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Thursday 22 August 2013


Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb
Book 1 of the Soldier Son trilogy
Read by John Keating
Genre: fantasy
Format: audiobook

About Shaman's Crossing:
Nevare Burvelle was destined from birth to be a soldier. The second son of a newly anointed nobleman, he must endure the rigors of military training at the elite King's Cavalla Academy--and survive the hatred, cruelty, and derision of his aristocratic classmates--before joining the King of Gernia's brutal campaign of territorial expansion. The life chosen for him will be fraught with hardship, for he must ultimately face a forest-dwelling folk who will not submit easily to a king's tyranny. And they possess an ancient magic their would-be conquerors have long discounted--a powerful sorcery that threatens to claim Nevare Burvelle's soul and devastate his world once the Dark Evening brings the carnival to Old Thares.
Source: Info in the About Shaman's Crossing was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45110.Shaman_s_Crossing on 10/02/2012.
The narrator is quite talented. I like the way the narrator change his voice and accent to suit the character in the story. But I could tell when he gets tired. There was a distinct change in the quality of his voice, a slight slurring to the words. But I do not blame him. This is the longest audiobook I'd ever listened to. 21 CDs or 25 hours worth of listening, so it took me sometime to get through it all. Having said that, I have to say that this author has a tendency to be long winding and this is an unabridged audiobook. It's not just the detailed descriptions, but the author has a long winding way of getting to a point. It is also so much narration but not much happening. Maybe this is her way of stringing out the suspense or something, but it's not working out. In fact it's discouraging me to read further on in this series even though I already have the hardback edition of the second book, Forest Mage. In printed format, I imagine that the pace of this book would not be quick at all.

Character development. I find Epiny spoiled brat and irritating! And she is suppose to be one of our team of protagonists. I can't quite decide whether Nevare is such a dimwit, spineless or just the author's idea of being male. This main protagonist (Nevare) is a weak character who is too stupid to live (TSTL) and survive only through sheer dumb luck. However I like Spinks. Flawed but true. So not everybody in this book is TSTL. It's just that the side characters seems to be better developed than the main characters. WTF!

The world building though is fabulous! I like the world of Nevare. I like it's magic and contrasts. It's beautiful! It's realism makes it very easy to immerse in. I think this is the best aspect about this book!

At the end of it, I enjoyed this book, but I would probably prefer the second book to be another audiobook rather than read a long winding hardback. So Forest Mage will probably sit in my TBR shelf for sometime yet.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 3
Story itself = 2.5
Ending = 3
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = N/A (25 hours listening time)
Plot = 3
Narrator = 4

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

Other Books In The Soldier Son trilogy:

Thank you to the RCT Library for letting me borrow this audiobook!!

FTC Disclosure:
This audiobook was borrowed from the library. No money received for this review.


Blodeuedd said...

I like this one, the 2nd book...oh it was beyond depressing to read. I felt so sorry for him and wanted to throw up

Cherry said...

Blodeuedd - I don't think the second book is ever going to be picked up for a very long time then...

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