and that is a sin. I can’t imagine trying to read the Tawny Man books without having read the Farseer series. Don’t try. Not only will you not have much of a clue what is going on but it is also just bad form. Hobb has another trilogy in between these two called the Liveship Traders. They are kind of related but I read them after I read Tawny Man and I did just fine. Liveship is freaking cool and I highly suggest picking it up if you like the first trilogy. I am a bit of a purist though, I read everything in order if I can.
Anyway, the Tawny Man books start with our hero Fitz being emo and pouting in a remote cabin with a kid he randomly found and adopted. Fitz had a rough go of it in the last trilogy and decided to go live a simple life. He is writing some histories and farming. Then the Fool shows up and screws it all up.
In the first books, the Fool was an ambiguous character that Hobb left still shrouded in mystery. He was this colorless person whom didn’t seem quite human that always talked in riddles in the beginning of the books. By the end we find out a little more about him but we all had a lot of unanswered questions.
So the Fool shows up on Fitz’s doorstep and he has obviously changes. He is now more golden of color and is more richly dressed. When I read the books the first time I felt that he was constantly internally sighing at Fitz’s self centered moaning. He is basically one of the main forces that gets Fitz out of his lethargy.
Another transgression is order. I don’t think it will ruin anything by saying that Fitz lived and at the end of the first series there is a pregnant queen left in charge of the country. Also, in the first series they were fighting a terrible cult that had used terror to take control of a people called Outislanders. I bet you can guess that Fitz and his crew wins.
So years later when the Tawny Man picks up the queen has a royal son. She is a good queen, yadda yadda yadda. They have increased relations with the Outislanders (whom I will now call the vikings) instead of keeping hostilities going. Well in order to help promote relations the queen promises said royal son to a daughter of a powerful viking clan. All hell breaks lose.
I loved the first trilogy but this one is even better. I think a big part of this is because I am so in love with the Fool and Hobb focuses heavily on the relationship between Fitz and the Fool. Actually, all of the relationships are more complicated in this trilogy, I think Hobb knows these characters better for this trilogy and Fitz is older and a more complicated character so his perceptions and feelings have more depth.