Nevare Burvelle has survived major combat and is making a quick recovery from a disease plaguing his fellows in the King's army. He also believes he is free from the Speck magic that held him under its sway. Now traveling home to rendezvous with his fiancée, Nevare suffers haunting visions and soon realizes that malicious magic still resides within him - and is intent on destroying everything he holds dear.
©2006 Robin Hobb; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
I really wanted to like this series. The setting is awesome. There is a wonderful political landscape, a fairly original system for magic, and interesting peoples. The problem is that the individual characters are mind numbingly dull and painfully lacking in intelligence.
The main character of the novel is so amazingly un-dynamic that you wonder if he has any memory for the past events of the books. Three-fourths of the the way through the second book, we have watched him go through a vast number of experiences and been forced to tediously read his moaning and self-reflections on them, and then he repeats the same verbal responses, preforms the same actions, and gets the same results. We are told by other characters that he is smart and fit to go out on his own to explore and be a "Scout," but all the evidence we witness makes me wonder how anyone could reach that conclusion. Honestly, the book would be much improved if it randomly ended with, "And he fell in a hole and died. The End."
The other major issue is Hobb's inability to get to the point. I can't decide if Hobb wants us to see Burvelle as an idiot, or if she thinks the readers are so stupid as to need the same point to be retold to us 10 different ways. I guess it's one way to fill up space.
I journeyed with Nevare Burvelle because I wanted to see more of the world he inhabits, but seeing his world through his eyes while listening to his inner monologue is far to painful to continue into another book.
All of that said, the narration gives this tedious work some life. I'll be looking for other books read by Keating.
Robin Hobb is a talented writer. She comes up with interesting ideas and she can write.
But she seems to get in a rut in this series.
She writes the main character well enough that you care about him. But then, over and over again, he is misunderstood and accused of awful behavior and crimes. He moves from one place to another and then the same scene develops. Over and over again.
Yes, its purposeful and has a point, but it makes for a somewhat unpleasant read. Tedious.
im almost done with this book..and going to stop listing. The author, for some reason haves no concept of action. It's a good story, but is missing the hero i'd expect in a epic Fantacy book.
Another rousing series by epic fantasy writer, Robin Hobb. And when I say epic, I mean epic. She crafts a fully-integrated world, with not one, but two fully-realized peoples, cultures, histories, magics, and mythologies, and touches briefly enough on a third to give readers a glimpse into the swirling depths of the mind of a creative genius. She takes the reader/listener on a terrific and, occasionally, terrifying journey, and the intensity of it will take your breath away. Occasionally a bit of a slow read, it nevertheless is a rich piece of storytelling. The narration is beautifully done, with a few exceptions - places where the voices are inconsistent with the emotions described, etc. Nevertheless, John Keating does a magnificent job with giving each character a distinct voice, his own voice melodic in the telling of this fantastic tale.
Just as a caution: Read/listen to these books in order. It is a trilogy, and while it is, in theory, possible to read and understand them as separate entities, you would lose the massive arching story and many of the subplots and foreshadowings that are present right from the first page through the last (yes, quite literally. Mz. Hobb is, in fact, a genius when it comes to wrapping stories back around to their beginnings). Shaman's Crossing/Forest Mage/Renegade Magic, for those curious. Happy reading!
I played this book at 1.25 speed just to get it to end faster. I was already committed to the series and had enjoyed Robin Hobb's other books so immensely I kept thinking it was going to get better, it just had to, right? Wrong. It continued throughout to be a mediocre story with little actually happening. The performance, however, was good.
This isn't my first time reading Forest Mage, but it is my first time really giving it enough thought to review it. I don't know that I can be disappointed with Hobb's works. It just doesn't seem like a possibility for me. The balance of introspection and activity makes this book a true first-person wonder. The richness of the world around Nevare rivals our own world. Gernia is a real place. It's that simple. It's just a different reality from ours. Forest Mage truly feels like Hobb has traveled to that place, plucked a book from their world, and brought it back for us to enjoy. This is simply a masterpiece of storytelling, and one I am pleased to have uncovered.
Fantasy lovers, Hobb is well worth your time. I promise it.
The story is incredibly slow and drawn out. When dreadful things happened to Nevare (which they did repeatedly), I was so pleased that at least something was happening (probably not the reaction the author was after).
I quite liked the first book, but this one just dragged. I want to know what happens in the end, but don't know if I can face book three.
I understand that she is building the story for book three, but this book was torture. I kept waiting for the plot to just take off like her other stories do. But, the main character is so self-pitying and has no character growth. The further I got into the story, the more I hated him and hoped someone would kill him off... Terrible to say because I LOVE Robin Hobb, just not this book.
The story picks up in the very last few chapters.
It wasn't for me, but I will say I have read all of her other series, but this one is just lacking in plot and character development. I am disappointed, but will continue to try other series written by Robin Hobb.
I hated this book. I love Robin Hobb but this book has no joy in it. I found myself grossed out and sad the entire time and only finished it because I couldn't believe there wouldn't be a cool twist. truly disappointed. I won't be buying the third book.
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