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My verdict on Renegade's Magic and the entire Soldier Son trilogy - Printable Version

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My verdict on Renegade's Magic and the entire Soldier Son trilogy - Albertosaurus Rex - Sep-06-2011

I finished Renegade's Magic about an hour ago. It took me quite a while to get through this book - not that I didn't like it, but my vacation has stretched on for so long that I was getting a little tired of reading every day, all day. The wheather has been really erratic the past few weeks, so I haven't been out much. College is starting again tomorrow and I'm actually looking forward to it. Now, on to the book...

To be honest, The Soldier Son trilogy may be my least favorite of Robin Hobb's works. Not that I didn't enjoy it, just not as much as Farseer or Liveship Traders. The characters, while well drawn, didn't come to life as much as the characters from previous books. There seems to be some wasted potential - while Caulder briefly pops up again and redeems himself, characters like Gord and Trist fail to show up again. I kind of expected to see them turn up at Gettys eventually. (Yes, I know Nevare dreamwalks to Gord, but it's nothing more than the briefest of cameo's.)
Shaman's Crossing still feels like a really long prologue to me, and a lot of things, while adding much depth to the world of Gernia and the Specks, kinda fall by the wayside as the story progresses, like the rivalry between the old and new nobles.

Anyway... the divided soul of Nevare was handled well, although it felt odd to have Nevare be powerless for so much of the book. And then finally merge... and get split again after spending barely a month as a tree? By the way:


Alright, now that I've got that out of my system, let's move on. So Nevare was a tree, and now he isn't. He's split again, one part remaining with Lisana, another reclaiming his old life with Amzil at his side, while the plainspeople have lost the magic of the Dancing Spindle. Is this our happy ending? Because to be honest, it feels a bit odd to me.
I seem to be piling on a lot of criticism, so let me stress again: yes I did enjoy it.

More thoughts as I have them. Feel free to discuss.


RE: My verdict on Renegade's Magic and the entire Soldier Son trilogy - Nuytsia - Sep-06-2011

It's been a long time since I read it, but I'd agree with your assessment.
Yes the ending did feel odd to me, kind of eerie, but not necessarily in a bad way.
In fact it's hard for me to think of an ending of a book that I've really loved! I'm certainly not a fan of the happy ending with all loose ends tied up neatly...


RE: My verdict on Renegade's Magic and the entire Soldier Son trilogy - Albertosaurus Rex - Sep-07-2011

Time for some positivity. I liked the way that Hobb caught the conflict between the Gernians and Specks: although the Gernians are clearly the agressors, it is clear that most people on both sides fail to understand one another, rather than being actively malicious.

Something struck me earlier today: the fat man at the carnival in Old Thares. Other Gernians than Nevare sometimes also get fat after being infected with Speck plague. So I suppose that the magic is trying to use those people as well? Did the fat man have a destiny that he failed to achieve?


RE: My verdict on Renegade's Magic and the entire Soldier Son trilogy - chongjasmine - Sep-28-2014

I find the soldier son trilogy to be depressing at times.
For instance, when the main character starts to grow fat, so many people were nasty towards him.


RE: My verdict on Renegade's Magic and the entire Soldier Son trilogy - KekPafrany - Oct-11-2014

(Sep-28-2014, 11:11 AM (UTC))chongjasmine Wrote: I find the soldier son trilogy to be depressing at times.
For instance, when the main character starts to grow fat, so many people were nasty towards him.

That something that most of the fat people experience in their lives.


RE: My verdict on Renegade's Magic and the entire Soldier Son trilogy - chongjasmine - Mar-06-2016

(Oct-11-2014, 10:47 PM (UTC))KekPafrany Wrote:
(Sep-28-2014, 11:11 AM (UTC))chongjasmine Wrote: I find the soldier son trilogy to be depressing at times.
For instance, when the main character starts to grow fat, so many people were nasty towards him.

That something that most of the fat people experience in their lives.

Sad, isn't it?