Renegade's Magic (Soldier Son Series #3)

( 47 )

Overview

Loyal, privileged, and brave—a soldier in the service of the King of Gernia—Nevare Burvelle survived a devastating plague of enemy sorcery, but at a terrible cost to his soul, body, and heart. Now he stands wrongly accused of unspeakable crimes, including murder, the most heinous of them all. Suddenly an outcast and a fugitive, he remains a hostage to the Speck magic that shackles him to a savage alter ego who would destroy everything Nevare holds dear. Perhaps, however, this curse that has long abused him can be...

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Renegade's Magic (Soldier Son Series #3)

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Overview

Loyal, privileged, and brave—a soldier in the service of the King of Gernia—Nevare Burvelle survived a devastating plague of enemy sorcery, but at a terrible cost to his soul, body, and heart. Now he stands wrongly accused of unspeakable crimes, including murder, the most heinous of them all. Suddenly an outcast and a fugitive, he remains a hostage to the Speck magic that shackles him to a savage alter ego who would destroy everything Nevare holds dear. Perhaps, however, this curse that has long abused him can be used by him instead—a mighty weapon he can learn to wield for his own purposes. But down what perilous road will this desperate new quest lead him? And what will be the ultimate incarnation of Nevare Burvelle?

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Editorial Reviews

Kevin J. Anderson
“Robin Hobb is one of our very best fantasy writers. Her novels are always fresh, entertaining, and completely engrossing.”
Birmingham Post
“Hobb is probably one of the best writers of the fantasy genre currently operating. With Robin Hobb you do not get the standard good versus evil story in which every character is one or the other. Instead her characters are believable, human and flawed.”
Kansas City Star
“[A] master fantasist.”
Kansas City Star
“[A] master fantasist.”
Birmingham Post
“Hobb is probably one of the best writers of the fantasy genre currently operating. With Robin Hobb you do not get the standard good versus evil story in which every character is one or the other. Instead her characters are believable, human and flawed.”
Publishers Weekly

In the haunting conclusion of Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy (after 2006's Forest Mage), Gernian soldier Nevare Burvelle escapes from prison with some help from his lover, Lisana, who divided his soul so that he could become a Speck mage called Soldier's Boy. The two personalities now awkwardly time-share Nevare's body. Using Soldier's Boy's powers, Nevare tries to destroy the Gernian road that threatens to ravage the Specks' forest home, and almost dies from exhaustion. Nursed back to health by Olikea, the Speck woman whose sole duty is to feed him enough to power his magic, Nevare must find a way to keep Gernia from destroying the forest, prevent the Specks from further spreading the plague that has decimated the Gernians and reunite the severed halves of his soul. Hobb's dreamy prose is sometimes weighed down by a confusing magical system and glacial pacing, but she provides a stunning resolution to this epic fantasy about the importance of environmental and social balance. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Convicted of a crime he did not commit, Nevare Burvelle has fled the town of Gettys and his former soldier comrades for an uncertain future. In desperation he gives in to the Speck magic that dwells within him as a powerful alter ego determined to prevent encroachment upon Speck-held territories. Ultimately, however, Nevare seeks to reconcile his dual nature to bring peace to both sides of his heritage. The author of the "Liveship Traders Trilogy" and the "Farseer Trilogy" brings her latest series to a fitting conclusion. Nevare's journey through war and peace is both timeless and timely and belongs in most libraries.


—Jackie Cassada

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060758301
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Series: Soldier Son Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 182,764
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb was born in California but grew up in Alaska. It was there that she learned to love the forest and the wilderness. She has lived most of her life in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of five critically acclaimed fantasy series: The Rain Wilds Chronicles (Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons, Blood of Dragons), The Soldier Son Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Trilogy, and The Farseer Trilogy. She also writes as Megan Lindholm, and under that name is the author of The Wizard of the Pigeons, Windsingers, and Cloven Hooves. The Inheritance, a collection of stories, was written under both names. Her short fiction has won the Asimov's Readers' Award and she has been a finalist for both the Nebula and Hugo awards.

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Read an Excerpt

Renegade's Magic
Book Three of The Soldier Son Trilogy

Chapter One

Soldier's End

Inever spoke up for myself at my court-martial.

I stood in the box where they put me, and tried not to think of the agonizing bite of the leg irons around my calves. They were too small for a man of my flesh, and the cold iron bit deep into the meat of my legs, burning and numbing at the same time. At the moment, the pain mattered to me more than the outcome of the hearing. I already knew how it would end.

That pain is chiefly what I remember of my trial. It hazes my memories in red. A number of witnesses spoke against me. I recall their righteous voices as they detailed my crimes to the assembled judges. Rape. Murder. Necrophilia. Desecration of a graveyard. My outrage and horror at being accused of such things had been eroded by the utter hopelessness of my situation. Witness after witness spoke against me. Threads of rumor, hearsay from a dead man's lips, suspicions and circumstantial evidence were twisted together into a rope of evidence, stout enough to hang me.

I think I know why Spink never addressed any questions directly to me. Lieutenant Spinrek, my friend since our Cavalla Academy days, was supposed to be defending me. I'd told him that I simply wanted to plead guilty and get it over with. That had angered him. Perhaps that was why he didn't ask me to testify on my own behalf. He didn't trust me to tell the truth and deny all the charges. He feared I'd take the easy way out.

I would have.

I didn't fear the hangman's gibbet. It would be a quick end to a life corrupted by a foreign magic. Walk up the steps,put my head into the noose, and step off into darkness. The weight of my falling body would probably have jerked my head right off. No dangle and strangle for me. Just a quick exit from an existence that was too tangled and spoiled to repair.

Whatever I might have said in my own defense would have made no difference. Wrongs had been done, ugly, evil things, and the citizens of Gettys were determined that someone had to pay for them. Gettys was a rough place to live, a settlement half military outpost and half penal colony on the easternmost boundary of the Kingdom of Gernia. Its citizens were no strangers to rape and murder. But the crimes I was accused of went beyond the spectrum of passion and violence into something darker, too dark even for Gettys to tolerate. Someone had to wear the villain's black cape and pay the toll for such transgressions, and who better than the solitary fat man who lived in the graveyard and was rumored to have doings with the Specks?

So I was convicted. The cavalla officers who sat in judgment on me sentenced me to hang, and I accepted that. I had shamed my regiment. At that moment, my execution seemed the simplest escape from a life that had become the antithesis of every dream I'd ever had. I'd die and be done with disappointment and failure. Hearing my sentence was almost a relief.

But the magic that had poisoned my life was not about to let me go so easily.

Killing me was not enough for my accusers. Evil would be punished with as cruel and vicious a vengeance as they could imagine. Darkness would be balanced with darkness. When the second half of my sentence was pronounced, horror froze me. Before I ascended the gallows to make that final drop, I'd receive one thousand lashes.

I will always recall that stunned moment. The sentence went beyond execution, beyond punishment, to total destruction. As it stripped the flesh from my bones, it would strip away all dignity as well. No man, no matter what his courage, could grit his teeth and keep silent through a thousand lashes. They would mock and jeer me as I shrieked and begged. I would go to my death hating them and myself.

I'd been born to be a soldier. As the second son of a nobleman, I had been decreed by the good god to be a soldier. Despite all that had befallen me, despite the foreign magic that had infected and poisoned me, despite my ejection from the King's Cavalla Academy, despite my father's disowning of me and the scorn of my fellows, I had done my best to serve my king as a soldier. This was what it had earned me. I would scream and weep and plead for mercy before folk who saw me only as a monster. The lash would strip my body naked of both clothing and flesh, exposing the sagging layers of fat that had been their first excuse to hate me. I would faint and be revived with a dash of vinegar on my back. I'd piss myself and dangle helplessly from my manacled wrists. I'd be a corpse long before they hanged my remains. They knew it and so did I.

Even my corrupted and maimed life seemed a better choice than that death. The magic had sought to take me from my own people and use me as a tool against them. I'd fought it. But that final night in my cell, I knew the magic of the Speck folk offered me my only opportunity to save myself. When the magic tore down the walls of my prison, I took the opportunity. I escaped.

But neither the magic nor the good folk of Gettys were done with me. I think the magic knew that I'd given only lip service to my surrender to it. But it demanded all of me, my entire life, with no ties left to bind me to this place and this people, and what I had never given willingly, it now took from me.

Renegade's Magic
Book Three of The Soldier Son Trilogy
. Copyright © by Robin Hobb. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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(19)

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(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    entertaining fantasy

    Renegade¿s Magic Robin Hobb Eos, Feb 2008, $25.95 ISBN 9780060757649 His lover, Lisana enabled Gernian soldier Nevare Burvelle to escape incarceration when she split his soul enabling him to become a Speck mage Soldier¿s Boy. However as a nasty by-product, two personalities conflict over who controls the host body. His Soldier¿s Boy¿s mage skills lead Nevare to try to destroy the Gernian road that has begun to devastate the Specks¿ woodlands. His failed efforts leave him near death, but Speck female Olikea uses her healing skills to save his life as is her duty. As he recovers he finds his two sides in conflict as each has a demand. Nevare knows that he must prevent the Gernia from demolishing the Specks¿ forest while at the same time he also must stop the Specks from distributing their deadly plague that has slaughtered the Gernians. He begins to believe that to succeed he must unite his warring split personalities. --- The final Soldier Son tale (see FOREST MAGE and SHAMAN¿S CROSSING) is an entertaining fantasy that looks deep at the issue of development vs. environment. The story line is fun to follow although the pace at times is turtle like especially when the complicated Hobbs magical structure is logically but boringly elucidated (only a fool would read this entry before the previous two books). Still this is a fine trilogy that showcases the importance of finding win-win solutions to complex social issues as the two sides seem to only employ lose-lose methods. --- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2009

    3rd book in Forest Mage series falls short

    I enjoyed the other 2 books in the series. And although I was never fully engaged in the Forest Mage series, I was interested in seeing it through to the end. This book however, fell short for me. I lost interest about 1/3 of the way into the book and had to force myself to make it through the middle third. Although Ms Hobb ties everything together nicely in the end, the journey was not as enjoyable as i had hoped.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Bad

    I despised the Specks and didn't care for Hobbs partisanship.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    Sure to Please!

    I have become a hardcore Robin Hobb fan. She writes like Van Gogh paints or Emeril Lagasse cooks. You will be sure to experience all of the subtle nuances and rich vivid details as she weaves her stories. I love reading fantasy and I thought that I had read the best, but where as Gabaldon and Paolini are exceptional, Robin Hobb is 'the master'. You will not be disappointed with this or any of her other books. The ultimate experience of course will be to be sure to read any of her trilogy or series books in the proper order as they just continue to build in detail and intensity as they go. Check it out, you won't be sorry.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Ok but not great

    If you need a book to read to kill time then this one is ok. If you are looking for a good story that will keep your attention then this is not it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    amazinv

    Love it! one of the bestest books and authors that has ever existed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Read book one all down hill from there.

    The pace of this book was slow, never ending, and depressing. I made it through but only because the first book was good and i had hope. I could have just skipped to the last 10 pages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2009

    Dissapointingly Tiresome and Annoying

    I've read and usually enjoyed Ms. Hobb's fantasy trilogies. I wasn't able to finish this third soldier son book, so my review should be taken accordingly. The only other books I've failed to finish were Donaldson's self-pitying super-leper series. And for similar reasons!

    Throughout the trilogy, our 'hero' has not only had trouble learning his mistakes, but remembering the solutions has been totally beyond him. I want character growth - I'll only wait just so long for it.

    Like another reader, I found the first third of the book slow and boring, but I hoped for more and persevered. The second third was too much (or too little) and I couldn't give more of my remaining life to such a futile effort with such an unsympathetic lead character. On reflection, that describes my reaction to the series; the first book was slow, the second book I barely got through, and the third was just beyond my patience and interest.

    This trilogy might have made a decent novel, but the story was poorly stretched over three books -- shades of Jordan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    Life as a Speck Great One

    The conclusion as Nevare / Soldier Boy is caught up in the Speck magic. He learns more about the Speck way of life and magic. He must find a way to deal with being two halves of a whole. Soldier Boy now in control of Nevare's lifes moves through Speck life as a Great One. He must still stop the Gernian road from going through the Vale of Ancestor trees. Conflict arises from the tension between other Great Ones and how to use the magic. The story is entertaining and has some small surprises. Overall a good read.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Overall a very good reading experience

    The whole trilogy explored a new and original look at the 'magic' side of fiction and how different cultures might view the sources of their 'power'. The characters are well developed and the story line is very strong.

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    Posted May 25, 2011

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    Posted April 5, 2012

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    Posted October 4, 2010

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    Posted January 15, 2010

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    Posted November 25, 2010

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    Posted September 12, 2009

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    Posted March 24, 2011

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    Posted July 31, 2011

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    Posted February 11, 2011

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    Posted December 15, 2011

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