In short, Fitz and the Fool are both broken men when we pick up this story. There are so many things that happen to Fitz and the Six Duchies of tremendous import here, I hesitate to reveal any of them. Some are wonderful Fitz , others are harrowing Chade , while still others initially provide for a strong sense of cognitive dissonance Fitz and the Fool. But of everything, the emotional flavor of this novel for me was bittersweet — heartwarming passages and emotional highs followed by the depths of despair. My point is that these two characters have spent a great deal of time apart dealing with emotional and physical hardships. They both had to have their souls nearly destroyed so they could become the ideal versions of themselves through a rebirth and healing to confront their adversaries. Robin Hobb balanced their tension with a quiet reserve during many of the court scenes and meetings that Fitz was obliged to experience very well, giving both frustration and hope.