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Shaman's Crossing: The Soldier Son Trilogy (The Soldier Son Trilogy #1)

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3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,321 Ratings  ·  601 Reviews
Nevare Burvelle is the second son of a second son, destined from birth to carry a sword. The wealthy young noble will follow his father—newly made a lord by the King of Gernia—into the cavalry, training in the military arts at the elite King's Cavella Academy in the capital city of Old Thares. Bright and well-educated, an excellent horseman with an advantageous engagement, ...more
ebook, 624 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Sven
I still don't get why this book is rated almost a star less on goodreads compared to the Realm of the Elderlings books. The writing is just top notch stuff. I get that the plot is slow as it usually is in most her books, but then again if you are already in love with Robin Hobb you know that it's the characters more than the plot that drive the story. It's the relationships between characters that provide most of the dramatic tension.

Anyway, I loved this book. The story is told from a single fir
...more
Kaitlin
Jun 12, 2016 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this book was one I went into with slight trepidation becuase the ratings here on Goodreads aren't great and I'd heard that this wasn't as strong as Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings books (which are my favourites). I am glad that I still gave this one a chance in spite of all that, because I loved this book and found that all the things I enjoy about Hobb's writing within the Realm of the Elderlings books are carried over into this series too.

This series has a focus on one main character (much
...more
Hanne
Over the years Robin Hobb has become an absolute powerhouse in the world of fantasy. After devouring all her Elderling books, it was time for the odd trilogy in the bunch: the soldier son. A lot is different in this trilogy, and yet a lot remains the same: there are mysterious plotlines brewing (excellent for speculation!), but at the end of the day, it’s all about the characters.
I’m more than ok with that – I’m a very character-driven reader. Yet what this book didn’t have versus all the other
...more
Alex Ristea
Apr 07, 2014 Alex Ristea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, mmpb, fantasy
On a re-read, this was bumped up to a full 5 stars.

I won't ruin the rest of the series (because it takes quite a turn), but there's an incredible amount of foreshadowing. Tiny details and encounters that will have larger implications in Forest Mage and Renegade's Magic.

But this book works even if you're reading it for the first time. Every character is fully fleshed out, and though it starts a bit slow, you soon won't be able to put the book down.

Does this book wreck you emotionally? Of course,
...more
Jean
Jan 22, 2009 Jean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I've been a fan of Robin Hobb for several years. I loved the Farseer Trilogy, adored the Liveship Traders, and enjoyed the Tawny Man books even if the last one fell apart half way through. I eagerly grabbed up Shaman's Cross when it came out, but in the aftermath of the house fire it ended up in a box, forgotten and unread. I recently unearthed it and placed it at the top of my to-read pile.

Quite simply it was a disappointment. It was probably only my great love of the author that made me strugg
...more
Ben Babcock
I really haven't read enough Robin Hobb. She has flown under my radar, mostly because my first encounters with her were through the library, and I have this bad habit of checking out books in the middle of the series (ahem, Golden Fool) and then wondering what the hell is going on. Last year I read Assassin's Apprentice , and I have acquired the remaining two books in that trilogy, so I hope to finish that soon. For now, however, I've turned to the Soldier Son trilogy. And though I've exceeded ...more
Ctgt
Mar 02, 2016 Ctgt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I've started this review three or four times only to become disgusted with my effort, slam the laptop closed and storm away. There are several authors who do this to me, Hobb and GGK are two who for whatever reason make it difficult for me to explain why I enjoy their work so much.( I'm reading Under Heaven right now and can see myself heading in the same direction with that review.) It's all about the characters with Hobb, if you are looking for an action packed book you need to look elsewhere. ...more
Allison
Robin Hobb is one of my favorite Fantasy authors. She not only provides detailed worlds and characters with wondrous magic, but characters that I can feel. She is one of the few authors that have actually made me cry. It's an activity that is extremely rare for me in real life, and I tend to avoid weepy books or movies because they just make me feel manipulated. But that was not the case with Hobb - the emotion she pulled out of me was much more real.

All of this to say, I've loved each of the bo
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 10, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Allow me a little leeway here. I tend to like plot driven books, but to be fair there are some wonderful character driven books that have drawn me in and I've loved. I like a character to be well written and clearly drawn, to be "true to him/herself". In other words not to suddenly change and do something "completely out of character" because the story suddenly needs it or something. That being said, sometimes a character can be written well, everything in the book can make sense for the charact ...more
Conor
May 30, 2014 Conor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I've given this novel 3 stars as I feel that it is the rating that best represents my feeling towards it. This is a decent book with some interesting ideas that are ultimately somewhat frustrated. Now you're probably thinking that stating the obvious is a weird way to start a review, and it is. The reason why I considered giving this book 5 stars was that the average rating was so low. When I see that a book on here has a rating below 3.5 I usually disregard it immediately. There are terribl ...more
Jim
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars & I may round down to 3 after the next 2 books. The magic system was wonderful & Hobb does take proper care of horses. She even has the hero taking care of his tack, a major plus. Excellent world with an a defeated society that is expanding over new territory. Very realistic & well done.

I listened to it as an audio book with a good reader, but Hobb repeats herself enough that I wondered if the book was originally published as a serial. I don't think it was & she repeate
...more
John
Dec 29, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shaman's Crossing is the first book in Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy. Hobb draws here a fantasy world whose world is closer to the 18th or 19th century than to medieval times. Gernia, which sees itself as the standard-bearer of civilization, a generation ago lost its naval superiority and, with it, all of its coastal provinces. In response, the old knighthood (the Cavalla) became an elite cavalry and rose to prominence in battles against the barbaric plainsmen with their tribal ways and primi ...more
Kevin Xu
Feb 06, 2016 Kevin Xu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, favorites
I loved the school in here, so much like modern boarding school to me, not fantasy at all because it has no magic.
Althea Ann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
May 18, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young man grows up in a sheltered and privileged adolescence and then enters a military academy to begin his training as the soldier son of his father. Dark magic from the mysterious Speck tribe, political upheavals at home, a new plague sickness spreading in the borderlands, and good old-fashioned twattery combine to make it a difficult first year.

I was told by several people when starting this that it wasn't their favourite Hobb book, that it was difficult/boring/odd. I found it none of the
...more
Willa
Mar 15, 2010 Willa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, series
Once again Robin Hobb impresses with her ability to create an amazingly real and detailed world and wonderfully complex and entertaining characters to inhabit it. You know you're dealing with a truly talented author when the story is full of hardships, pain and disillusionment and it is still a joy to read. This is the first of a very promising trilogy and I look forward eagerly to the continuing story of Nevarre, the hero who thinks he knows exactly what his future holds for him until one day a ...more
Loederkoningin
I was probably one step away from installing and burning sandalwood incense on a Robin Hobb shrine because of her Liveship Traders and Farseer trilogies.

Compared to those Shaman's Crossing turned out to be a huge disappointment. The main character never grabbed me like Fitz or the tons of characters from the Liveship Traders trilogy did. I couldn't help finding the story a bit uninspired and terribly slow. Still, I promised myself to pick up the follow ups. After all, we're talking Hobb here. U
...more
Monica
Dec 17, 2013 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Hobb is a great writer, and I enjoyed reading the first half of this book. But then it starts to get depressing... And through all three books it never stops. All of her books are a little sad, but this one was way over he top. Reading these books was pretty much the same as being emotionally beat up. I read all three books because I kept waiting for things to get better... I thought it was impossible to write a whole trilogy that depressing. I was wrong.
Paulina
Oct 21, 2012 Paulina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh how I wanted to love this book. Oh how disappointed I was! So this review will be the "Ode of Oh's".

Oh how did this book get so popular?

I was given this book by a family member with excellent reviews but I can't see why this person-who-shall-remain-unnamed liked it so much. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the world and the excellent character building (we literally watch Nevare grow) but the "liking" stops there.

Oh Nevare, why have you no balls?

Nevare is a fucking coward, and the sad
...more
Tanabrus
Questo libro della Hobb non mi ha esaltato.
Si salva, certo, grazie sopratutto alla fantasia dell'autrice che tira fuori questa ambientazione e la rende viva e palpitante riempiendola di tradizioni e politica, politica che pur non essendo mai protagonista si fa sempre avvertire chiedendoci di non fare come il protagonista e di osservare le cose con una prospettiva più ampia.

Ecco, il protagonista per quanto mi riguarda è stranamente un punto debole di questo primo libro.
In precedenza, anche in pre
...more
annik
Уже не вспомню, когда последний раз книга меня настолько захватывала, что я за день могла отмахать 450 бумажных страниц практически не отрываясь. Дневная норма вливания в фэнтезийные эпики у меня стандартно не больше 50 страниц – а то начинается каша в голове и накатывает скукота от деревенских пейзажей. Ну что... Так оно и было, пока в моей жизни не появилась Хобб. Она полностью подчинила меня своей воле. 672 страницы про шаманов и солдат пролетели незаметно ;)

Чуть ранее я читала ее «Волшебный
...more
James
Jun 11, 2009 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In Shaman’s Crossing, an excellent light-fantasy novel, Robin Hobb succeeds in not only creating a compelling world but also establishing a rich, branching worldview to anchor it.

The book revolves around Nevare Burvelle, a solider son, as all second sons of nobility are destined to be. Nevare’s father is a member of the new nobility, granted his title for valor as an officer in the king’s cavalry, and Nevare is raised to fill his heredity role as soldier.

The first third of the novel details Nev
...more
T.I.M. James
This is not just a bit different for a Robin Hobb book, but different as a fantasy book too. If it was a first attempt at a novel I would imagine that it would be hard to get it published, bucking the trend of what popular fantasy seems to be.



Here Hobb throws out quite a lot of what seems to be 'normal' Instead of the standard medieval setting the blueprint of this new series is the expansion into the old west, particularly the cavalry and the subjugation of the indigenous peoples.



Obviously it
...more
Whitaker
A stunning work that challenges how we think of American frontier history and what we think of fantasy.

Hobbs has a penchant for upending all the usual tropes and devices of fantasy. And she does this all with real characters and an entertaining and stirring plot. We see "sword and sorcery" and we think "knights and mages", usually young, muscular and powerful men who, after some initial confusion, embrace their destiny with fervour to fight the good fight. Yawn.

Hobbs writes sword and sorcery i
...more
Traci
Jun 23, 2011 Traci rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 really but I rounded down because it's not a book I will keep or probably ever read again. I have read some really negative reviews on this series. I was even told to skip it completely. But I rarely do what Iam told and wanted to make up my own mind. The first book is good. Not great. But not as bad as I was lead to believe. The writing is good. The characters are real although they do fall short of being truly likable. I recommend starting with the Farseer and saving this one near to last. ...more
Katie
Apr 03, 2016 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three stars may seem like a harsh review, but I'd read too many four star books that were leaps and bounds better to justify another star (and I'd certainly read far worse so I could not go lower than three).

Nevare is so gorram boring. He is the image of apathy. This book has a stunning lack of character growth. Events transpire that should encourage growth and change, especially since the main character goes to Hogwarts for Soldiers, yet he stubbornly remains as colorless as vanilla pudding.

P
...more
Patty Jansen
Dec 27, 2010 Patty Jansen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it how this book breaks several stereotypes, and how the characters unfold and change their worldview in a very natural way. Contrary to some of Hobb's other work, there is no agenda-pushing, but the world is genuinely built through the characters' eyes. I love the hapless main character and I love the way he is portrayed.
Rob
...Hobb's books have always attracted me because of the characterisation, but in this book it fails her to an extent. I did enjoy the novel a lot. I even think it is a little underappreciated. The themes Hobb addresses and her uses of a very non standard fantasy setting make it a noteworthy book. But almost six hundred pages of first person narrative with a main character who keeps thinking in circles, keeps denying change and keeps rationalising his society's sexism, prejudices and arrogance is ...more
Nikhilā
Apr 30, 2016 Nikhilā rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished last night.
It took me quite a while to get into this book, partially because I don't generally like books written in the first person, partly because I've been too busy and then sick and tired to read much.
There are parts of this book that I love, the first chapter alone I think that if you read it and are not furious about rape culture and racism and recognise it as a comment on what is still happening today, then you are actually a monster, and the way Hobb writes about nature is ju
...more
Maurinejt
3.5

Our hero Nevare is the second son, who by strict society and religious rules, must become a soldier. His world is sort of a mirror to our Old West, there are indigenous tribes the pioneers are trying to "civilize" who possess a dignity and magic of their own. There are also the shadowy "Specks", non-humans, who are being harassed on the frontier as the first railroad line across the land goes through. There have been rumors that they bring a deadly disease beginning to make the rounds from co
...more
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25307
** I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 st ...more
More about Robin Hobb...

Other Books in the Series

The Soldier Son Trilogy (3 books)
  • Forest Mage (Soldier Son, #2)
  • Renegade's Magic (Soldier Son, #3)

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