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Forest Mage (2006)

Forest Mage (2006)

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3.31 of 5 Votes: 5
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0060757639 (ISBN13: 9780060757632)

About book Forest Mage (2006)

First let me say that I have another series on my shelf by Robin Hobb. When I started this trilogy I noted from others who had read it and reviewed it that several of them said it was far from Robin Hobb's best work. Several also said if you haven't read anything by Robin Hobb don't start here. Some said they would recommend these books only to Robin Hobb fans. From this I take hope.I see many liked it a great deal...I see some people I usually agree with liked it a great deal...I liked the first book in the series fairly well (if interested see my review here)...If Ms. Hobb should ever read this let me say, I'm sorry, but....I really dislike, I almost hate this piece of c**p.Dorthy Parker Quote: "This Is Not a Novel To Be Tossed Aside Lightly. It Should Be Thrown with Great Force"The book was somewhere between two thirds and three quarters too long. It rambles slowly, is annoying, frustrating and redundant. There is a LONG first section where we are treated to a LONG rehash of the first volume in the series. After that we get a LONG, LONG, LONG loving description of the disintegration of the protagonists life and dreams. We "enjoy" the story of a lithe, strong, healthy young man as he gets (her word here) "fatter" and "fatter" and "fatter" (you see the forest mages are this way. They are "Great" persons. The fat men are "great" men the fat women are "great" women.) We get to revel in the loss of his fiance'. We are allowed to experience with him being disowned by his father (whom he suddenly realizes in a moment of clarity his mother fears. So much for the man he looked up to HIS WHOLE LIFE). The book is a LONG, DRAWN OUT, story of Nevare learning about and resisting the "magic"...of becoming a forest mage. It is a LONG, DRAWN OUT book full of scenes of crudity, cruelty, and animalistic behavior (though that word [especially in this case] is an insult to animals. I've never seen animals act as crudely or as cruelly as the people in this book). By the end of the book I was tired, disgusted, and felt as if I'd taken the long way around in a sewage treatment plant.I didn't like it, if I could give it less than one star I would...sorry if you really liked it...this is my experience and my view of this novel. Will I try to finish the trilogy? I don't know yet. I feel as if I should give it a chance as the first book was SOOOOO much better than this one. Had I bought this I would long ago have thrown it across the room and then placed it in my to be sold or traded pile. Should I try the third I will not drag myself to the finish if the first third or so is as bad as this one. As I said I own and have on my shelf several of Ms. Hobbs books and I have seen good things about them. I know that I'd hate to read a review this poor about something I'd written. I assume this book simply wasn't written for me, but for those of you who do like it greatly. I'm happy for you and hope for better later. ***********************************************************Update, I've decided. Why would I consider using any of my limited reading time to try and finish a trilogy when I hated the second book this much? NO I don't plan to follow up this book and read the third.

Most of what I like about this book and Robin Hobb's writing I've already said in my review of the first book so I'll just link to that here. The beginning of that review still holds true.Just as the first book describes Nevare's journey or perhaps "coming of age" as a Soldier's Son in Cavalry school, this book might be described as a belated "coming of age" story where Nevare grows in a journey of "becoming" in regards to the Speck Magic that claims him.In some ways this does feel like a "middle book" in that it feels like a second act in a three act play with it's own setting and with a defined end to that setting that serves to bridge the first and third act. In a lot of ways it seems the plot is treading water till the next book - and yet there is actually a lot going on with Nevare, with his magic and with his relationships, and with his physical challenges. We also get a closer look at the Speck and their magic.One observation I'd like to make about the magic is the difference between the magic in this series to date and the magic in the Fitz and Fool books. In this series so far, magic is kind of accepted by the Gernians as maybe being real and yet it is not generally believed that it should be treated seriously as having any agency in the "real world." It tends to be regarded as superstition. Compare this to the Fitz and Fool novels where magic is treated as being as real as the physical world. Not everyone has it, but everyone believes in it. There are "Skill" Coteries that are respected and feared as people who can do real magic - and their are those with the "Wit Magic" who are reviled and feared as people who can share minds with animals etc.Having said all that, magic is a lot more overt this book, to the point where Nevare is not able to simply ignore it as he mostly did last book.I opted to read this book as opposed to listening to it and have found at times that I miss Jonathon Barlow. I think his audio narration enhanced my enjoyment of the last book. But, I still found myself getting lost in this world and looking forward to picking up the story at the beginning of each reading session. I'm giving this one ...4.25 stars

Do You like book Forest Mage (2006)?

Good follow-up to Shaman's crossing. Takes several characters we knew and extends them, in fact for most of them (particularly the protagonist) it upends the and completely redefines/makes them. It's tempting to be mad about that because characters I liked (Bervelle pere) turn out even worse and in some case characters I didn't like (tree woman) turn out better but I believe that it is really a case of the a boy becoming a man and the change in perspective that carries. Hobb really does have a innovative and fresh approach to magic that gets us out of the pseudo-d&d fantasy ghetto.One thing I need to point out though is that if you have issues about fatness this book is really going to make your stretch. I've always been a fat guy and there were parts of this book that were REALLY tough to read (listen to). Hobb took a full measured swing at these issues in the first book but with this one she dives in with both feet and plumbs the depths in bathyspheric detail. It you have fat issue triggers this book is going to pull them like a lanyard on a howitzer.If you read the first book you know she doesn't do fairy tale happy endings. Her characters here go through some really raw, ugly, painful shit, but then isn't that what we read novels for?
—R. Michael Litchfield

I actually liked the character of Nevare better in this one. It was a strange choice for Hobb to make her lead gain so much weight. In parts it reminded me of the Stephen King book Thinner. I thought she did a good job showcasing of feeling betrayed by your body. I also thought she did a fine job of changing the character just enough in response to his new hardships. I felt a sympathy for him that I didn't in the first.Although some things were way too repetitive. Baths and cleaning come to mind but mostly bread. Seriously don't read this book hungry. The prose describing his meals are beautifully constructed however it does get to be a bit much.When I started the first book I thought it was going to follow the Pocohantus route. I guess I should give credit that she didn't use that old formula. But I wonder if it would've made a better book. I instantly liked the scout characters and so much effort was used to observe them I thought for sure Nevare would become a scout. And I don't like the Specks. For a colonist vs natives story to work you usually need to like the natives. I liked the Plainsmen better. The Specks are maybe too different. Too weird. I do like the plague, how it's spread and why.And now for the bizarre. Trees being the contaners for souls isn't new. I thought that's where we were headed but I hoped to be wrong. I think what bothers me most about that is the lack of originality. Well and the following scene might be the worst I remember reading [spoilers removed] I think that's when I started to loose interest.The nudity and sexual content reminded me of cable. A cheap attention grabber. Some of it seemed to be writen by or for pre and early teen boys.I'm probably making it sound like I hated this book. I didn't. There are moments of brilliance. Hobb can definately write. It's more disappointment than hatred. Potentially it could've been much better. I will read the next book but because of the author.

The awful thing about trilogies is having to read through to the end of the third book to discover what happens, but while I might skim the last chapter of the next book in a shop, I doubt I will buy it. Forest Mage was such a disappointment, given how much I enjoyed Hobbs' earlier Farseer books—I found this novel repetitive and pedestrian. I never found myself liking Nevare, and for a number of personal reasons, the constant remarks about his weight made for uncomfortable reading. I felt twitchy and discomfited for all seven hundred odd pages—about two hundred of which could have been discarded anyway, with no loss to the plot or the characterisation. Hobb does do some interesting things with colonisation and ethnocentrism, but a lack of subtlety weakens her writing, not to mention that it sometimes takes Nevare dozens of pages to figure out something that the reader has already taken as a given.

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