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Renegade's Magic

(Soldier Son #3)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  13,115 ratings  ·  450 reviews
Loyal, privileged, and brave, Nevare Burvelle proudly embraced his preordained role as soldier in the service of the King of Gernia--unaware of the strange turns his life would ultimately take. Exposed to a plague of enemy sorcery that felled many of his compatriots, he prevailed, but at a terrible cost to his soul, body, and heart. Now he stands wrongly accused of unspeak ...more
Hardcover, 662 pages
Published 2008 by Eos (first published 2007)
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Shayne Scott This is definitely a series - I would recommend reading the first two before trying to read this one. Robin Hobb is a fantastic author and has created…moreThis is definitely a series - I would recommend reading the first two before trying to read this one. Robin Hobb is a fantastic author and has created a number of series which exist in the same 'world'. This series is not one of those and is therefore not as well loved by her fans but I thought these books were really interesting and really different(less)
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3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,115 ratings  ·  450 reviews

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David Sven
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Alex Ristea
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
Another fantastically good ending to the story from Hobb, this one a little more predictable than the Realm of the Elderlings series, but still truly a great one and a series I wish more people would try out.

Again, in this book we follow Nevare Burvelle, a young soldier son who has been through a whole host of struggles to survive up to book #3 and who continues to face more in this book too. He's a man who has been taken over with magic and mayhem, and his life at this point is largely dominat
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
Dev Null
May 18, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy, fantasy
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
Mark Halse
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only thing worse than finishing a Robin Hobb book is finishing a Robin Hobb series. Like the other Robin Hobb series that I cherish so much, I plan to reread this one as many times as possible before I die.

I am really puzzled by the mixed reviews of this whole series especially from some avowed Die Hard Hobbies. This series is the absolute epitome of Hobb's amazing work. I thoroughly enjoyed the series all the way through.

Nevare is a prisoner of his own body throughout most of this installme
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
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this one as much as the previous 2 books in the series but it was still a pretty good read that kept me interested in what happens next, right up to the very end.

For that reason, as well as for the fact that I absolutely loved the last few chapters, I'm rating it a 4.

If you don't have patience to read about trouble heaped upon trouble, misfortunes and bad luck, as well as hopelesness with no end in sight - I wouldn't recommend you this series. It does test the readers' endurance b
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
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
...Looking back at this reread of the series I think that the very thing that is Hobb's strength in the FitzChevalric novels is turning against her here. After three books inside Nevare's head I still think he is a short-sighted prick. While one can admire his work ethic and to an extent his loyalty, he is simply too unlikeable and static to make for a really interesting character. For a single first person point of view narrative, that is a big problem. Not even Hobb's worldbuilding can quite o ...more
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
Feb 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
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.
Jun 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Luke Taylor
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whilst Robin Hobb covers a great deal of themes in the Soldier's Son Trilogy, it is Renegade's Magic that finally satiates whatever frustrations Forest Mage created from the confusion of the perceived anti-hero narrator as he struggles with his inner changes and subsequently we struggle along with him. In Renegade's Magic, Navare is captive within his own body in an extreme case of duality and the juxtaposition of two opposing ideals, balanced by a very literal life and death metaphor, and when ...more
Shaitarn .
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 well deserved stars.

I'm emotionally wiped out after reading this. It's a hard, bleak read but a worthwhile and fascinating one. RTC - maybe.

This was a buddy read with Laura from the FBR group and I'm very grateful to her for sharing this one with me.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
Lian Tanner
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Len Evans Jr
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice ending to the series... though this series is definitely not on par with the Farseer, Rainwilds and Liveship books. Overall this book and the series were an enjoyable read however I don't envision reading this one again in the future. Which is something I have done with the Farseer, Rainwilds and Liveship books already!
Renegade’s Magic is the final, extremely disappointing book in Robin Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy. It’s so wildly disappointing that it’s made me look back at its predecessors, which I had really enjoyed, and wonder if they were actually anywhere near as good as I’d thought they were. (Mild spoilers below)…

Forest Mage left us with Nevare having finally cut all ties to his Gernian life. With the population of Gettys reeling in disgust at the crimes he’s accused of, Nevare uses his Speck magic to fl
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, fantasy
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
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
Robin Wiley
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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'
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Not up to her usual skills.

Robin Hobbs stories usually sick me in causing the entire world to disappear. It does not let go until the very end leaving me dazed for days afterwards. This unfortunately did not do that.

The ending to the book was very satisfying. Ever little thread was tied and cut neatly. So while not utterly absorbing, still a good story.
Aggie Villanueva
I love horror and paranormal when I'm just reading for mindless relaxation and pleasure. But I decided to give fantasy a try when I saw Robin Hobb's Assasin's Apprentice, Book 1 in the
"Farseer Trilogy."

Never was I so immediately and so completely drawn into another place and time. Hobb created a world and characters that I felt I'd known my entire life and never wanted to leave. And not just the human ones!

The "Tawny Man Trilogy" carried on where the "Farseer Trilogy" left off, just seen throu
Nov 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, nook, nook-own
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
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
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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** 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

Other books in the series

Soldier Son (3 books)
  • Shaman's Crossing (Soldier Son, #1)
  • Forest Mage (Soldier Son, #2)
“Anticipating pain was like enduring it twice. Why not anticipate pleasure instead?” 89 likes
“It was hard to reconcile the drumbeats and lifted voices in the night with my memories of flames and the screams of dying men. How could humanity range so effortlessly from the sublime to the savage and back again?” 8 likes
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