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Shaman's Crossing: Book One of The Soldier…

Shaman's Crossing: Book One of The Soldier Son Trilogy (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Robin Hobb

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2,477492,471 (3.41)59
Title:Shaman's Crossing: Book One of The Soldier Son Trilogy
Authors:Robin Hobb
Info:Eos (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 624 pages
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Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb (2005)



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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
...Hobb's books have always attracted me because of the characterisation, but in this book it fails her to an extent. I did enjoy the novel a lot. I even think it is a little underappreciated. The themes Hobb addresses and her uses of a very non standard fantasy setting make it a noteworthy book. But almost six hundred pages of first person narrative with a main character who keeps thinking in circles, keeps denying change and keeps rationalising his society's sexism, prejudices and arrogance is a bit too much of a good thing. I liked the book well enough but I do see why it will never be a fan favourite.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Jun 28, 2015 |
3.5 stars & I may round down to 3 after the next 2 books. The magic system was wonderful & Hobb does take proper care of horses. She even has the hero taking care of his tack, a major plus. Excellent world with an a defeated society that is expanding over new territory. Very realistic & well done.

I listened to it as an audio book with a good reader, but Hobb repeats herself enough that I wondered if the book was originally published as a serial. I don't think it was & she repeated herself even within sections until it drove me mad at times.

My biggest complaint with the writing was the heavy handed foreshadowing coupled with the idiot hero, though. Yes, he's sheltered & in his late teens, but his denseness was just too much & led to a lot of the problems I had with the writing. I often knew a lot of the story before it happened. Luckily, Hobb throws in enough twists that there was fresh material.

I've heard this was the best of the trilogy. I hope not. I'm going to try the second book & have my fingers crossed. If the repetition is less due to the world & it's problems being setup, it should be enjoyable. There's a lot of story left to be told.
( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Not what I expected from Hobb at all. An ambitious story that departs from fantasy traditions in so many ways. Instead of a quasi-feudal backdrop, we are set in a world that intertwines aspects from Victorian Europe with those of the opening of the American west and the fading traditions of nobility gone sour among knights errant. This all underpins a story that weaves together such political powder kegs as native rights, women's suffrage and the clash of old vs new money. While there are quiet references to magic, there is little actually evident in the world. The only events of note that rely on it happen in a mystical dream realm that neither we nor the characters themselves are entirely sure is real.

But I think that in her ambition to invent such a new and fertile world she forgot to include something crucial: a story. Things happen and conflict abounds but none of it engaged me particularly. I empathized with the hero well enough, but Hobb appears to have spent all her energy on aspects of his situation that didn't interest me and then glossed over the parts that I found potentially gripping.

Maybe it was the dreamworld stuff. I'm not a big fan of dreamscape magic. Or maybe it was the sometimes subtly discordant notes of male culture, duty, honor and, well, "guy culture" stuff that just didn't quite ring completely true to me. Writing about groups of young men training for the military and forced to cooperate while actually competing with each other is pretty ambitious psychological territory for a woman writer to tackle, no different than if I was to try to write about the she-politics at a debutante ball, and ballsy enough to do so from the perspective of a female character in the thick of the maneuvering.

Whatever the reason, this had more promise than was actually delivered. ( )
  Jefficus | Apr 25, 2014 |
I've loved her later books but this one didn't cut it with me. I found myself skipping pages until I finally just quit. ( )
  stormy50 | Feb 19, 2014 |
Inside this trilogy is a really good book trying to get out. The father son relationship, the training of soldiers, the conflicting ways of life, the fairness of her writing, it was good but it could have been great.

I don't think one of her ideas could work at all, first sons take their fathers job/role and second sons are always soldiers, given a society with big families I think that there would be to many soldiers, not sure. ( )
  Janientrelac | Oct 17, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Hobbprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Caffeine and Sugar

my companions through many a
long night of writing

To Caffeine and Sugar, my companions through many a long night of writing.

The author would like to acknowledge and thank David Killingsworth for providning information and insight on several weighty matters. It was greatly appreciated.
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I remember well the first time I saw the magic of the Plainspeople.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060758287, Mass Market Paperback)

Nevare Burvelle was destined from birth to be a soldier. The second son of a newly anointed nobleman, he must endure the rigors of military training at the elite King's Cavella Academy—and survive the hatred, cruelty, and derision of his aristocratic classmates—before joining the King of Gernia's brutal campaign of territorial expansion. The life chosen for him will be fraught with hardship, for he must ultimately face a forest-dwelling folk who will not submit easily to a king's tyranny. And they possess an ancient magic their would-be conquerors have long discounted—a powerful sorcery that threatens to claim Nevare Burvelle's soul and devastate his world once the Dark Evening brings the carnival to Old Thares.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Serving his king during a time of realm expansion, nobleman's son Nevare Burvelle finds his promising career compromised by unexpected prejudice at the King's Cavalry Academy and the discovery that he is being rendered a pawn by the magical plains folk.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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