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  1. #1
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    Robin Hobb Fans: Is The Soldier Son Trilogy Worth Reading?

    As the title asks, I would appreciate a perspective on whether the series is worth reading. I ask because for three reasons. I am a fan of her work, and the Farseer series is one of my favorite's in over thirty years of fantasy reading. I also greatly enjoyed the Liveship series.

    I picked up all three hardcovers of the Soldier's Son at a huge discount and am well into the first book. Honestly, the writing does not even seem indicative of my previous experience with this author. The story moves very slowly, is perilously dull and has me wondering whether I even wish to continue. Do I simply need to survive the first book because one accepts it as the necessary foundation of the world creation required to bring much more interest, quality and depth in the second and third books?

  2. #2
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    No that pretty much describes my experiences with the Soldier Sons books as well. Actually it was more like agony. I've read and loved literally everything else she has written, but these......just no. I forced myself, truly forced myself through the second book, although I think more effort went into not stabbing myself in the leg with a pen than to reading the words, but in the end I had to abandon the effort before I finished. For the most part I like to just pretend these books don't exist, that way I don't have to crease my face permanently trying to figure out what Hobb was doing when she wrote them.

  3. #3
    I hate to tell you that I feel the same way. If you would of asked about any other Hobb books I would of given you a huge thumbs up but it is almost like a ghost writer penned the Soldier Son series. Even worse news is that if you feel this way already it only goes downhill in my opinion. Book one was the best book of the series and I think I would give it about two stars out of five. The final two books get two stars combined as far as I am concerned. I have read other posts here from people who did enjoy the series so you might want to hang in there just to make sure. Even though I thought this series was a stinker I still am looking forward to her new series.

  4. #4
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    I liked them, though not as much as Farseer. I think anything Hobb writes is always pretty good.

  5. #5
    No.

    The first book had some interesting moments, but I found nothing redeeming in books 2 & 3. I mostly skimmed book 3 to find out "what happens."

  6. #6
    I agree with all of the above - if you don't like book 1, quit while you're ahead, it won't get any better.

  7. #7
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I thought the first book was the best, so if you have trouble slogging through that one, then the series may not be for you. On the whole, the Soldier Son trilogy is probably Hobb's most divisive series.

    Check out this thread for some of the varying opinions:

    Oh, NO (Soldier's Son)

  8. #8
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    Thanks Rob, and All,

    I've nearly managed to complete the first book. Your comments leave me less than commited to go further. Thank you for perhaps saving me from a waste of time that might well be better spent on other books/series. Though, given that I have made the immense effort to have slogged through all of the first book, I am now wondering about what becomes of Nevare.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I thought the first book was the best, so if you have trouble slogging through that one, then the series may not be for you. On the whole, the Soldier Son trilogy is probably Hobb's most divisive series.

    Check out this thread for some of the varying opinions:

    Oh, NO (Soldier's Son)

  9. #9
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    I too gave up on the second book. It's all about Nevarre getting fat, and how everyone is shocked and disappointed at how fat he is.

    It's actually quite unintentionally funny.

  10. #10
    I don't know if I should read them either. What I love about Hobb is her characterizations.

    I am intrigued by the "Navarre gets fat" aspects. It is rare to have a fat protagonist in fantasy. Fat characters are evil and stupid 99% of the time. I would love to read an exploration of those issues, and Hobb is one of very few authors I could trust with that. But statements like

    it is almost like a ghost writer penned the Soldier Son series
    and

    the writing does not even seem indicative of my previous experience with this author
    really give me pause! I can't abide bad or boring writing, and I am very worried.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinspring View Post
    I don't know if I should read them either. What I love about Hobb is her characterizations.

    I am intrigued by the "Navarre gets fat" aspects. It is rare to have a fat protagonist in fantasy. Fat characters are evil and stupid 99% of the time. I would love to read an exploration of those issues, and Hobb is one of very few authors I could trust with that. But statements like

    and

    really give me pause! I can't abide bad or boring writing, and I am very worried.
    I think knocking the writing as bad is a bit off, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's the subject matter that throws people off. As for "slow" and "boring", that's been critics' knocks against Hobb since the Assassin series. Those who enjoy her slow-paced, world/plot/character development disagree.

    I liked all three books in Soldier Son. The world is awesome. I'd love to read future stories based in it. Is it a better series than her previous nine books? Not by far, in my opinion. I still recommend it to any Hobb fans.

  12. #12
    aka Radone Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Soldier's Son was my first Hobbs' series. I initially thought it was 'ok', but now, I look back on it as a waste of time. It was boring, pointless, and self-defeating. It wasn't the writing that was bad. It was the world was poorly realized; the plot was a long extrapolation on torturing Nevarre and making every aspect of his life a failure; and the ending was anti-climactic and unsatisfactory. It was bad enough that I'm afraid to read anything else by her.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyloot View Post
    I liked all three books in Soldier Son. The world is awesome. I'd love to read future stories based in it. Is it a better series than her previous nine books? Not by far, in my opinion. I still recommend it to any Hobb fans.


    Just finishing book one, which improved, slightly, as it went along. Since I already also own the second and third book of the trilogy, I give the second book a chance and see where it leads.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radone View Post
    Soldier's Son was my first Hobbs' series. I initially thought it was 'ok', but now, I look back on it as a waste of time. It was boring, pointless, and self-defeating. It wasn't the writing that was bad. It was the world was poorly realized; the plot was a long extrapolation on torturing Nevarre and making every aspect of his life a failure; and the ending was anti-climactic and unsatisfactory. It was bad enough that I'm afraid to read anything else by her.
    While I actually think that assessment is pretty accurate, I would still caution that it not be preventative with regard to your reading other Hobb work. In terms of quality and enjoyability, were her writing not distinctive I could almost think it was a different person altogether who penned the words.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaim Grymauch View Post
    Just finishing book one, which improved, slightly, as it went along. Since I already also own the second and third book of the trilogy, I give the second book a chance and see where it leads.
    Yeah, well, a warning: the successes at the end of book 1 are short lived by our young hero. In gets a lot, lot worse. I think that in itself was enough to turn off most critics of the series.

    But, like I said, I enjoyed the series. She's a phenomenal writer. One of the few who can keep me up until 3 a.m. on a work night.

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