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Robin Hobb

Shaman's Crossing

Shaman's Crossing

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The first book in a brand new trilogy from the author of the Farseer; Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies. Young Nevare Burvelle is the second son of a second son. Traditionally in Gernia; the firstborn son is heir to the family fortunes; the second son bears a sword and the third son is consecrated to the priesthood. Nevare will follow his father - newly made a lord by the King - into the cavalry; to the frontier and thence to an advantageous marriage; to carry on the Burvelle name. It is a golden future; and Nevare looks forward to it with relish. For twenty years King Troven's cavalry have pushed the frontiers of Gernia out across the grasslands; subduing the fierce tribes of the plain on its way. Now they have driven the frontier as far as the Barrier Mountains; home to the enigmatic Speck people. The Specks - a dapple-skinned; forest-dwelling folk - retain the last vestiges of magic in a world which is becoming progressive and technologised. The 'civilised' peoples base their beliefs on a rational philosophy founded on scientific principle and a belief in the good god; who displaced the older deities of their world. To them; the Specks are primeval savages; little better than beasts. Superstitions abound; it is said that they harbour strange diseases and worship trees. Sexual congress with them is regarded as both filthy and foolhardy: the Speck plague which has ravaged the frontier has decimated entire regiments. All these beliefs will touch Nevare's training at the Academy; but his progress there is not as simple as he would wish. He will experience prejudice from the old aristocracy: as the son of a 'new noble' he is segregated into a patrol comprising other new nobles' sons; all of whom will encounter injustice; discrimination and foul play in that hostile and deeply competitive environment. In addition; his world view will be challenged by his unconventional girl-cousin Epiny; and by the bizarre dreams which visit him at night. And then; on Dark Evening; the circus comes to Old Thares; bringing with it the first Specks Nevare has ever seen...







HarperCollins Publishers


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