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Dragon Keeper (Rain Wilds Chronicles, Vol. 1) Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2012
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“Hobb does an admirable job of creating a complex and engaging medieval fantasy world …with originality and subtlety [she handles] such traditional fantasy elements as dragons and magical items…A nicely imagined fantasy setting that will engage readers and raise anticipation for the second installment. (Kirkus Reviews)
“Hobb’s meticulously realized fantasy tale is a welcome addition to contemporary dragon lore.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
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. If neglected, the creatures will rampage—or die—so itis 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
But Robin Hobb examines a different idea: what if something hadn't gone quite right with the forming dragons? "Dragon Keeper: Volume One of the Rain Wilds" is a slow-moving, richly detailed book that builds on the past events of her last two trilogies, but introduces a rather different dilemma and radically different characters.
Five years ago, the dragon Tintaglia led a number of exhausted, half starved sea serpents to the Rain Wilds, and oversaw them going into their cocoons. But when they emerged, these new dragons were deformed and stunted in mind and body. Now Tintaglia has gone off with her new mate, leaving the hungry flightless dragons to be fed by the Rain Wilds people who are uncovering Cassarick -- and both dragons and humans are rapidly getting sick of this miserable arrangement.
So the dragons trick the humans into agreeing to take them to the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra, along with several human keepers. Among those on the journey are the deformed locals including a girl named Thymara, and with an unhappily-married scholar named Alise. But can the strong personalities among the embittered dragons and their equally deformed keepers avoid clashes -- and who will make it up the river?
As dragoncentric books go, "Dragon Keeper" is pretty lacking in glamour. The dragons are stunted, petty, flea-bitten, muddy and fed on spoiled meat, and they live in a rainforesty region full of mud and acid rivers. Fun. The biggest problem is that "Dragon Keeper" goes SLOWLY -- it feels like somebody split one massive book in half, and that this is the first part before the plot really gets moving.Read more ›
My problem with it is perhaps only my personal preference, but I didn't like any of the characters except for Captain Leftrin and Alise...and she began to grate on me, too, near the end. The portrayal of the characters whose eyes we see through is realistically done, and they are extremely believable, even though I didn't like them. We have Hest, Alise's jerk of a husband; the arrogant-to-extreme dragon Sintara; Alise the abused wife finally out from under her husband's thumb; Captain Leftrin, who isn't a saint but is a real guy's guy and nice to boot; Thymara the Rain Wilds girl; and Sedric, the 'friend' accompanying Alise who is so shallow, selfish and two-faced I barely could stand reading his viewpoint. But I had a difficult time reading much of them, they were mostly so unlikeable to me, no matter how well written the story was.
And my final difficulty had to do with the pace. This book is SLOW MOVING.Read more ›
The basic tale, as billed on the jacket, is that a (flock? herd?) of baby dragons have hatched near a human city, but due to environmental pollution and other factors they are all disabled in one way or another, and when they start to present a danger to the city, a small group of humans is enlisted to help the dragons relocate to a more remote location. The first problem is that in a 470 page book, the first substantive meeting between the dragons and either one of the two major female protagonists comes on page 292. This book isn't the story of a journey; it's the story that starts the journey. Presumably, everyone will get somewhere in the second volume. Call me old-fashioned, but I liked it more when fantasy series made sure that each volume had a plot arc all its own -- this book felt more like the publisher had arbitrarily split an 800-page novel in the middle to maximize sales, rather than like one single 400-page story conceived and written as half of a pair.
That might not be a critical flaw, though, if you're reading for something other than plot. I'd never read Robin Hobb's novels before now, but had always heard they were excellently written, with strong and interesting characters and novel concepts. On those points, this book does deliver.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The ending was no ending at all. It stopped abruptly in what felt like the middle of the story. I get that there are books to follow but this was just disappointing for a R. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Meme
Was not sure what to expect when I picked this book, but was happy to find a good story with enough of a hook to make me want to get the next book in the series.Published 10 days ago by Mary Merritt
These are not in the same ball park as the Fitz books, but they are worth reading to pass the time until the next Fitz and the Fool book comes out. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Raven Stone
This is the Robin Hobb I know and love. Recently I tried reading Shaman's Crossing, and couldn't get into it at all. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Brenda
I give this 2 stars because it was ok. It wasn't bad, but not a whole lot happened either. Frankly I think 200 pages could have been edited out and it would have been much... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Andrew