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City of Dragons (Rain Wilds Chronicles) Paperback – February 7, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 361 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A master fantasist.” (Kansas City Star )

“The Soldier Son [trilogy] can be read as a political satire on American military aggression, but on a more personal level it is profoundly perceptive about the challenge faced by the honorable, brave and good. Nevarre is a true hero.” (London Times on SHAMAN'S CROSSING, FOREST MAGE, and RENEGADE'S MAGIC )

“A satisfying story” (The News-Star (Monroe, LA) on DRAGON HAVEN )

“fast action, deep emotional bonds and a great ending...[I] encourage you to check out Dragon Haven” (Blogcritics.com )

“Hobb’s strength has always been her ability to create compelling characters to inhabit her richly detailed worlds. The Rain Wilds Chronicles is no exception.” (Shroud Magazine Book Reviews on DRAGON KEEPER and DRAGON HAVEN )

“Full throttle…[a] thrilling conclusion…Hobb’s writing unfurls here with muscular and self-assured bravado, the characters fascinating and three-dimensional.” (Realms of Fantasy Magazine on RENEGADE'S MAGIC )

“[W]e suspend disbelief with complete abandon as the pages turn and turn...Robin Hobb is one of the most important writers in 21st century fantasy.” (Contra Costa Times on RENEGADE'S MAGIC )

“Hobb creates a completely alluring portrait of dragons and their culture.” (Bellingham Herald on DRAGON HAVEN )

“Hobb has a deft hand with accessible and sympathetic characters, regardless of their fantasy trappings, and he makes effective use of the divide between what the reader knows and what the characters know to build tension.…A quick and fun read.” (Miami Herald on DRAGON HAVEN )

“In a novel as good as it is massive, the first of two Rain Wilds Chronicles...Hobb continues to occupy a perch at or near the top among contemporary fantasists. This book is imaginative, literate, and compassionate from first page to last.” (Booklist (starred review) )

From the Back Cover

New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb—“one of the most important writers in 21st-century fantasy” (Contra Costa Times)—continues her enthralling fantasy saga of dragons and their keepers

City of Dragons
Volume Three of the Rain Wilds Chronicles

Once, dragons ruled the Rain Wilds, tended by privileged human servants known as Elderlings. But a series of cataclysmic eruptions nearly drove these magnificent creatures to extinction. Born weak and deformed, the last of their kind had one hope for survival: to return to their ancient city of Kelsingra. Accompanied by a disparate crew of untested young keepers, the dragons embarked on a harsh journey into the unknown along the toxic Rain Wild River. Battling starvation, a hostile climate, and treacherous enemies, dragons and humans began to forge magical connections, bonds that have wrought astonishing transformations for them all. And though Kelsingra is finally near, their odyssey has only begun.

Because of the swollen waters of the Rain Wild River, the lost city can be reached only by flight—a test of endurance and skill beyond the stunted dragons’ strength. Venturing across the swift-running river in tiny boats, the dragon scholar Alise and a handful of keepers discover a world far different from anything they have ever known or imagined. Immense, ornate structures of black stone veined with silver and lifelike stone statues line the silent, eerily empty streets. Yet what are the whispers they hear, the shadows of voices and bursts of light that flutter and are gone? And why do they feel as if eyes are watching them?

The dragons must plumb the depths of their ancestral memories to help them take flight and unlock the secrets buried in Kelsingra. But enemies driven by greed and dark desires are approaching. Time is running out, not only for the dragons but for their human keepers as well.


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Product Details

  • Series: Rain Wilds Chronicles (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; First Edition edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061561630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061561634
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The entirety of the action that takes place in this novel could be put into 50 pages easily. The others are just padding and rehashing. In fact, Hobb rehashes so much, you begin to believe that she thinks her audience is either incredibly stupid, or suffering from an extreme case of short term memory loss. Everything is repeatedly endlessly. The dragon Tintilaga is manipulative and cruel. Malta is very pregnant. Heebie can fly! Hest is stupid and pines for his gay runaway secretary Sedric (in his own way). On and on and on... these points are hammered endlessly page after page. When something does occur, which is rarely, it is padded or stretched out between bits of other characters so much, that by the time she gets back around to it, the novelty has worn and hearing more about it is another exercise in tedium. There are several threads of relationships running through the book, but there is no heat or romance in them either. With that all being said, I will likely read the fourth book just to find out where this is all going (if very slowly). There are a few story threads that twist out rapidly near the end of the book that leave you dangling. After slogging through over 300 pages, I expected to come away more satisfied than this.

If you are considering the Rain Wilds to be your introduction to Robin Hobb... STOP! Read "The Farseer" trilogy first, which was an excellent, fast paced, hard to put down romp through a fantastic land stocked with intriguing characters. "City of Dragons" is barren of any of that...
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have long been a fan of Robin Hobb, and I devoured the Farseer, Tawny Man, and Liveship Trilogies. Unfortunately, I haven't found the Rain Wilds Chronicles nearly as appealing as her earlier works. Dragon Haven, the second book in the series, ended with such a lack of compelling storylines or suspense that I erroneously believed that the series was over. It was not until I saw City of Dragons that I realized my mistake.

Volume Three of the Rain Wilds Chronicles picks up where Dragon Haven left off, with a small group of dragon keepers trying to raise their stunted and deformed dragons to full strength. Hobb also weaves Malta and Selden Vestrit into the book as major players. Much of the intrigue revolves around their stories, but Malta's big scene is so hastily over that it might as well have been left out completely, and Selden is so poorly fleshed out that his approaching peril is not very interesting. A great deal of the book is spent describing the majestic ruined city of Kelsingra, which slows the book down to a snail's pace. City of Dragons is not an improvement over the other two books in the Rain Wild Chronicles, but it is definitely not without merit. The addition of the dragon Tintaglia adds much needed depth, and the character of Sedric has improved dramatically.

I will certainly read the next installment in this series, but I would only recommend City of Dragons and the rest of the Rain Wilds Chronicles to devoted Robin Hobb fans. Others who are looking for a compelling fantasy book would do well to try any of her other series before tackling this one.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Liveship books are up there in my top 10 most enjoyed books ever. I have enjoyed the Rain Wild Chronicles as well - not as much, but still intensely happy to revisit this world of complex characters, deeply defined societies, and political intrigue with Robin Hobb's usual blend of drama, mystery, and intrigue. That, and dragons that are NOT your typical 13 year old girl ride-on-the-shoulder-kindred spirit dragon fantasy.

When I finished Dragon Haven, volume two of the Rain Wilds Chronicles, it seemed so conclusive that I thought it was going to be volume 2 of only 2. It ended with the discovery of Kelsingra, the ancient city of the Elderlings and dragons, and Sintara, the dragon queen, attempting flight. I am ecstatic that there is not only a new book in the series, but also that City of Dragons clearly is NOT the end of the series!

This book gives some good insight into...

- What is in Kelsingra? Does it hold Elderling magic and / or Elderling items?
- What happens to Sintara and her attempts to become all that a dragon should be? What about the other dragons?
- How do the dragon keepers fare, after all of the changes they've gone through due to exposure to the dragons, and now that they have reached Kelsingra...(sort of, it's across the river, the dragons can't get to it and even Tarman can't easily get there)
- What happens to Thymara, Sintara's keeper, now that she and the others are free from the harsh societal rules (such as those who are "touched" (deformed) by the Rain Wilds magic not being allowed to have children or even be intimate)
- Where is the dragon Tintaglia and will she return?
- What of Selden, Malta, and Reyn, the first new Elderlings? What of Malta's pregnancy?
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am going to make this short - if you want to know more about the story read the other reviews. I am bummed about this book. I have read nearly everything that she has ever written and this appears to be about a payday. Every other book she has written in a series was a self contained story, with decent plot lines that all came to a conclusion by the end of the story and very cleverly at that. This is good writing, but it ain't a book. This is a set-up for about 5 separate story lines that never 'go anywhere'. For full price you should get something more.
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