Renegade's Magic

Renegade's Magic

Robin Hobb

Book 3.0 of Soldier Son Trilogy

Language: English

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Published: Mar 30, 2009

Words: 263166
Pages: 1078


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? From 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist Starred Review* Young soldier Nevare Burvelle’s career and life seem to be drawing to a close, for he has been sentenced to death for crimes allegedly committed under the influence of Speck magic. Desperate, he flees into the wilderness and close to Speck territory, where the Speck curse turns him into a renegade against his own people. He uses all his skill and his previous experience to devise a plan to slaughter his old comrades wholesale and return to the Speck the territory they claim. Yet he doesn’t lose his memories of other loyalties and friendships, and in the last two-thirds of the book, a terrifying ethical conflict takes place within him as he battles to resist the very real temptation to become an all-destroying demonic force. Hobb has a positive genius for using fantasy themes to set up ethical conflicts, exhibited to great advantage in the Liveship Traders (Ship of Magic, 1998; Mad Ship, 1999; Ship of Destiny, 2000) and with equal or greater power here in Soldier Son (Shaman’s Crossing,  2005; Forest Mage, 2006; Renegade’s Magic). There are no easy victories, no all-conquering forces on either side in Hobb’s work, and both sides are sufficiently well characterized in their vivid settings that there are very few straw men in evidence. Absolutely essential for high-fantasy collections. --Roland Green