- Hardcover: 624 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition edition (2 July 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007196180
- ISBN-13: 978-0007196180
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.8 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Soldier Son Trilogy (3) - Renegade's Magic Hardcover – 2 Jul 2007
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'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.'
‘Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.’
Praise for The Liveship Traders series:
‘Even better than the Assassin books. I didn’t think that was possible.’
George R R Martin
From the Back Cover
The people of Getty's town remember the death of their cemetery soldier vividly. They remember believing him guilty of unspeakable crimes, condemning him, and then watching as other men of his unit beat him until he no longer drew breath.
But Nevare Burvelle didn't die that day, though everyone believes they saw it happen. He was cornered by a power far more intractable than an angry mob.
When he was a boy, the magic of the Specks - the dapple-skinned tribes of the frontier forests - claimed Nevare as a saviour; severing his soul in two, naming his stolen half Soldier's Boy and shaping him into a weapon to halt the Gernian expansion into their lands and save their beloved ancestor trees.
Until now Nevare has defied the magic, unable to accept his traitorous fate. But the magic has won: it has extinguished his once golden future, devastated his family and has now turned his own people against him. Faced with endangering the only loved-ones he has left, Nevare has no choice but to surrender to its will and enter the forest.
But surrendering to his Speck destiny is only the beginning of his trials. Before he submits completely, Nevare makes one desperate last attempt to deter the Gernians from the Barrier Mountains without causing them harm. But the magic accepts no compromise. Exhausted, Nevare can no longer suppress his traitorous Speck self, Soldiers Boy. Losing control, he becomes a prisoner in his own body; able only to watch helplessly as his other half takes
Soldier's Boy is determined to stop the Gernian expansion at all cost, and unlike Nevare, he has no love, nor sympathy for his spirit-twin's world.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Was it worth reading? Yes and no. I read this book simply because I'd read the previous two, and had to know what happened next. Unfortunately, Nevare is - if it's possible - bent on feeling even more sorry for himself than before in this final volume. Without giving too much away, a good chunk of this book really is just him thinking 'woe is me' as he watches the events of the world unfold around him.
Luckily, the book redeems itself at the end - not because of the ending itself (indeed, I was a little incredulous. Again, I can't explain this properly without giving out spoilers, but the thought that ran through my head was "... that's IT? THAT'S all they had to do? Why on earth did it take three books to accomplish this?"), but because the quality of the writing picks up. The story moves forward. Things HAPPEN.
There are, in fact, two endings to this book. The first is annoyingly simple, and then the second one is... convenient.
In short, this is a story that's been stretched over too many books, and elongated pointlessly. Two books would've done it, and been more engaging for the brevity.
Should you buy this book? If you've read the other two, you may as well. If you're new to Robin Hobb, however, this is NOT the series to start with. Go back and read Ship of Magic (the Liveship Traders series, my personal favourite), or maybe Assassin's Apprentice (the Farseer Trilogy) to see Hobb at her best.
"Not bad, but not great" is my verdict for this book. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.
Hobb has created a wonderfully detailed society in the Specks, and she spends a lot of time in Renegade's Magic exploring it as Navarre and Soldier's Boy try to come to terms with what's become of them. This book, as is the rest of the series, is told in first person by Navarre, but for much of the book Navarre is a disembodied presence in Soldier's Boy's body. Thus, we get many passages of Navarre being horrified by what Soldier's Boy is doing with his body, of Navarre trying to either take control of the body or of him trying to influence Soldier's Boy's thinking. Narratively, I'm sure there's a reason for it, but occasionally it becomes obvious that Hobb needed time to pass quickly so she has Soldier's Boy cause Navarre to disappear for a while. Since we see through Navarre's eyes, we don't see anything until he wakes up again.
I did greatly appreciate the depth that Hobb brings to Navarre and to Soldier's Boy as well, the latter of which is even more impressive given the fact that we only see him through Navarre's eyes. Yes, one could say that this entire series is a 2000+ page character study of Navarre, in addition to a fantasy examination of the struggles between nature and science/technology, but the character study is the most interesting part.Read more ›
The fact is that it does not wholly come alive ; and that one is left with a sense that allegory and good intentions are no match for careful, original plotting.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The final book did not dissappoint either. I was weeping unashamedly. What a talented writer.Published 3 months ago by Norma Grose
Just hated putting it down. Kept me totally enthralled from start to finish. Always enjoy her books and anal so differentPublished 5 months ago by Kim