Thursday, 18 June 2009

Forest Mage

This is the second book in the Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb, and wow is it good. I was up late reading this, despite the fact I had an exam the following day. So if I fail, I'm blaming this book. It really is fantastic. It takes the story onto a whole knew level as Nevare finds himself disgraced and forced to flee from everything he thought would be his, attempting to live out the life the Good God ordained for him, whilst fighting against the unwanted magic which is trying to claim him for its own. Alone, with nobody he can rely on, and the magic working against him to force him into its will, Nevare is desperate to escape its clutches and return to what he thought his life would be, before being forced to come to the conclusion that it is too late. Stunningly well written, vividly portrayed, I thought the Farseer trilogy was good. This just proves that Robin Hobb is perfectly capable of writing another trilogy of similar epic proportions. I think that's the only warning I'm forced to give about this book. It is long. Weighing in at nearly seven hundred pages, it is a big book (even by my standards). It is very descriptive. If you're not prepared to be totally immersed in a world, in a book filled with fantastic description of nature and you can't stand a main character who is afflicted with disease and does get depressed, steer clear. But this is a fantastic book for anyone who enjoys discovering a new world that is so well created it seems almost more real than this one, someone who wants to see nature's beauty, and who is ready for another look at magic. A magic the like of which I've never before encountered, it has to be said. So I found this book fantastic. Looking at reviews on Amazon while trying to find the page count (I borrowed it from a friend), they were mixed. It has been criticised for being too descriptive. Personally, I think that's rot. Action driven it isn't; at the heart of this piece is the character, and that is what makes it so utterly gripping. I have to be honest. Looking at the blurb made me feel slightly dubious about whether I'd enjoy it, but the book had me hooked from the start, and the ending's left me desperate for the next book. So I'll just have to hope Hil hurries up and reads it fast!

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