The thrilling conclusion to the master fantasist's epic Soldier Son Trilogy--an extraordinary adventure of love and intrigue, privilege, and magic.The thrilling conclusion to the master fantasist's epic Soldier Son Trilogy--an extraordinary adventure of love and intrigue, privilege, and magic.Hide synopsis
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The third book of the Soldiers Son Trilogy was just as exciting as the first two. Set in a imaginary land where there are at least three different peoples with different attitudes toward magic, this fantasy sends us on a roller coaster ride.
Absolutely loved Hobb's 3 trilogies (Farseer, Live Ships and Tawny Man) and my expectations were a little skewed. At my initial reading of the first book in this trilogy, I was disappointed. I wanted Fitz and The Fool!! Now ... that being said ... I ultimately managed to get through this trilogy with an open mind and loved this too. Given a chance, this book (the trilogy) is brilliant on many levels.
Under Hobb's craftsmanship, this unnamed world becomes real (in my head) and the characters become entities that I know and understand and become emotionally involved with ... which, for me, is necessary in great fiction. Plus, she very deftly delivers a number of great messages without compromising the story or hitting you over the head with it.
I highly recommend and I look forward to Hobb's next endeavors.
I found `Renegade's Magic' (the third and concluding part of the Soldier Son series) to be a bit of a slow-burner. The final high-octane scenes of the previous story `Forest Mage' were very likely the most engrossing scenes of this trilogy up to that point, as charged with electricity as Nevare was charged with the unpredictable magic of the elusive Speck race. Therefore it's understandable that the subsequent story detailing our protagonists trek into the forest and escape from his former military outpost home are less thrilling and less involving than the previous books' breath-stealing climax.
Very shortly, after a hundred or so pages the story literally quickens its pace, but even so I felt disheartened that I wasn't more emotionally-involved and more eager to leap through the pages of this final story in a trilogy by Robin Hobb. While it's clearly a superbly written, highly enjoyable novel and there are many characters whom I personally liked & empathised with, I didn't feel the cataclysmic events of plot so synonymous with this author were as explosively thrilling for a large portion of this story as they had been in the previous two stories. Although you might be justified in describing some portions of `Shaman's Crossing' and `Forest Mage' as pedestrian by Hobb's excessively high standards, for me both books possessed in abundance those shock twists that are one of the well-known characteristics of this author e.g. the mass plague set into motion by Nevare in the first story and the decimation of his frontier home and the deaths of many of his loved ones in the second. So it was with mild disappointment that I noted fewer of those heart-stopping, maddeningly addictive twists in `Renegade's Magic' than I expected to find in this the closing story.
But of course, in the lead-up to the finale events take on an unpredictable and engrossing life of their own as Nevare becomes ever more conflicted in his dual existence as magically-bound forest mage and loyal soldier son, building to a crescendo which this author has never neglected to provide for her readers. But before that familiar escalation of character torment and unexpected directions in plot as I said, I found this story a little lacking, despite my deep appreciation of this unique and welcomingly refreshing series in the Robin Hobb fantasy canon.
As a novel you might pick up without ever having read any of this author's previous works I'd easily award the book 5 stars for its superlative prose and sumptuous vocabulary if nothing else, but as a long-time fan forced to rate to a higher standard 4 stars feels more appropriate, because personally I preferred the second story in the trilogy `Forest Mage'. But very truthfully as the ending to the story dawned I was left quite breathless with the symmetry of the tale and smiled ear-to-ear as the story ended on the perfectly enigmatic note. A wonderful series.
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