Friday, February 29, 2008

What Jeff's Reading

Just to show that I actually read things other than comic books and watch bicycle racing, I wanted to give a book review of what I've been reading.

I just completed book two of the Soldier Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb, "Forest Mage." I had read "Shaman's Crossing" a few months ago. The story is of Nevarre, a son of a Noble who is destined to be a Soldier. Nevare, like all fantasy book main characters, discovers challenges to his pre-determined way of life and is pulled between two worlds.

"The prestigious King's Cavalla of Gernia has been ravaged by the Speck plague. The deadly disease has decimated the ranks of both cadets and instructors, and the few survivors remain weak and frail. Many have been forced to relinquish their military ambitions and will return to their families to face lives of dependency and disappointment.

As the academy infirmary empties, cadet Nevare Burvelle also prepares to journey home. But far from being a broken man, Nevare has made an astonishingly robust recovery from the Speck plague. Yet back in the shelter of his family, Nevare finds his nights still haunted by visions of his Speck self betraying everything he holds dear in his waking life, and his days tormented by a rare side effect of the Speck plague. He also finds himself caught between the sensual, enchanting realm of the Specks and his own ancestry, the world he has always known."

Robin Hobb is a very good writer. If you are not fantasy fan I encourage you to give her a read. She does a great job of writing. Her characters are believable and she quickly hooks you. What I enjoy about this latest series is I find I root for both sides of the conflict. I think that is quite clever. I find myself longing for a win for both sides. I was quickly invested before I knew it. The story skips along. She does a good job of explaining things that are hard to describe like scents and feelings.

As always I'm impressed with her twist on magic and the way to look at what magic can be in the world. The other thing I enjoy about her writing is that she never pulls out the big magic at the end of the story to win the day like other Fantasy writers do. You know the ones that in the last chapter either discover they have power supreme or luckily find the "sword of everything" and defeat their enemies. The magic that Robin Hobb describes is tied up in the ability of the character, the one you've been rooting for and relating to all through out the book.

As much as I like this series I still love her first trilogy, which is called the "Farseer Trilogy" which my Dad is reading now. There are two other "The Liveship Traders Trilogy" and the "Tawny Man Trilogy" that I enjoyed too. All three series are in the same world. Soldier's Son is in a new world (as far as I can tell).

Up next for me is a series my Uncle Tom sent my father by Stephen Lawhead "Hood" and "Scarlet" which is a twist on Robin Hood (not Hobb).

Of course there are some comic readings scattered in there as well. If you have not discovered Marvel Comics Digital Comics you should. A great way to read comics. They use Adobe Flash too.


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