Renegade's Magic : Soldier Son Trilogy

  • by Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by Jonathan Barlow
  • Series: Soldier Son Trilogy
  • 24 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The final book in the Soldier Son series, from the author of the Tawny Man and Farseer trilogies, following on from the best-selling Shaman’s Crossing and Forest Mage.
The people of Getty's town remember the death of their cemetery soldier vividly. They remember believing him guilty of unspeakable crimes, condemning him, and then watching as other men of his unit beat him until he no longer drew breath. But Nevare Burvelle didn't die that day, though everyone believes they saw it happen. He was cornered by a power far more intractable than an angry mob. When he was a boy, the magic of the Specks - the dapple-skinned tribes of the frontier forests - claimed Nevare as a saviour; severing his soul in two, naming his stolen half Soldier's Boy and shaping him into a weapon to halt the Gernian expansion into their lands and save their beloved ancestor trees. Until now Nevare has defied the magic, unable to accept his traitorous fate. But the magic has won: It has extinguished his once golden future, devastated his family and has now turned his own people against him. Faced with endangering the only loved-ones he has left, Nevare has no choice but to surrender to its will and enter the forest.
But surrendering to his Speck destiny is only the beginning of his trials. Before he submits completely, Nevare makes one desperate last attempt to deter the Gernians from the Barrier Mountains without causing them harm. But the magic accepts no compromise. Exhausted, Nevare can no longer suppress his traitorous Speck self, Soldiers Boy. Losing control, he becomes a prisoner in his own body; able only to watch helplessly as his other half takes Soldier's Boy is determined to stop the Gernian expansion at all cost, and unlike Nevare, he has no love, nor sympathy for his spirit-twin's world.

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What the Critics Say

"Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics." (The Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not up to Hobb's usual standard...

I’ve persevered with this story to the third book as it has some very good characters, but maaaaannnn this book is so slow. It’s incredibly repetitive, nothing seems to happen for the first two thirds.

I think at least half of it could be edited out and it would read better (and this coming from someone who thinks the bigger the book, the better!) I haven’t finished yet as still listening but I think if I’d been reading this in the traditional sense I’d have given up by now, or sped through it just to see how it ends.

Even being a massive fan of Hobb’s amazing writing I can’t help but be a bit disappointed. The narrator is excellent however, loved him throughout all three books. Just a shame the plot is a so stale.
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- Kate

Hopes dashed for a satisfying ending

What did you like best about Renegade's Magic? What did you like least?

I guess it was the completionist part of me that kept me going with this series.I quite liked the first book. It was by no means a gripping story like the Elderling Series, but I became quite invested in the main character. The second book seemed to meander endlessly, but I had hopes for a - if not great - at least satisfying ending.
What I got felt like 20 hours listening to someone describing the pleasure of food and eating. The story crawls along so slowly that only the most stalwart will find themselves not zoning out. This has become a good medium to put me to sleep.
Listening to all three back to back certainly did this story no favours.


What will your next listen be?

Think I will take a break from Hobb for now and wait for the final book in Fool's quest to be released. Onwards to new discoveries.


What aspect of Jonathan Barlow’s performance might you have changed?

I don't think any performer could have saved this story.
Although a very pleasant reading voice to listen to, there is no real magic here. Think Audiobooks have come a long way and it is those adept with voices and a knack for accents seem best suited to make a story come to life. Still, I have no complaints,


Was Renegade's Magic worth the listening time?

Unfortunately I think most will find it not so. Not Hobb's best work by a long shot.
On hindsight, I think it would have been no great loss to have missed this series.


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- WinterWolf

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2013
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited