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Publisher's Summary

Hugo and Nebula Award finalist Robin Hobb crafts intricate fantasy tales featuring larger-than-life characters and exotic landscapes.

Nevare Burvelle was born to be a soldier in the Gernian army. But as Nevare's career takes off, his worldview alters considerably. Corruption and nepotism reign, and now Nevare questions his own ideals, wondering why he continues fighting for the empire.

©2005 Megan Lindholm (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Here is a master storyteller out to make a point and succeeding beautifully." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Epic. Need I say more?

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!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sometimes Magic Isn't A Good Thing

I bought this audio book because I was trying to spend some points. I had not read anything by Robin Hobb and so I wasn't sure what to expect. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the story. It is not your typical fantasy story. It is definitely a story about a boy growing into a man with a little magic thrown in. As soon as I got to know the main character I started to care about what happened to him. The author spends a lot of time developing his characters and his world building is top notch. The story takes a little time to get going but once it does get going it is engaging. The narration by John Keating is pretty good. He does a good job of providing differing voices for the characters which ensures the listener is not confused. I love his scottish accent! I can highly recommend this audio book. It is well worth your time and your credit.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

30 Years War Era Fantasy

Technology equivalent to the Early to mid 1800's, and military cavalry of the same era, only with dream wandering shamanistic magic thrown in. Great story. I'm looking forward to the sequel. Narrator plays all characters excellently. Excellent recording quality.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Clint
  • salt lake City, UT, United States
  • 04-25-09

Good Book

I have always enjoyed Robin Hobbs' books, definitely one of my favorite fantasy authors. The Farseer triology, liveship traders, and Tawny man are awesome, 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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Read!

Interesting story. Not a whole lot of magic in this first book of the series. Story is centered on the main character and his friends and enemies.

I could not stop listen to it...very interesting.

Hoping that more of Robin Hobb's books become available on Audible.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joe
  • Modesto, CA
  • 05-10-09

Excellent book

This is an excellent book. The characters are well developed and the writer has an excellent way of telling the story. I also enjoyed her Farseer Trilogy and Tawny man series. Excellent books! It would be good when Audible gets those in their bookstore.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I expected more.

Not bad, decent character development, great insights into the society she created. Low action. As I was looking for story & action I was half fulfilled. I also felt like the writer wasn't true to the story; so my final reaction was that it was a bit of a lame duck.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Katja
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 11-09-09

Not what I thought

I had high hopes for this book as I have read others by the author and truely enjoyed them. But this book is dull. It has flashes of what it should have been, but then falls flat. I couldn't even get thru the first part. The narrator tried, but the story, for me never got better. I am very disappointed.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Is being fat the end of the world?

Whatever they say about this book, it is really about being fat, The author pounds you over the head about it, the characters go on and on about it. As a result of magic ad nauseum, the main character becomes obese. VERY obese. And everyone in the story (and this applies to all 3 books in the series) is obsessed by his obesity. Everyone. If you are overweight or have ever been overweight or KNOW anyone who has ever been fat, you will reach the point where you want to find the author, wherever he or she may be, and beat them soundly with a stick. I highly don't recommend this book. I kept thinking it would get better and besides, I didn't have anything else to read at the time, but when I finally waded through this loooong loooong set of books, I was embarrassed that I'd bothered. Save the embarrassment. Don't bother.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • CJ
  • 02-04-18

Well written and very enjoyable.

I really enjoyed this. Some of the other reviews said that this trilogy was a darker style than Hobb’s normal writing, however I found it to be just as enjoyable and upbeat as the Fitz and the Fool series. Looking forward to the other 2 books in the series.