Forest Mage: Book Two of the Soldier Son Trilogy Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Nevare Burvelle has survived major combat and is making a quick recovery from a disease plaguing his fellows in the King's army. He also believes he is free from the Speck magic that held him under its sway. Now traveling home to rendezvous with his fiancée, Nevare suffers haunting visions and soon realizes that malicious magic still resides within him - and is intent on destroying everything he holds dear.
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|Listening Length||31 hours and 3 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 24, 2009|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #62,037 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2,546 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#7,899 in Epic Fantasy (Books)
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Top reviews from the United States
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Book 1 was quite an enjoyable and engaging read. We came to know Nevarre - our hero- as he grew from young boy to young man, experiencing many joys and traumas on his way there. A unique world was created by Ms. Hobb with the gusto we expect from her.
With Book 2, things change dramatically for our hero almost from the first page, and honestly, the story goes in quite a different direction from this point forward. Nevarre experiences an extremely life-altering after-effect of the Speck plague/magic that's set his course on a dramatically different road.
For a good half of the book, the story is indeed rather engaging as we see how Nevarre struggles and yet tries to persevere through this mind-blowing physical change. I will say here that I can't come close to comparing the nature of this fantastical transformation of a hero/heroine to any other fiction I've read before. Of course, most here who are even this far in the trilogy are likely rather avid readers of fantasy in the first place. In most fantasy our hero/heroine has some sort of strengths - albeit physical, magical, intellectual or all the above. Yet, at the same time they often face obstacles, short-comings, maybe character flaws, injury, and possibly even some sort of disfigurement. Nevarre's transformation - and yes, a result of a magic present in the world - is not really like any of these things with the exception of a correlation to the latter, yet plays a pivotal role in the plot and events impacting Nevarre the rest of the way.
The reason I go into detail on this subject is that the extreme nature of this particular change plays very much into the perception that humans have of other humans. And generally when we read - or at least when I read - we expect our heros to excel in some ways. As a male, I expect to read about a male hero in fantasy that I can imagine myself or aspire myself to be, or likewise a heroine I can admire and respect. Despite Nevarre's obviously strong character - yes, he has some flaws but you know he is good - his transformation may have a huge impact on how one may or may not perceive him moving forward. And, I will say this, it is not a situation I would find myself fantasizing about, aspiring to be a hero like Nevarre.
So, to point, if you plan to go further with Book 2 expect an underlying psychological aspect to the story as there is a deeply troubling and uncomfortable progression, or regression rather, to the series especially for at least a good portion of this book. Things settle in a bit as Nevarre's world changes dramatically toward the end as it story directs the reader toward how the story will be in Book 3.
I read the first book quicklyin a matter of days. Book 1 was much more conventional and quite enjoyable. I started to struggle in book two , mainly adjusting my "perception" to Nevarre's new reality (in this fantasy world). Probably finished the last two books over the course of a year or so as I took it in smaller doses.
Overall, I can say I enjoyed the trilogy after completion, although enjoy may not be exactly the right description. I guess I can say I'm better for having read it. It is not for everyone, but if is one thing in the fantasy genre, it is very different.
People are not so primitive as they seemed and those who were so self assured are very afraid!
Top reviews from other countries
1) yes. I get it. Nevare was clearly an idiot. That's why he was sent off with dewara. But I refuse to believe anyone can be this much of an idiot.
2) just. Nothing happens. I've got used to Robin hobb's slow middle books in all her trilogies. But nothing happens. Whiny brat gets fat, runs away, whines for 20 chapters, runs away again.
Some people have called this trilogy dark. It is. And it's good at making you think about the plight of the fat man. But Nevare just acts so unbelievably stupidly at every turn, demonstrating a total lack of any of the skills he learned at the academy.
This is where that starts.
This is a fantastic trilogy. If like me you've read the Fitz -Chivalry stuff and the Rain Wilds/Ships books but you've heard this is very different, put those misgivings aside.
This trilogy is as good as those books once it gets going.
Finally, that fish on the front: what on Earth is that about, shouldn't the cover bear some resemblance to something that goes on in the book?
Will I read the final one? perhaps; will I care if Navarre ends up as toast?...not so much.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2021