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Shaman's Crossing
Book One of the Soldier Son Trilogy

by Robin Hobb

      To fantasy fans, Robin Hobb (aka Megan Lindholm) needs no introduction. Here is the first book in another trilogy, set in a different place which will give readers who haven't read any of the previous nine interlinked books a chance to read this popular author.

In the land of Gernia eldest sons inherit, second sons go into the army and third sons become priests. To alter these rules is unthinkable, and so Nevare Burvelle's life starts in its predictable groove. He will go to military academy, become an officer and when he is old return to his elder brother's estate. But nothing is going to be quite so simple.

I don't think there is an author in any genre that immerses the reader in their world quite as fully as Robin Hobb. Nevare tells the tale in his own words which adds to this effect, and paints an absorbing picture of a world more akin to frontier America during the 19th century than standard fantasy. Sometimes this barrage of minutiae and daily doings can get tedious, though, and Nevare's days at military academy almost had me thinking that I had been there too. No mean feat, but book two ought to have some real excitement in it if this trilogy is going to satisfy the average fantasy reader's taste for action. Nonetheless, this is compelling reading that had the pages turning late into the night although due to the immense detail this is not a quick read. It is guaranteed to linger in the mind long after. Impressive stuff.

The Book

Voyager (HarperCollins)
4 August 2005
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005