Thursday, August 04, 2005

Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb

Sometime last year, I started signing up for publisher letters to see what they were publishing and get a feel for book blurbs. Then, I discovered the advance reader programs. Did you know that you can sign up to be an advance reader of books from all genres? In return for 100 or so words, you can read books both for free and before anyone else gets to see them. Needless to say, I've become an addict. It's a lottery-based program, so I don't get books every month, and occasionally I get caught with more than one coming in from different publishers with similar due dates, but overall, I love the program. I found Karen Traviss through it, learned what is published as horror is not anything like my impression of the genre and now I've joined my sister as a reader of Robin Hobb. I'll be tracking down her older books and looking forward to the rest of the series all because of the reader review program.

Even better, I now have a way to spread the joy further. I've included my reader review for Robin Hobb's Shaman's Crossing below. I really enjoyed this book, though writing about it without spoilers is difficult. If you like cultural fantasies, I think this one will please you.

My older sister has recommended Robin Hobb to me many times, but I never managed to give her books a try. Shaman's Crossing has changed all that. Enveloped in a rich and detailed world, I read this novel much faster than I normally would have, not because it was pure fluff, but because I found excuses for devoting more time than usual to reading. The characters are well drawn and appropriate for their environments; even when the attitudes they espouse run counter to my own, they fit so perfectly within this fictional world that any other approach would have been wrong. The main character starts out young and ignorant. Through the book, his eyes open wider and his world expands. A fascinating blend of magic and cultures, Shaman's Crossing shows both the prejudice between peoples and how it paints too simple a picture. Though matured by the end in comparison to his original state, I look forward to seeing how Nevare absorbs and reacts to the rest of his experiences as the trilogy continues. There is no question of whether I'll be reading the next two books. The characters were too fascinating and appealing for me not to learn what happened for the rest of their lives.


Deirdre said...

So...sounds like you've got a perfect place to find early LMOTM books!!

Valerie Comer said...

I've enjoyed some of Robin Hobb's other books and hadn't heard about this new series. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Margaret said...

Then my work here is done :).

By the way folks, if my mini-reviews ever make you decide to give a book a chance, I'd love to hear about it, whether you liked the book or not :).


Maripat said...

Sound interesting but I'm not positive I'll pick it up soon. I've rebuilt my TBR pile again. I want Talyn and Afterburn. That's a neat program you joined up for. About getting the books in exchange for a review.

Margaret said...

Well, it's not actually out yet either. I just ordered Afterburn myself. And turns out it'll come the same day as Talyn and Last Girl Dancing. I'm going to be a wee bit busy with my already overdone TBR pile...I had to buy a bookcase to house it and even double stacked in spots, there are more books than shelves :).

Myrddin said...

Just found your blog. :)

I've read Hobb's first Farseer trilogy and highly recommend it. My wife doesn't read much fantasy, but she whipped through that series faster than I could. Now, she's tackling Martin. My job is done.

Shaman's Crossing is on my very long list to read...


Margaret said...

Welcome Stuart.

I'm a very slow reader so it takes me a bit to pick up a new author (or even an old one that I just didn't know about), but at least now I know I'll not run out of books to read (as if that was ever an issue ;)).

Malnurtured Snay said...

I also enjoy Robin Hobb's works. I just picked this book up on Sarturday - I'm hoping to enjoy it as much as I did the Farseer Trilogy.

Happy blogging!