- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061561622
- ISBN-13: 978-0061561627
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 440 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dragon Keeper (Rain Wilds Chronicles, Vol. 1) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 26, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Here be dragons—but debilitated, deformed, damaged dragons, hatched too soon, sick and starving, into a world that has mostly forgotten them. The first of Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles, an absorbing extension of her Liveship and Tawny Man trilogies, introduces 15 young dragons who struggle to survive with the grudging help of mutant Rain Wilders. Eventually driven out by the Traders Council, the hatchlings decide to seek Kelsingra, their ancient home. Caught up by the dragons' plight and longing to escape unhappy families and the stifling Rain Wild culture, self-taught dragon scholar Alise Kincannon and teenage tree-dwelling mutant Thymara volunteer to accompany them on the quest, with the help of magnetic liveship captain Leftrin and a host of colorful characters. Hobb's meticulously realized fantasy tale is a welcome addition to contemporary dragon lore. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* In a novel as good as it is massive, the first of two Rain Wilds Chronicles, Hobb returns to the dragons of the Rain Wilds forests, first met in her Liveship Traders trilogy. They have survived but aren’t thriving. Weak and sick, they must be cared for by the forest’s inhabitants. The only way to save them is to send them back up the Rain Wilds river, lest they run amok and destroy the more civilized peoples who don’t want the responsibility of caring for them. On the perilous journey to do just that, a rich merchant’s wife from Bingtown and a 16-year-old girl from the Rain Wilds tribes meet. They initially have nothing whatsoever in common except wanting to help the dragons, but that is enough for a bond between them to be eventually established as they fight natural and man-made hazards. The scenes on the water will remind readers of the Liveship Traders, as will the good characterizations and the lush forest settings. 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. --Roland Green
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-4 of 440 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Robin Hobb is a very talented (and quite creative) world builder and she makes several parts of the book really pop. Locales come alive in the book and you can almost see the Rain Wilds and the rivers. I was enraged by some of the characters (which I think is a good thing). Her concept of dragons and the related themes were all strong points of the book as well.
World building is a balancing act though. In addition to making both a new world and new characters come alive, there is a need for a plot and a real story. She just does not deliver that and seems to have fallen into the trap of overbuilding. There is only one pace to this book - slow and plodding. I would not be surprised if this was not meant to be a stand alone work. Unfortunately for us, that is how it was sold and for failing this most basic precept, I cannot, in good conscious, give this book any more stars.
I would venture that with this book out of the way, the rest of the series will likely be much more interesting. A shame she just threw this one away though.
What I liked:
1) How real the characters are. They are presented with flaws, or make mistakes, and have quirks. The characters are varied, Hobb introduces you to a fairly large cast, but she has made it easy to like and get to know each one.
2) Hobb has a gift for creating a new and vividly real world. You get to see life in a city nestled high in the canopy of the rain forest. The life of another city nestled on dry land, and then the life in cities excavating ancient cities below them. We see the brilliant idea of a “living ship” and witness life aboard a river barge. She takes you into a dragon’s point of view. You feel the exhaustion from a serpent migration, the taste of mud as she built an encasement, and then the exhausting hunger as she emerged to a new life as a dragon. There are social rules, history, and culture that effect and add contrast to this story.
3) I like how the author kept me guessing about which of the keepers Thymara might eventually have a romantic connection to. How she see’s each of her three prospects differently. Feeling jealousy over one, comfort from another, and strange desire from one she doesn’t really like. It was a wonderful way to mix both plot and characterization into the unfolding action of the book.
What I did not like:
1) No more back-stories Ms. Hobb. Cease and desist from writing anymore sad childhood memories, and recollections from the past. These would have had more impact if used sparingly. The dragons memories were needed to provide understanding of this world. Alise’s established her character, and Leftrin’s successfully added drama by way of hidden secrets. However the rest could have been edited out. Sedric’s was especially annoying, where it was placed in the book made the story drag, read as redundant, and provided little to no new information. I just don’t know why the author thought it was needed because I felt she did well establishing Sedric and Hest in a devoted relationship. I was hoping for more drama when their big secret was revealed. While these memories told us for certain our suspicions were correct, they told us nothing more we did not already know. I would rather have the depth of the Hest/Sedric relationship confirmed in a scene between Sedric and Alise. I also think every scene from Hest’s point of view could have been eliminated. He would have been a better bad guy without them, and the drama of Alise’s failed marriage would have increased.
2) Did I mention redundancy? If I didn’t, or if you the reader are not keeping up let me mention it again, there’s redundancy in the book. Yes this is a fantasy fiction book and many authors build redundant descriptions into the narrative to teach the audience about this fictional place. However in this book, some of these character and place establishing lead in’s went from annoying to insulting. I wondered about it after awhile. Were these remnants of an old outline that never got cleaned up in the editing process? Did some suggest Hobb restate these basic facts over and over again? Does she really think her target market has this low of an IQ? I would read these and hear myself grumbling, “No kidding, we’re 300 pages in.”
3) The ending was a disappointment. Not only was the main plot not resolved, but none of sub plots were either. The ending of this book is not an ending. This ending was not even something I would classify as a cliffhanger. To me the book just stops mid story, as if the author was only allocated so many words by her publisher, or this was the best place to stop according to her editor. This did not throw me too much. I have the next two books in my pile of “to-read’s” at home. However I caution anyone who needs resolution from their books, to have the next book on hand.
Perhaps, I didn't have an instant identification with the dragons. Although, I was glad to see the author tackling a women's "place" during that time and the hidden nature of same sex relationships. Frankly, at the end I debated whether to continue the series. However, I relented since my familiarity with Hobbs's writing style encouraged me to take a chance. Let me tell you. I was glad I did.
Whatever my gripes about this first novel was erased by the rest of the series. Now, this is the imaginative author who can engage
the reader's attention speaking through human characters with flaws and all. And yes. The dragons due become part of your psyche.
Usually, it's the first book that strikes a chord. It didn't work for me this way. Nevertheless, I would wholeheartedly recommend the
the rest of this series. It will not disappoint.