Author: Robin Hobb
Series: Rain Wild Chronicles #1
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: Too much time has passed since the powerful dragon Tintaglia helped the people of the Trader cities stave off an invasion of their enemies. The Traders have forgotten their promises, weary of the labor and expense of tending earthbound dragons who were hatched weak and deformed by a river turned toxic. If neglected, the creatures will rampage–or die–so it is decreed that they must move farther upriver toward Kelsingra, the mythical homeland whose location is locked deep within the dragons’ uncertain ancestral memories.
Thymara, an unschooled forest girl, and Alise, wife of an unloving and wealthy Trader, are among the disparate group entrusted with escorting the dragons to their new home. And on an extraordinary odyssey with no promise of return, many lessons will be learned–as dragons and tenders alike experience hardships, betrayals . . . and joys beyond their wildest imaginings.
In my eyes, Robin Hobb is the epitome of an amazing fantasy author. Every element of writing I expect from my books she always delivers brilliantly, and is easily one of my all-time favorite authors. I didn’t think she could do anything to make me love her more… until she wrote a series about dragons!
She has written about dragons before, but takes it to the next level of brilliance in this latest, amazing series: The Rain Wild Chronicles. It follows the life cycle of dragons, makes them just as important as the humanoid protagonists, and celebrates just how beautiful and shall we say unhuman they really are.
I love how well-developed Hobb’s characters are. They always feel like real people, and their flaws make them endearing. What’s great about Dragon Keeper is that she applies that same talent for character development to dragons. I found the whole thing entirely fascinating and loves how much of an active role the dragons had in the story – we even get several chapters from the dragon’s POV.
Part of the reason Hobb’s characters are so memorable is that she takes a lot of time within the story developing them to their fullest. Her novels, while not lacking in either setting, plot, or events, are strongly character-driven. A lot of times the larger scope of the story takes a backseat to the inner conflicts of her characters. I have to say, I’ve never been bored despite the slower pacing. Hobb’s works are like trickles of water running into streams – A bit narrow and unremarkable at first, but eventually growing into raging rivers that give you an exhilarating ride to the end. I have never been anything less than completely engaged, and I absolutely love that about her works.
Overall, if you are a dragon-lover like me and haven’t yet picked this up you’ll kick yourself for waiting so long when you finally do (I know I did).
Recommendations: While this series can be read as a standalone, the characters within are ones we’ve seen before. In fact, this book is the culmination of everything we’ve been working towards in a previous series. Even though dragons don’t play a huge role in the earlier novels, they are still well worth your time to read. The last book in the Tawny Man series was so profound that it was one of the main reasons why I started this blog (I’d read a phenomenal book and had no one to tell… that had to change).
So, if you’d like to start from the beginning (the recommended path) consider following the order below from left to right:
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