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Soldier Son Trilogy: Discover Robin Hobb series in order

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“Your future. It awaits only you, to live it and to write it.”

Robin Hobb is best known for her books set in the Realm of the Elderlings, but she also writes a trilogy set outside this world, The Soldier Son.

Published between 2005 and 2009, The Soldier Son trilogy distinguished itself thanks to a post-colonial setting. Written in the first-person point of view, it follows the life of Nevare Burvelle, the second son of a newly elevated Lord of the Kingdom of Gerni. Destined from birth to be a soldier, he must serve as an officer in the army. When he was young, he had an encounter with the Specks (a race of tree people) and their magic, an event that will change his life.

In this historical setting, the warlike nation acts to conquer and assimilate native peoples, a context the series uses to explore the loss of cultural identity, racial preconceptions and discrimination, what it is called a “civilized” society with gender stratification and limited opportunities. Magic and shamanism are also explored in parallel to religion.

The Soldier Son Books in Order

The whole series is comprised of one story.

Cover Book of Shamans Crossing, The Soldier Son Book #1 Cover Book of Forest Mage The, Soldier Son Book #2 Renegades Magic, The Soldier Son Book #3

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 Cavella 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.

Forest Mage — Plague has ravaged the prestigious King’s Cavalla of Gernia, decimating the ranks of both cadets and instructors. Yet Nevare Burvelle has made an astonishingly robust recovery, defeating his sworn nemesis while in the throes of the disease and freeing himself—he believes—from the Speck magic that infected him. And now he is journeying home to Widevale, anticipating a tender reunion with his beautiful fiancée, Carsina, and a bright future as a commissioned officer.

But there is no haven in the bosom of his kinfolk, for his nights are haunted by grim visions of treachery—and his days are tormented by a strange side-effect of the plague that shames his family and repulses the lady of his heart. And as the still-potent magic in his blood roars to life, Nevare realizes a terrible truth: that the enemy who seeks to destroy everything he loves dwells perhaps not without but within him.

Renegade’s Magic — Loyal, privileged, and brave—a soldier in the service of the King of Gernia—Nevare Burvelle survived a devastating plague of enemy sorcery, but at a terrible cost to his soul, body, and heart. Now he stands wrongly accused of unspeakable crimes, including murder, the most heinous of them all. Suddenly an outcast and a fugitive, he remains a hostage to the Speck magic that shackles him to a savage alter ego who would destroy everything Nevare holds dear. Perhaps, however, this curse that has long abused him can be used by him instead—a mighty weapon he can learn to wield for his own purposes. But down what perilous road will this desperate new quest lead him? And what will be the ultimate incarnation of Nevare Burvelle?

Soldier Son Trilogy Quotes

From Shaman’s Crossing:

“How different would our perception of reality be if… we discarded the mundane events that cannot coexist with our dreams?”

“The truth doesn’t need you to recognize it, young man, for it to be so. You need the truth to recognize you.”

“He is very concerned with his dignity, and I think that prevents him from having an interesting life. If I were a boy, and permitted to have an interesting life, I would have no dignity at all.”

“The same thing I live for are the same things I would die for.”

From Forest Mage:

“None of us ever know what we are choosing when we choose life. If certainty is so important to you, than you should have chosen to be dead. That is a certain thing.”

“Boredom is vastly underrated. Boredom means that nothing is trying to kill you every day.”

“They need other people to make them think they’re alive. They only feel like they’re important if someone else tells them they are.”

From Renegade’s Magic:

“Anticipating pain was like enduring it twice. Why not anticipate pleasure instead?”

“It seemed as if every intense emotion had vanished from her, leaving a woman as grey as overcast sky.”

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