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Forest Mage (The Soldier Son Trilogy, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“At once harrowing, unexpected, and morally complex . . . I’m eager to see what happens next.” (Locus)
“Refreshing. . . . There’s a truthfulness to her creation that is lacking in some of the more slapdash fantasies.” (Locus)
More About the Author
Born in Oakland, California, she sampled life in Berkeley and then in suburban San Rafael before her family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in the '60's. She graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks in 1969, and went on to attend College at the University of Denver in Denver Colorado. In 1970, she married Fred Ogden and moved with him to his home town of Kodiak Alaska. After a brief stint in Hawaii, they moved to Washington State. They live in Tacoma, with brief stints down to a pocket farm in Roy, Washington, where they raise chickens, ducks, geese, vegetables and random children.
Robin began her writing career as Megan Lindholm. Her stories under that name were finalists for both the Nebula and Hugo awards. Both "Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man" and "A Touch of Lavender" were Asimov's Reader Award winners. Perhaps her best known novel as Megan Lindholm is Wizard of the Pigeons, an urban fantasy set in Seattle Washington.
When she began writing in a different slice of the fantasy genre, she adopted the pen name of Robin Hobb. Robin is best known as the author of the Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin's Quest.) Other works include The Liveship Traders Trilogy, the Tawny Man Trilogy, and the Soldier Son trilogy. The Rain Wilds Chronicles is a four part tale consisting of Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons. A story collection, The Inheritance, showcases her work as both Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm.
A short story, Words Like Coin, is available as an illustrated e-book from Subterranean Books. A Six Duchies novella, The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince, was also published by Subterranean Press.
In 2013, she announced that she would be returning to Buckkeep, and two of her favorite characters, Fitz and the Fool. The first volume of the new trilogy, The Fool's Assassin, is scheduled to be published in August 2014.
Top Customer Reviews
This book should have been titled `Diary of a Depressed Fat Man'. Yes, I like complex character development - it's one of the reasons why the Assassins series was so good, but give me a break! I stayed up till 2:30am finishing this book, not because it was so captivating but because I couldn't believe it wouldn't somehow get better and justify the time I wasted reading it.
Let me save you the time:
He gets fat.
Everyone hates him.
He discovers that he has magic but doesn't know how to use it.
He is still fat.
Like the first book, there isn't a lot of "action" here. One expecting large battles, political upheaval or machinations, encounters with monsters, or showy displays of magic will be best served not bothering, though if anyone is picking up Forest Mage after reading Shaman's Crossing they're already aware of all this. Mage picks up with Nevare returning home after having "recovered" from the Speck plague of book one. Unfortunately, he is still seemingly in thrall to the Speck magic and his recovery takes the form of a gross gaining of weight as the magic "swells" him, forcing his exile from first the military academy, then his own family. The first third or so of the book deals with his worsening relations at home (things with his father turn particularly horrific), which only are resolved by a new wave of plague that frees Nevare to move on toward the frontier where he hopes some desparate unit would take him on. He ends up a cemetary soldier in the last town at the far working end of the King's Road. There, at the boundary area between his own culture and that of the Specks (whose mountain forest the road must carve its path through), he must solve the problem of the Speck magic that grows in him and either choose sides between the two cultures or find some way of bridging the two.Read more ›
***Warning, small spoilers in this review. I usually try to avoid these, but with this novel, I don't how else to comment on it.***
While the first novel showed up the maturing of the boy, Nevare, this novel shows the making of the man.
In the first portion of novel, Nevare begins to be stripped of everything in his world. His physical fitness, his education, his love, and his family. Disaster after disaster befall him. Although he attempt to make the best of it, and grows into a man, taking charge and better the area around him, he stil loses everything dear to him.
In the second, and longest portion of the novel, Nevare is broken down to the lowest of the low... weak-spirited, reviled, almost friendless, and constantly attempting conform to his destiny as decided on by his father. Even after his father has renounced him, he stuggles to gain his place in this society that he was "born" to have.Read more ›
The middle book is always AWFUL.
Oh, I don't mean the writing is bad; it's not. But the situational turmoil the characters go through, and the emotional turmoil you share with them, is completely and utterly devastating. No holds barred. Hobbs pours on despair like the sand in one of those old B-movie closed-room booby traps... it just keeps coming and coming until it buries you and you drown in it or are crushed under the weight.
The few bright, hopeful spots are the size of fire-flies, tiny pin-pricks of light that do nothing at all substantial to hold back the darkness.
And yet, you can't put it down. Never once while reading did I think, okay, this is depressing, I'm gonna quit. The book sucks you in with a totality so immense that you forget you have a separate life and personality outside its pages. You BECOME Nevare Burvelle for the space of those hours.
I could go on and on, but it would get repetitive, and if, you've read it, you already know what I'm talking about. If you HAVEN'T read it, I urge you NOT to read it until the third and final book comes out. If the series stays true to Hobbs form, the ending will make up for it all, in ways you never imagined.
Certainly don't read it now if you have any tendency towards depression. After I finished, I felt as though I'd been beaten with a sack of flour for those seven hours... achy and bruised both mentally and physically.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hobb effortlessly transports you to a new world to follow the life of a soldier's son in Gernia. Beautifully captivating and incredibly detailed. Side note: you will get hungry.Published 17 days ago by Kenny Randall
It's not a bad book by any means. It's a strong continuation of a series, for all that I enjoyed the first book more. Read morePublished 2 months ago
Solid second installment in Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy. Hobb's protagonist is fairly unique in fantasy literature in that, though no fault of his own, he has suddenly and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by UpstateASB
This isn't my first time reading Forest Mage, but it is my first time really giving it enough thought to review it. I don't know that I can be disappointed with Hobb's works. Read morePublished 5 months ago by August
I kept reading ONLY because I was convinced it couldn't get worse. This was a bad read. I finished reading it at 2:49 am. Read morePublished 7 months ago by V. M.
The entire story in this book could be summed up in a few chapters and tacked on to Shaman's Crossing or Renegade's Magic. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sydney
I have read all of Carr's mysteries. The locked room/impossible crime is my favorite type, this has always been my lest favorite, on recent rereading I realize why. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lillie V. DeHart