Soldier Son Trilogy
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The Soldier Son Trilogy is a fantasy novel series by Robin Hobb. Set in a new world unrelated to her previous trilogies, the Soldier Son Trilogy follows the life of Nevare Burvelle, the second son of a newly elevated Lord of the Kingdom of Gernia.
The career of a person living in Gernia is heavily influenced by their parentage. Those sons born to common parentage follow their father's career. However, for the sons of a noble, things are different. The eldest son inherits his father's title, the second son serves as an officer in the army, the third son enters priesthood, while the fourth becomes an artist. This allocation continues for further sons. Daughters are relegated to submissive roles, being primarily used to forge social links with arranged marriages.
The first book, Shaman's Crossing, concerns Nevare's education. As a young boy on the vast plains, his position as the second son, the Soldier Son, is cemented from birth. From an early age, Nevare is drilled in mounted cavalla (Cavalry) techniques, riding, survival, tactics, and all aspects of life as an officer in the King's Cavalla. As a young man, Nevare's education at the King's Cavalla Academy begins.
Book two, Forest Mage, concerns Nevare's trip to a town near Gettys, and his time at the outpost. His connection with the Specks, a race of tree people who live on after their corporeal lives, develops further and he pursues his dream of a military career
The third and final book, Renegade's Magic, details Nevare's sojourn with the Specks in their extensive forest near the Barrier Mountains. His cousin and her husband Spink continue to deal with events in Gettys.
The world in which "Soldier Son Trilogy" is set is a post-colonial one. A civilised and warlike nation, Gernia, has taken to expanding its boundaries inland as a result of its coastal lands being lost to a neighbour's vastly superior naval force. The move inland involves conquering and assimilating native peoples- Plainsmen. It has been only one or two generations since the Plainsmen have been beaten into submission, and racial and cultural tensions simmer underneath the thin veneer of civilization.
The greater themes of the series so far are: post-colonial backlash, loss of cultural identity, racial preconception and discrimination, and "Going Native"- a term applied to those of "civilized" nature who abandon their own culture and adopt the lifestyle of a more "savage" persuasion.
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