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Shaman's Crossing (The Soldier Son Trilogy) Hardcover – 4 Jul 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; First Edition edition (4 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007196121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007196128
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 751,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Hobb is a New York Times best-selling fantasy author. She is published in English in the US, UK and Australia, and her works have been widely translated. Her short stories have been finalists for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, as well as winning the Asimov's Readers Award. Her best known series is The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest.)

Robin Hobb was born in Oakland California, but grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has spent her life mostly in the Pacific Nortwest region of the US, and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington State, with her husband Fred. They have four grown offspring, and six grandchildren.

Robin Hobb is a pen name for Margaret Ogden. She has also written under the name Megan Lindholm.

She published her first short story for children when she was 18,and for some years wrote as a journalist and children's writer. Her stories for children were published in magazines such as Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children, Jack & Jill and Highlights for Children. She also created educational reading material for children for a programmed reading series by SRA (Science Research Associates.) She received a grant award from the Alaska State Council on the arts for her short story "The Poaching", published in Finding Our Boundaries in 1980.

Fantasy and Science Fiction had always been her two favorite genres, and in the late 70's she began to write in them. Her initial works were published in small press 'fanzines' such as Space and Time (editor Gordon Linzner). Her first professionally published story was "Bones for Dulath" that appeared in the Ace anthology AMAZONS!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson in 1979. A short time later, a second Ki and Vandien story entitled The Small One was published in FANTASTIC in 1980.

During that time period, she and her family had moved from Alaska to Hawaii, and subsequently to Washington State, where they settled. She had various money making occupations (waitress, salesperson, etc.) while striving with her writing. Her husband Fred continued to fish Alaskan waters and was home only about 3 months out of every year. The family lived on a small farm in rural Roy where they raised lots of vegetables, chickens, ducks, geese and other small livestock.

In 1983, her first novel, Harpy's Flight, was published by Ace under the pen name Megan Lindholm. Her later titles under that name included Wizard of the Pigeons, Alien Earth, Luck of the Wheels, and Cloven Hooves.

In 1995, she launched her best selling series of books set in the Realm of the Elderlings. At that time, she began writing as Robin Hobb. Her first trilogy of books were about her popular characters, FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool. The Farseer Trilogy is comprised of Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest. These books were followed by The Liveship Traders trilogy, set in the same world. The Tawny Man trilogy returned to the tale of Fitz and the Fool. Most recently, the four volumes of the Rain Wilds Chronicles were published: Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons.

In 2013, it was announced that she would return to her best-loved characters with a new trilogy, The Fitz and the Fool trilogy. The first volume, Fool's Assassin, will be published in August of 2014.

Other works as Robin Hobb include The Soldier Son trilogy and short stories published in various anthologies. A collection of her shorter works as both Lindholm and Hobb is available in The Inheritance.

She continues to reside in Tacoma, Washington, with frequent visits to the pocket farm in Roy.

Product Description


'Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.'
The Times

Praise for The Liveship Traders series:

‘Even better than the Assassin books. I didn’t think that was possible’
George R R Martin

A truly extraordinary saga… the characterizations are consistently superb, and [Hobb] animates everything with love for and knowledge of the sea. If Patrick O’Brian were to turn to writing high fantasy, he might produce something like this.’

‘A wonderful book, by a writer at the height of her abilities’
J V Jones

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Book One of the Soldier Son Trilogy

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. Clayton on 11 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been an avid reader of Robin Hobb's books and own most of her work published under both Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm.

I found this book the hardest of them all to read. The first half is very long and boring, nothing interesting really happens until at least half way though the book. The writing style is different than all her previous books, it lacks the flow and interesting twists and turns of previous titles. My copy contains numerous spelling mistakes!

This book isn't a patch on the assassin or farseer books. I do want to read the next installment but I may just borrow it from the library rather than buy my own copy to see if it is worth owning!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E.M.L. on 14 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
I can't say I was entirely impressed with this book. It's somewhat long-winded, the ending was something of an anticlimax, and the characters were not developed sufficiently for the reader to relate to them. Even so, there must have been something compelling about the plot, because I never considered giving up reading it and am considering buying the rest of the trilogy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mooji on 30 April 2007
Format: Paperback
......but it's worth reading.

Will Robin Hobb ever surpass her amazing Farseer novels? Perhaps not, but Shaman's Crossing is still a very good book. It is difficult to read her very distinctive prose and not hear more about Fitz, the fool, Nighteyes, but this novel has the potential to really go somewhere.

Her characterisation is at first, a little one dimensional. For a comprehensive book without a heavy plotline I expected much more vivid and alive characters - they didn't occur, but, seeds have definitely been set for development.

This novel seems more ambitious than her others. The books she wrote under the pen name Meghan Lindholm weren't hugely great, but showed some real promise. This book seems to fit perfectly between those and the Farseer novels - but lacks the real passion I felt whilst reading the latter. Still, I shall persevere, mainly because I know how talented Ms Hobbs is, but also because she had the courtesy to reply to an email I sent her many moons ago.

Some books are awful - some are hard work and take some time to get into - I genuinely believe this novel is the latter.
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86 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Fong on 6 July 2005
Format: Hardcover
Robin Hobb is well known, in fantasy circles at least, as being a writer of fiction with a more serious bent. In her Farseer Trilogy, her theme was that of a coming of age; in her Liveship Trilogy, she addressed the issue of how people deal, or fail to deal with life's lessons. Her aim is both higher, and broader here, as she tackles boundaries and differences, between cultures, within cultures, between classes, and within classes.
Like in the Farseer trilogy, she writes in the first person; her protagonist, Nevare, is the second son of a newly appointed noble who was a colonial style trooper. Nevare can be likened to her Farseer hero's shadow, being restrained where Fitz was passionate; willingly constrained by authority and tradition where Fitz was not. There are essentially three peoples in his world - the Gernian, who can almost be likened to the British colonials, the plainspeople who are an allegory for the Native Americans, and the Speck, a people more alien and wild. The way Hobb sets up the interaction between these three cultures is thought provoking in a way that typical fantasy writing is not; the theme of cross cultural segregation shapes the people in this world and significantly directs their fate. Within this context, Nevare himself wrestles with a class divide that echoes the cultural segregration.
One of the most pleasing aspects about this book is how well it can be read as a stand alone novel, despite it being the first in a trilogy. The ending is satisfying, although it is a happy fact that there are another two books to come. Her hero is a sympathetic one, and her usual deft touch ensures that the reader feels some sympathy for the her antagonists as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DLD Woods on 13 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
The first thing I have to say is that if you've never read any of Robin Hobb's books before, do NOT start with this one. Go back to Ship of Magic, or Assassin's Apprentice.

It's not a bad book, certainly, but it doesn't live up to its predecessors. The purpose of this books seems to be to introduce Hobb's world, her characters, and to lay down the beginnings of the overall plot. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave much room for this book to have a story of its own. There are some memorable new characters (Epiny and Lisana ['Tree Woman'] being good examples), but Nevare - the main character - is constantly feeling sorry for himself. There IS a reason for this, it later turns out, but it doesn't change the fact that he is almost annoying, and really that spoils what could've been a very good book.

Not bad, but don't start with it if you're new to Hobb.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on 7 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
With the conclusion of the Tawny Man trilogy (Fool's Fate), Robin Hobb has decided to move on, at least temporarily, to another world she's created. Shaman's Crossing is the first book in the "Soldier Son" trilogy, but it is quite self-contained. In fact, if the front cover didn't mention the trilogy, I would never have known (though I probably could have guessed, considering everybody's writing trilogies these days). I do like the fact that it's a story in itself, and it's fairly complete with no dangling ends. Unfortunately, it is also incredibly slow which makes it really hard to get through.
In Hobb's new world, the first son of a noble inherits the title and property of the lord. The second son of a noble is destined to be a soldier. Recently, the king has raised certain soldiers who acquitted themselves well in the previous wars versus the Plainsmen to a "new" series of lordships, which has created a lot of class tension between the originals and the new. Navare is the second son of one of the new nobles, and he can't wait to grow up and go to the military academy and become an officer. All of his childhood is geared to that destiny, and he can't think of anything else that he could be. But when he gets there, all is not what it seems. A strange encounter as he was growing up seems to be affecting his dreams now, and his very odd cousin, Epiny, sees another aura around him that doesn't appear to be his own. Will his hard times at the academy grow into murder? Or worse? And what of the magic that appears to be affecting his very soul? Navare's first year at the academy may be his last.
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