I have always enjoyed Robin Hobbs' books, definitely one of my favorite fantasy authors. The Farseer triology, liveship traders, and Tawny man are awe..Show More »some, which they need to get read, and by a great narrator like this book. Nevare Burville, the soldiers son enters a world of dreams and subtle magic with interesting characters. The first book of the Soldier Son is by no means the fastest paced record setter, it gets a little slow, but I still liked it a lot. She builds and introduces characters really well, gives them some of the frustrating qualities all people possess which builds frustration in a good way. The narrator did an amazing job, I hope he continues the series, and reads more books in general.
I really wanted to like this series. The setting is awesome. There is a wonderful political landscape, a fairly original system for magic, and interes..Show More »ting 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.
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 tw..Show More »o 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!