Monday 28 December 2009

Review: Dragon Keeper - Robin Hobb

 Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
Book 1 of the Rain Wild Chronicles

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 560
Published: UK July 2009/ US January 2010

Dragon keeper is the newest book by Robin Hobb, and it is book one of The Rain Wild Chronicles. The next and last book in this series will be published next year. This book takes the reader back to Bingtown and the Rain Wilds and familiar characters from the Liveship books makes an appearance.

The dragon Tintaglia has called on the sea serpents and they have migrated up the river to make their cocoons. Many have died getting there and many die making them. When they finally emerge they are nothing like the magnificent dragons of the old. They are broken, deformed, they can't fly, and some do not have the minds they should have. Something has to be done when they prove a danger to the community. The dragons start to speak of the Elderling city of Kelsingra, and soon it is decided that they will be helped getting there.

On this journey are those unlucky of The Rain Wilds, and one is Thymara, born with claws and of the knowledge she should have been put out in the wild at birth. But she is fascinated by the dragons and wants to help. Leftrin, captain of the liveship Tarman also has an interest in these dragons, and last is Alise Finbrook, who has been studying ancient texts about Elderlings and dragons for years.

The dragon keepers have a long road ahead, and there are those that see a profit in dragons, and think of them as dumb cows.

The Liveships series was not my favorite out of Hobbs books, but this one was different. Perhaps because of the mysterious Rain Wilds and its strange and deformed inhabitants. I do hope that this book may give some insight why they are as they are.

It is a good start to a series even though not much happen in the book. First closer to the end they finally start their journey and the whole book up to that is about the journey there. The reader is introduced to all the characters and learns about their lives for a couple of years and what all leads them to this point in life.

One is Thymara, who knows she has no future and who watched the dragons hatch some years ago. A strong girl who wants more but is still following the traditions and ways of her elders. She does act a bit childish longer into the book, but it is to be expected. Captain Leftrin is an interesting character, and as the book moved on I forget if he had done something wrong in the past, and the friendship he seeks from Alise is a refreshing add to the book and adds a bit of hope to the book. Something I do not always expect from Hobb's books because I do know that they tend to get a bit depressing. The main characters is always suffering, and I can't help to be curious about the next book.

Her best characters has to be Alise Finbrook, a woman stuck in a loveless marriage she helped create, and with a husband who is not all he seems to be. Her only happiness is her studies, and her biggest goal is to see the dragons. I can't help to feel sorry for her for her silent suffering. And I can honestly say that I have no idea how the next book will turn out. That is Hobb's strength, because she does not give things away, not even little hints where the books are going. Everything is always a surprise.

But this is mostly a book about dragons, and one of them Sintara, plays an important part. They are born as broken as the people of the Rain Wilds, and as always you feel with them even if they are arrogant. Hobb manages to walk that fine line, and has created a good new book to her tales of this world. There are interesting characters, fascinating towns, and it is easy to follow the story. It can be gripping, and it does get exciting too. Not all see the dragons as the rulers of the sky when they look like these dragons, and that is a good set up and thoughts as you learn to like the characters.

I enjoyed this first book and I am looking forward to the next one.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner. I think this is the US cover, I have the UK one, but I prefer this one cos it it very fantasy, while the UK have a blue dragon on it and that is it
Reason For Reading: I reviewed this for the David Gemmel Legend awards for Fantasy
Final thoughts: Not as good as the Farseer books (but then I looove those), but a good number 2 with the Fool series. But Hobb always writes good fantasy


  1. While this isn't my cup 'o tea, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. I haven't read anything by Hobb, but I really should.

  3. Thanks for letting me know about this series. I know someone who may like it.

  4. Anna
    I do love this kind of fantasy, it is prefect for me.

    Oh yes, start with the Farseer trilogy, they are great

  5. I might be earning your wrath, but I admit that I am not a huge Robin Hobb fan. I tried the Farseer trilogy, but was so annoyed by the hero (Fitz was his name, right?) and his seriously bloated sense of self that I just could not continue past the first half of the second book.

  6. I'm not really into the Fantasy genre, but this sounds good.

  7. Great review. My sister is a fan of Ms. Hobb. In fact, she loves fantasy and as gone mad searching for this one on amazon UK.
    Also, I'd like to thank you for giving me that lovely award. THANK YOU. I'll post about it in a day or so.
    Every happiness to you in the new year,

  8. Wisteria
    Hobb is always fun

    I am shocked by this blasphemy. My heart died a little...nah just kidding ;) You have every right to not like him, of course I love Fitz. I just want to hug him to pieces and tell him that everything is going to be ok. He is one of my bigger book crushes.

  9. Yvonne,
    I am a huge fantasy addict so this works very well for me

    You're welcome, I am just sorry I missed putting it in at first, my bad.
    Aha a fellow fantasy fan, I am sure she can enjoy this book then :)

  10. I am absolutely JEALOUS of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw that this book was going to be released in 2010 and I can't wait. I love Hobb, love her. I agree with you about the Farseer books...they're phenomenal!!!!!

  11. Staci,
    I wanna hug my Farseer books :D I really should re-read again. Even if they always makes me sad.
    But yes Hobb truly is great, love her Farseer books, Fool books, now this one, The Solder boy ones were a bit depressing though and The Liveships, well never got over that rape

    Yay yes 2010!!!!! Soon

  12. Love the name Sinatra for a dragon!

  13. Sounds like a good beginning of a series. :) I havent read any books by this author before, but maybe i should try and look one up at the library. :)

  14. Dc
    Oh it was Sintara, so almost, but yeah that would have been cool ;)

    Look uo the Farseer books, they are awesome!

  15. Hi Blodeuedd,
    I've been wnating to read something by Robin Hobb. I think I have the first book in another of her series. I can't think of it at the moment. One of these days...

  16. Amy,
    Oh perhaps the Farseer books? Oh look at me, totally obsessed by that series, but it is her best ones, and I did have a crush

  17. I'll keep this in mind for when I finish - Innocent Mage...

    Thanks hon..


  18. Hey, I thought you said boing, missy ;) But I see you find the second book even more boring than this one. Oh, what a readers dillema this is! What to read, what to read.



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