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Renegade's Magic (The Soldier Son Trilogy #3)

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  8,089 ratings  ·  281 reviews
Nevare Burve, the second son of a noble Gernian family, once looked forward to a future as a cadet soldier, and then an officer in the King's Cavalry. But his entanglement with the magic of the Speck people has robbed him not only of his dream, but also of any hope he might have clung to for any kind of life among his own people."
Mass Market Paperback, 760 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by HarperVoyager (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Sven
This story has a good ending. A really strong finish to close out the trilogy. Something I was not expecting for the first half of the book. Nicely done Robin Hobb.

For the first half of this book I was a little bemused as to the direction the story took. Most of the book Nevare is a passenger in his own body as his Speck self (AKA Soldier's Boy) takes charge. Nevare, who has been a very passive sort of character for a lot of the series is now stripped completely of any agency or potential agency
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Alex Ristea
A sort of unsatisfying conclusion to Hobb's hipster trilogy.

I'm calling it that because I honestly feel like the only people who read Soldier's Son (and frankly, the only who should) are already devout Hobb fans looking for another hit.

It's like when you really love a band, and you go through their backlist and find the crappiest albums. You listen to them with such joy, but really, you're not fooling anyone. You know it's a laughable comparison to what made you fall in love with the band in the
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Hanne
Such a peculiar trilogy…
Before starting this last trilogy (still completely bedazzled from all the Elderling trilogies) I kept wondering why on earth this trilogy received such low ratings. But I think I got it now. It’s not that this is a bad series: it’s just not up to Robin-Hobb-standard, and whatever Hobb book isn’t up to that standard will feel like a low point – even if that assessment isn’t deserved in the grand scheme of fantasy literature.

The story has its merits, but I kept thinking th
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Robert Beveridge
Robin Hobb, Renegade's Magic (Eos, 2008)

Note: this review necessarily contains spoilers for the first two books in the series. If you have not yet started the series and are planning on reading it, skip this review.

Someday, I fantasize, Robin Hobb will write a main character who learns from his mistakes. That day has not yet come. But I hope it will someday. Here, we have Nevare Burvelle, a character who has had it drilled into him that the Speck magic which has claimed him finds a way to get it
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Dev Null
Phew, that was terrible. Add this to the list of things I wish I could give 0 stars to.

Did I say in my review of Shaman's Crossing that she had avoided "the glassy-eyed back-to-nature-worship so common amongst fantasies that try to include "native" cultures"? Well too bad, because this book has that in spades. The Specks just mill about "at one" with Nature - whatever that means - and therefore Nature automatically provides them with boundless effortless food. Which Hobb describes endlessly and
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Jim
This was, in many ways, a highly imaginative, good story. Not excellent because of its flaws, but the world & the problem were certainly outstanding & that's why she got 3 stars from an otherwise 2 star, at best, job of writing. Modeled after the European expansion across North America, yet set in a fantasy world with very interesting magic. A man caught between the 2 worlds loves/hates them both & must make them come to an agreement. He's literally a man divided by this war, yet stu ...more
Kevin Xu
I finally finish the book after a little over a year, reading this for the fourth time. I found this book to be not as basd as I thought it was before, but I still found no reason for Hobb to have all the magic of the trilogy to be within this book. I also thought that Nevare could have been a much better characterif he took more control of certain situations. Overall, this book wrapes up the trilogy nicely, but I think for Hobb, she could have done better.
Ben Babcock
I suppose we should call this one 600 Pages of Nevare Eating Things and Arguing with Himself.

In this conclusion to Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy, Nevare faces the enemy within, who goes by the name "Soldier's Boy." As the story opens, Nevare flees from Gettys after magically faking his own death. He heads straight for the Speck forest, where he unleashes his magic on the King's Road to wreak havoc and set back construction. Such a great expenditure burns his reserves of magic, which manifests
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I loved Shaman's Crossing and thought Forest Mage was okay, but Renegade's Magic was just too much.

The narrative point-of-view is probably the biggest problem here. Again, we have first-person from Nevare's perspective--the problem is, Nevare's alter ego takes over his body, and he spends most of the 700-page book as an observer. At this point, I've had it with Nevare's impotence. I don't require incredibly decisive protagonists (thought he was great in book one, when he was relatable), but whe
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Ctgt
So I sat around brooding about this book and the series and decided to drop my rating for this final book to 2 stars. I will give the whole series 3 stars but it could have been so much better. The ending might be the only thing keeping this from a 1 star rating for me. The way Hobb wrapped things up was a bit surprising and actually quite satisfying. So how do I rate something 2 stars when I liked the ending? Because it took 500 pages of practically nothing happening to get to that point. There ...more
Tucker
Let me start off by saying I would never like to be the protoganist in a Robin Hobb book because no matter how hard they struggle life just keeps kicking the crap out of them. While admittedly I don't believe this is Robin Hobb's best work, it is still a very interesting story that has many twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing what will happen next. The concept of this trilogy is very interesting in that the protagonist becomes a weapon for the enemy of his people against his will, whe ...more
Lian Tanner
I think this trilogy must be one of the most frustrating I have ever read. I kept going with it, hoping it was going to improve, and with each book it seemed to gain a burst of energy in the last few chapters, so that I decided to read the next one. But the next one was also frustrating ... until the last few chapters. I think one of the big problems is that the books have such an interior focus, and that Nevare NEVER seems to learn from his experiences. The interior thing is even more problemat ...more
Traci
3.5
I wasn't supposed to like this book. Maybe it's a case of expectations being too low to be met. Maybe I have read worse books than the average reader. Or maybe I am so hooked on Hobb's writing she could make stereo instructions interesting. Maybe it's just my belligerence showing. Whatever the reason I enjoyed this book. My biggest problem with this series has been the similarity to American history. It just sort of took me out of my fantasy zone. In this last one I liked the switch of showin
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Ron
A major disappointment from an author I usually trust. Liked the first book (Shaman's Crossing) but the second (Forest Mage) took a dive and this one was a real slog. I expect a character to be a bit unaware or naive at the begining of a trilogy, but if they haven't wised up or taken decisive action by book three, it becomes a chore to read. I can only tolerate so many pages of stupid in a protagonist. The last 30-40 pages were a redemption of sorts but too little too late and it did not make up ...more
Robin Wiley
I liked this book alot. I read this trilogy straight thru with no breaks.

But, I'm struggling figuring out who to recommend it to.

When I read fantasy, I like action, and sarcasm, and great characters. I like well developed religions and worlds. I like critters, full of magic and danger, the bigger the better. I like magic that has to be learned, and when weilded, can cause serious destruction.

Religions - check. World - check. Magic - check.

This particular book has the most action in it, but it'
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Caroline
Like the first two in this trilogy, this was a very slow-moving book in parts. Contrary to the popular reaction to this series, I actually didn't mind the more "boring" bits of it, and actually enjoyed how much Robin Hobb obviously got into the world-building of it all.

This one goes into a lot of details about Nevarre's other self, Soldier's Boy, and what it takes to maintain him as a Great Man. Nevare is tasked with saving the Specks from the encroaching road that his people are building, and s
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Nathan
Mar 26, 2008 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robin Hobb fans, Fantasy Lovers
Robin Hobb fixes a lot of the problems (but not all of them) from previous books in this series.

It's not quite as much the 'idiot plot' as before (where her characters have to be idiots to find themselves in the situations that they're in), and they act in a much more reasonable fashion.

A lot of plot elements that drove previous books get explained, but they take a little too long to be explained.

What rescued this book for me were Hobb's skillful writing style and engaging characters (even if th
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Stephanie
I was quite disappointed with this trilogy in comparison to Hobb's other works.

It was still readable, but her character(s) were not very endearing. The main protagonist has a split personality and both sides are equally annoying. The question remains for a good part of the book as to whether they should merge as one and the "good" side continues to fight against it. But I found myself thinking oh, god - just do it already and move on already. The secondary characters were also grating, far more
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Nightmajik
The entire series was rather up and down for me. I enjoyed the first book very much, but was left confused as the series proceeded. I didn't feel any continuity between the first and second books, and was frustrated with the story to the point that I didn't even want to read the third book for a while. Once I finally picked it up, I was glad to see some questions answered, and some sense of continuity finally appeared. I don't think I would read it again, however, as I did not feel strongly atta ...more
Brian
Not Hobb's best work.
Book 1 was the best of the trilogy and they declined from there. I felt as if the series, especially book 3, could have been condensed considerably. A lot of repetitious wording and a bit of tedious prose describing things that probably didn't need as much detail.
I couldn't help but feel this series was a piece meal of ideas that somehow didn't quite make it into other books and because of that, the central plot and some of the ideas never seemed to really engage me.
If you
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Laura
I was afraid to try this book because I disliked the second one so much. I was pleasantly surprised. The fatness had a purpose in this book. Nevare was back. The series was resolved. I would give it 3 1/2 stars. It was worth reading if you made it through the second book. I would not recommend the whole series. But...if you read the second book...I might suggest you give it a try.
Scott
A great conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. The world that Robin Hobb crafted for these books is astounding, it manages to be familiar yet foreign at the same time, but for the addition of magic I could of been reading a historical novel set in a fictional kingdom of our own world. From Nevares childhood home in the plains, the Cavalla Academy at Old Thares where his taught to be an Officer for the Gernian Cavalry, to the Fort of Getty's at the edge of the Gernian empire, a great forest shadows G ...more
Mieneke
I liked this concluding volume in the Soldier Son trilogy. It finally made Nevare take his fate in his own hands and discover what the magic wanted of him.

For me the crux of the book was the continuing reappearance of Orandula, the god of Balances, who kept demanding Nevare's repayment of his debt in the for of either a life or a death. To me it conveyed the lesson that it's important to make choices, even though you're not sure whether it's the 'right' one. To choose, to take control and live w
...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
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Scott Marlowe
An SFFWorld Favorite for 2007, Renegade's Magic concludes the story of Nevare Burvelle, a second son fated to become a Soldier Son in his king's army. Life takes some unexpected turns, however, as Nevare is called to a different destiny. Drawn by magic to the frontier where his king is waging war against the Specks, Nevare finally succumbs to the forces taken control of him and, instead of fighting his king's enemies, he joins them. Thus begins Renegade's Magic.

Renegade's Magic is a continuation
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Julie
I've finished! The last long book of a trilogy of long books. Not that it wasn't worth reading, but it felt every bit as long as it is.

The main character has been split in two and is trying to reconcile the needs and wants of both his halves to try to make both of his peoples live in peace. Only he seems to be making it worse for both groups, and all his friends and family in the meanwhile.

I could never really predict where the story was going. There was a resolution I longed for since book 2, a
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Tracey, librarian on strike
Jul 13, 2011 Tracey, librarian on strike rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not a soul, sorry
** spoiler alert ** I love Robin Hobb. I really do. I’ve reread the Farseer trilogy a couple of times over the years. I loved Tawny Man. (Not so much the Madship series, but there you are.) But this Soldier Son trilogy… It’s unique; there’s a lot in it that I’ve never seen before. The character of Nevare is also unique: starting out as a fairly typical soldier’s son, he leads us through the training (that I enjoyed), then through being taken over by the magic… Neither of these is part of the uni ...more
Tracy
The last one probably was more of a 2.5 and I am tempted to downgrade it to a 2 - and probably will at some point as I process! This one is a solid 3 - it's still doesn't reach the interest levels of the first book, but the characters are more sympathetic. The book suffers by a lack of Epiny and Spink - there's nothing like taking the most engaging and sympathetic characters and reducing their presence to almost nothing. Instead, most of it is very Speck-centric except not even really about them ...more
John
It always seems like something of a waste to review the third book in a series, because rarely will a reader start with that book, and if said reader has already invested himself or herself in the first book or two of the series, then probably the decision about reading the final installment is pretty much decided. Still, by the end of a series, one can look back and give a sort of review of the whole and a recommendation about whether or not to start it. The long and short of it is that I'd hap ...more
Kathysue
Starting this 3rd in the trilogy, felt like putting on that old and favored sweater. Warm and fuzzy feeling, and very comfortable, even though you know that you look terrible in it.
As the book went on, I could feel those comfort threads start to unwind as Robin Hobb does something very different with her main character... making him unlikable, and very unheroric. I felt the discomfit and hated myself for reading about how much this character hated himself. It was almost unbearable, but I soldie
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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...
Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2) Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3) Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1) Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3)

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