The begining is a bit slow, but the overall story is very worthwhile. There's a lot of very necessary plot points that have to be established early on to shape the rest of the story. I had a bit of a hard time getting started, but once Nevare arrived at the academy, it def. picked up the pace. The second book is much better. It's a story that's worth sticking with.
I actually stopped reading it becasue of the beginning. I am so glad to hear that it gets better.
As antisocialyeti says it's a slow go at first. For me the whole first half of the book dragged, even after he gets to the academy. But this is Robin Hobb and it gets pretty fascinating once its rolling. The second book takes some mind-wrenching turns and is very absorbing, even if it appears that the story is about to die at times. It's worth it, though. Moral ambiguity runs amok. If you liked the Fool stick with it, you'll enjoy this too.
I'm glad others have felt the same :-) I really like Hobb generally - have gobbled up the royal assasin books, the fool books and the liveship books in no time. There is a lot going on in 'Shaman's crossing' and it sticks to me - a little like a disturbing dream... Now I've just got to get my hands on the sequel - 'Forest mage' or somesuch?
How to survive the beginning
I had an extraordinary Robin Hobb experience reading this book: I was utterly bored the first part of this book - up until Nevare arrived at the academy. I had to ask a friend, who had read it, if it was any good at all, because I was just so ready to put it down for good. Hobb usually don't bore me, and I just can't put my finger on what it was that put me off so.
Did anyone feel the same or am I just oddball here?
I must admit I don't agree - I loved Fool and Tawny Man, I just didn't think Nevare's story was compelling. There were some parts that worked well (The Academy, I agree), but the trilogy just never found a stride for me.