Share for friends:

Renegade's Magic (2008)

Renegade's Magic (2008)

Book Info

3.43 of 5 Votes: 1
Your rating
006147312X (ISBN13: 9780061473128)

About book Renegade's Magic (2008)

** spoiler alert ** I love Robin Hobb. I really do. I’ve reread the Farseer trilogy a couple of times over the years. I loved Tawny Man. (Not so much the Madship series, but there you are.) But this Soldier Son trilogy… It’s unique; there’s a lot in it that I’ve never seen before. The character of Nevare is also unique: starting out as a fairly typical soldier’s son, he leads us through the training (that I enjoyed), then through being taken over by the magic… Neither of these is part of the uniqueness, but the way they are handled is.What I didn’t enjoy is Nevare’s utter wishy-washiness. I understand the reasoning behind it, given the … unique situation with his character revealed to the reader a ways in. But the understanding came quite a while into the trilogy, and by then it was rather too late. “I’m going to be a true soldier’s son, the best.” “Well, no, I’m going to do what the magic prompts me to, because those I love could be hurt.” “No! I will follow my dream and go be an officer.” “The dreams are telling me to do what the magic tells me to, and I’d better. And I’m too fat.” “I’ll lose weight!” “No, I won’t…” And so on. I wanted to knock his heads together.Reason number two that I doubt I’ll read this trilogy again is that it’s very nearly humorless. I’m not much for the guffaw-a-minute spoof books, but halfway through the first book of this one I realized that the outlook was very straight-faced, almost throughout. So, in fact, is Nevare. I mean, of course his life is tough, but if I’ve learned anything in the past couple of years, even in the midst of chaos there is the occasional laugh.Reason number three is almost cosmetic, I suppose, but it’s still strong: the jacket art for Renegade’s Magic (the American version, above). Don’t get me wrong – it’s beautiful. But it is one of the most spoilerific jackets I’ve ever seen. Only a couple of chapters in, Nevare has a realization of what could end the whole war between the Gernians and the Specks, and immediately stifles the thought for fear Soldier’s Boy will “hear” it… and suddenly it’s very very clear where the climax will go. Without that really very nice painting, there would at least be some doubt. With it, the rest of the book was eminently predictable.It’s quality writing, as always from Robin Hobb, consistent and solid (though the grammar goes surprisingly wonky at times). I just did not enjoy it remotely as much as some of her other work. I won’t trade it in – but I sincerely regret buying it in hardcover, and I doubt I’ll read it again.

I loved Shaman's Crossing and thought Forest Mage was okay, but Renegade's Magic was just too much. The narrative point-of-view is probably the biggest problem here. Again, we have first-person from Nevare's perspective--the problem is, Nevare's alter ego takes over his body, and he spends most of the 700-page book as an observer. At this point, I've had it with Nevare's impotence. I don't require incredibly decisive protagonists (thought he was great in book one, when he was relatable), but when they lack free will and literally cannot control their own actions, it bothers me. There are a number of ways the author could have made this trilogy more palatable: for instance (1) by writing it in the third person, using 3-4 POV characters, (2) by using a different narrator for each book and having Nevare narrate only #1 or (3) by letting Nevare become an army officer and come to similar situations of his own free will. Hobb does none of these, so the reading becomes increasingly frustrating. Like Forest Mage, Renegade's Magic comes in around 700 pages long and probably should have been 150 pages or so shorter. In earlier books the plot might have been slow but was always moving; here we get a dozen appearances by Orandula where one would do. Dialogue started to bother me here as well, as it has little in common with the way real people talk. Worse, interesting and important plot events happen in Nevare's absence. There's barely a climax--certainly nothing worthy of 2000 pages' reading--and the resolution was unsatisfying. Plus, there are some key continuity errors. For instance, Epiny has a brother. His name is Hotorn. The author seems to have forgotten his existence, along with that of Nevare's younger brother. (Someone please correct me if Hotorn died and I just forgot.) There are still things to like here: we see more of the world and especially the Speck culture, which is fascinating, as are many of the supporting characters. There is also a handful of very well-written and memorable moments. I wish that certain supporting characters would have played larger roles, though; in a book that plumbs so deeply into the psyches and relationships of the characters, it's not good to be left wondering why certain characters (Nevare and Epiny, Nevare and Amzil) care about each other so much. And using only Nevare's perspective while he spends most of the book with the Specks means key supporting characters like Yaril never appear at all, while others have minimal screen time. I still recommend Shaman's Crossing, but cannot recommend reading further in the trilogy.

Do You like book Renegade's Magic (2008)?

Robin Hobb fixes a lot of the problems (but not all of them) from previous books in this series.It's not quite as much the 'idiot plot' as before (where her characters have to be idiots to find themselves in the situations that they're in), and they act in a much more reasonable fashion.A lot of plot elements that drove previous books get explained, but they take a little too long to be explained.What rescued this book for me were Hobb's skillful writing style and engaging characters (even if they can be dense as stones), and the fact that the ending was a bit more hopeful than I thought it could be. It doesn't end with a loss of anything approaching what previous books (in this series and others) have experienced. If I didn't know better, I'd call it gain.This book touches on 4 stars, but doesn't quite deserve it. I did, however, end my reading experience satisfied with what I read.

The entire series was rather up and down for me. I enjoyed the first book very much, but was left confused as the series proceeded. I didn't feel any continuity between the first and second books, and was frustrated with the story to the point that I didn't even want to read the third book for a while. Once I finally picked it up, I was glad to see some questions answered, and some sense of continuity finally appeared. I don't think I would read it again, however, as I did not feel strongly attached enough to any of the characters, and parts of the plot irritated me, but I do think the way Hobb approached writing for Nevare and for his Speck self was quite well-done and should be recognized.

Such a peculiar trilogy…Before starting this last trilogy (still completely bedazzled from all the Elderling trilogies) I kept wondering why on earth this trilogy received such low ratings. But I think I got it now. It’s not that this is a bad series: it’s just not up to Robin-Hobb-standard, and whatever Hobb book isn’t up to that standard will feel like a low point – even if that assessment isn’t deserved in the grand scheme of fantasy literature.The story has its merits, but I kept thinking that she chose the wrong structure to tell it. Every book in this trilogy has a completely different scope: the first is the academy, the second Gettys, the third the Speck country. Doing it like this requires tons of world-building (not to mention the actual journey to this place) at the start of every book, making it impossible to build any sort of suspense until the end. And the last book in the series definitely suffered from that: absolutely no fireworks until page 500. That doesn’t mean she didn’t manage to surprise me though: there are some bold moves at the very end I did not see coming, and the last pages left me with a smile. But somehow it just doesn’t make up for the other issues I had with the book: the before mentioned general structure and the low connection to the main character that still remained from the previous books.

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Robin Hobb

Other books in series the soldier son trilogy

Other books in category Fiction