Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Boy, was this one a rough book to read.
I mean, it was never hard to read and I never once wanted to stop reading it but damn it was ROUGH on the main character.
I mean, this is book two in the trilogy so it wouldn't make any sense without the one before it, but I was getting used to the idea that because he had done the heroic thing, he'd get a tiny bit of recognition or benefits from the shamanistic deed.
Way to dash my hopes, Hobb! Indeed, he goes through a steadily declining hell, a curse that makes him steadily gain weight and he loses everything he ever loved because of it. Step by hellish step, the magic takes him over and there's nothing he can do about it. Heck, even the magic behaves like a monkey's paw when he DOES use it, so not only is he pretty much utterly shunned by everyone, he hurts even those who try their best for him.
Body horror? Check. Tragedy? Check. Dark magic? Check. A cruel destiny? Check.
This is a rough book to put yourself into. It's only the hope that there will be some kind of decent resolution that pushes me on toward the third book. I can only hope that accepting his fate will be the right way out. Whew.
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