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Forest Mage (The Soldier Son Trilogy, Book 2) Paperback – 5 Feb 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.'
From the Inside Flap
'Fantasy as it ought to be written' George R.R. Martin
The King's Cavalla Academy has been ravaged by the Speck plague.
The disease has decimated the ranks of both cadets and instructors, and even the survivors remain sickly. Many have been forced to relinquish their military ambitions and return to their families to face lives of dependency and disappointment.
As the Academy infirmary empties, Cadet Nevare Burvelle also prepares to journey home, to attend his brother Rosse's wedding. Far from being a broken man, Nevare is hale and hearty after his convalescence. He has defeated his nemesis, Tree Woman and freed himself of the Speck magic that infected him and attempted to turn him against his own people. A bright future awaits him as a commissioned officer betrothed to a beautiful young noblewoman.
Yet his nights are still haunted by dreams of the voluptuous Tree Woman, dreams in which his Speck self betrays everything he holds dear in his waking life. Has the plague infected him in ways far more mysterious than the merely physical?
Despite his fears, Nevare will journey back to Widevale in high spirits, in full expectation of a jubilant homecoming and a tender reunion with his beautiful fiancée, Carsina. But his life is about to take a shocking turn, as the magic in his blood roars to life and forces him to recognize that his most dangerous enemy, an enemy that seeks to destroy all he loves, might dwell within him.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
A Mr Blobby anti hero, who is totally pathetic with no common sense and moaning that he is not sure what to do all the time. Easily forgettable and quite horrid sub-characters, the ex fiancé for example and a road going nowhere, what more do we need.
I love Fitz and the Liveship books but this series is so slow and ponderous. The only exciting bit is in the last chapters. I've started the next one just to see where it ends up, rather like the road. Do your self a favour if you value your time and read something else.
1) yes. I get it. Nevare was clearly an idiot. That's why he was sent off with dewara. But I refuse to believe anyone can be this much of an idiot.
2) just. Nothing happens. I've got used to Robin hobb's slow middle books in all her trilogies. But nothing happens. Whiny brat gets fat, runs away, whines for 20 chapters, runs away again.
Some people have called this trilogy dark. It is. And it's good at making you think about the plight of the fat man. But Nevare just acts so unbelievably stupidly at every turn, demonstrating a total lack of any of the skills he learned at the academy.
Now here I am buying the sequel with hope in my heart, unfortunately this warm glow of hope was crushed. I even had to force myself to finish this, something I've rarely ever needed to do. All I felt was frustration and disgust towards the lead character, lets face it he made my fists itch and my stomach turn with all the self-righteous self-pity. If this was the desired intention of the author then all praise is due her.
Now for only the second time will I refuse to finish a series, especially at the price it will first published under. I sincerely hope that the books that follow from the well of her inspiration are of the previously HIGH standard.
the first book in this series, i admit, left me feeling a bit disappointed. Now i have finished this book, however, i am much reassured. because of the fact that this is quite a hefty trilogy, it's only right that the fist installment should set the scene.
i was dubious about starting this one, but as soon as i sat down with it i knew that Robin Hobb had done it again! without rehashing the plot (you can just read other reviews for that) let me assure you that Forest Mage pulls out all the stops and i wish it was already july 07! i cannot wait for the final installment, not least to find out what the hell he has to do for the magic!
On the positive side, Forest Mage beats Shaman's Crossing hands down. Nevare's character has definately been progressed and he certainly has more personality. Forest Mage also has some wonderful descriptive moments- don't read dieting, it makes you crave food, the desciptions are so convincing!
This book however, did make me cringe. Nevare seems to constantly go back to pain and suffering when part of you just wants to scream at him to do something else. I also found the descriptions of his weight quite upsetting and how he feels imprisoned within his own flesh (although I think this was the point, it seems to just get unnecessary to do this to a character, but maybe I am soft on characters!). This book seems to take angst to a new level, as the character is emotionally tortured at what is happening, yet doesn't seem to see the way out of the pain and turns his back on it. I also got a few hundred pages into the book and wondered where the forest in the title was!
I think that there is a deep flaw in Nevare in that he simply becomes annoying because he is so dutiful and honest. I just felt like screaming at him to stand up for himself and maybe stop being so damn "good" all the time.
I know I've complained, but I think it's all mainly because of the comparisons I inevitably make to Assassin and Fool (I never found Liveships as entertaining either). It's a very good book in itself, and I would recommend it :o) I'm looking forward to Renegade Magic, although not as much as I would towards another FItz and Fool book!