Friday, November 23, 2007

Renegade’s Magic-Robin Hobb

Renegade’s Magic
Robin Hobb
Eos, Feb 2008, $25.95
ISBN 9780060757649

His lover, Lisana enabled Gernian soldier Nevare Burvelle to escape incarceration when she split his soul enabling him to become a Speck mage Soldier’s Boy. However as a nasty by-product, two personalities conflict over who controls the host body.

His Soldier’s Boy’s mage skills lead Nevare to try to destroy the Gernian road that has begun to devastate the Specks’ woodlands. His failed efforts leave him near death, but Speck female Olikea uses her healing skills to save his life as is her duty. As he recovers he finds his two sides in conflict as each has a demand. Nevare knows that he must prevent the Gernia from demolishing the Specks’ forest while at the same time he also must stop the Specks from distributing their deadly plague that has slaughtered the Gernians. He begins to believe that to succeed he must unite his warring split personalities.

The final Soldier Son tale (see FOREST MAGE and SHAMAN’S CROSSING) is an entertaining fantasy that looks deep at the issue of development vs. environment. The story line is fun to follow although the pace at times is turtle like especially when the complicated Hobbs magical structure is logically but boringly elucidated (only a fool would read this entry before the previous two books). Still this is a fine trilogy that showcases the importance of finding win-win solutions to complex social issues as the two sides seem to only employ lose-lose methods.

Harriet Klausner

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