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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I want to strangle a lot of the characters, and get pissed off at them...but ultimately i support them in their struggles and Hobb paints an intriguing picture and i can't stop staring and wanting more :)
There is not really much character development. Interesting world, but the main character is a boring guy who has a lot of potential, but in the end, he just does whatever the dominant personality wants, which changes, I think that is supposed to be the conflict, but really he is just doing whatever his cousin, father, whoever tells him he should do. If you look at the overall pattern of the book, it is a little discouraging. Basically the father keeps putting him in care of people who do not have his best interests at heart, the main character gets into trouble because of this and he gets blamed for his father being a neglectful parent putting his son in dangerous situations, and the main character just accepts the blame. For example, in the beginning, his father puts him in the care of a phoney retired captain who doesn't really have any interest in taking care of him and the father cannot see through the pretense and the main character gets into trouble and the father blames the main character even though really it is the father's fault for putting his kid in an unsafe situation. The main character never rebels. He doesn't even doubt ever that it was his father in the wrong or even get mad that his father gets upset with him. As the book goes on, the stakes get higher, and the main character just schlepps along doing what he is supposed to do, even though he is a solider, he is really just a milquetoast.
I kept listening and kept an open mind, thinking that the character would successfully navigate a conflict in his own way maybe in the next book in the series but he did not.
That said, I did listen to it twice. It is a sheer delight to listen to John Keating! I was surprised that he came up with new "voices" for the characters, did not really reuse voices from other series that he has narrated.
Report Inappropriate Content