Monday, February 06, 2006

Shaman's Crossing

I always feel a little trepidation when I start to read a new series. Especially when it’s written by an author I’ve previously enjoyed. It’s probably because the probability for disappointment is so high. Regardless, I kept my head and my hopes up when I started Shaman’s Crossing, Book 1 of the Soldier’s Son series by Robin Hobb. I thought that her Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies had some of the best characterization I’ve ever read. I just didn’t want to be disappointed.

Once again, I was treated to a good, solid story with characters I could like, even with their shortcomings -- maybe because of their shortcomings. The characters, even the main character, have their moments of pettiness, of weakness, hesitation where the classic hero-type would save the world without self-doubt, conflict or delay.

Though there’s never any fear of the death of the protagonist – it’s a 1st-person narrative – the bumps and bruises, and worse, make you wince in sympathetic pain for his troubles. And even though you know that the hero will somehow win the day, Hobb does an incredible job of keeping suspense, with failure just within reach at every turn.

The setting was basically at the height of North American colonization and the sympathy that the main character is forced to feel for his enemies can be seen as an indictment of our forefathers and the building of the railroads, or of Brazil’s continued woes with the rain forest, without being heavy-handed or preachy.

I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series, even if this one isn’t as good as Hobb’s previous works.

Minigoal #4

Due to my forgetting The Subtle Knife at my parents’ house during Saturday lunch, my order has changed somewhat, with Queen of Demons moving up and the two final His Dark Materials books moving down. I’m currently 237 pages into the 662-page Queen of Demons which leave me about 6 days worth of reading left. Discounting the weekend, when I’ll be on Beaver Camp, that makes next Wednesday as the day for me to be finished.

Until more later on,

40 books to go!


KimProbable said...

This post is in need of some love.

I love you lonely litte post!!

Shiny Beamer said...

I must admit - I am jealous of Liam's progress on his mini-goals. I myself have done pretty much nothing on my plan to clean up my little haven (I can't really call it that).

Unproductive little me is ashamed.

But I am happy for "Mr. Read til I drop" Johnstone.

Sean Woods said...

Go Team Liam!

"Read dem books, WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Anonymous said...

how about another update?


Baron Von Cliff said...

I suspect the waiting stack of books has pinned him to the floor.

Liam J. said...

Actually, I was at Beaver Camp, which you can read about in the message above (although since you have to go past it to get to this, you've probably already read it and left some kind of comment on the other message since that's the kind of thing that you guys would do)

Baron Von Cliff said...

Would do...and, in fact, DID! HAHA!