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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2013
And so the Rain Wild Chronicles draws to a close. With the exception perhaps of `Dragon Keeper', the opening book of this quartet, `Blood of Dragons' is the best chapter in this series. It provides conclusion in many important ways to the continuing development of the new lords of the three realms, not only in respect of the intimate group of the dragons and their keepers which this series has shadowed, but also in respect of the story architecture of these novels. It achieves this in a satisfying way for the reader in terms of (comparatively, to the previous two novels) fast-paced storytelling and also by forming a landscape that can be easily resumed or referenced in forthcoming titles by the author should she wish to return here.

However, for many I suspect there will be a sense if not of annoyance then at least of disappointment that there is not a major sense of completion to characters such as Alise, Thymara, Tats, Sedric, Sintara and Tintaglia. Certainly they are transformed both physically and emotionally from how they began in the opening chapter, but the author has shied away from awarding them the final resolution you feel they deserve. Because of this and in spite of a momentous final battle that allows the game pieces to be strewn to the wind and to fall as they may; I'm sad to say this novel peters out towards the end. This is in very stark contrast to the fate of one character in particular whose arc terminates so abruptly and with such finality that despite their questionable conduct throughout this series, I was surprised to see disposed of so mercilessly.

An area in which this series has undoubtedly made great strides in the genre while receiving very little recognition is in the introduction of gay characters. This definitely deserves a congratulation to the author for her courage, for while the genre has progressed and continues to progress (thanks to emerging talents like Patrick Rothfuss who add wholly new dimensions to the human condition in their character portrayals); fantasy stories in the medieval setting continue to be generally outdated in their representation of the sexuality of the characters who inhabit that world, and are instead dominated by conventional figures. This author is renowned for broadening the experiences of her characters to the point of exposing them to the very best and very worst of all life has to offer, and I'm very glad that she's been equally as inclusive with the already rich landscape she had crafted by broadening the variety of her characters to populate the Rain Wild Chronicles.

In summary: while this novel may have less of an epic quality in comparison to the concluding installments of this author's previously published series, this may be explained by the absence of a character (or even characters) to whom the reader feels strongly allied. Neither does `Blood of Dragons' provide a view in hindsight by any of its leading participants or a large jump forward in time that would allow a review of the significance of the events that transpire here in the timeline of this world. Another contributing factor to the pedestrian quality of this series was in the division of the story (that was originally intended to be one single, stand-alone title) into four parts, which was, while through no fault of the author, surely to its detriment.

This novel and indeed this series has felt very much like a stepping stone between stories set on a much grander scale and I hope this will prove to be the case with this author's next foray into the material of which all her fans are always deeply appreciative...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2013
Although I love the book I feel as if it is too short and some parts of e story could have been given in more detail. As there is so much going on you are left with the basis of things. The characters are still present and you get to see a bit more if each but the book is not as long as many of the other novels and I think the ending is particularly sparse. Even thou Robin Hobb has a way of rounding things up in a summary that explains it all there are still things you would have liked to have read in detail.

Other reviews spoke of the end of one particular character as if we're wrong, well it pleased me it was just a shame that it didn't get a bit more attention and therefore a reaction from the characters. We do however get a slight revisit to some old Bingtown characters that draws the story to a nice close and yet again the story is left open to come back to.

It is also good to see all the trilogies come together in a sort of understanding that takes your mind back to key points from other stories. I hope that next we can see all the characters come together for a final ending that sees everyone together so they can all understand everything because at the moment it seems like the rain winders need some six duchies understanding of things!

Overall I think it's brilliant it's just a shame that the ending seems rushed and we don't get a final story for all the characters that play a major part in all the books. I have to say though it does seem to have the happy endings that many readers expressed was missing from other trilogies. I hope that we get to return!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2014
The first books in this series were heavy with character development. So much so that quite a few readers felt nothing really happened, though I enjoyed the first two myself. This book was the opposite. So many things happened in less than 100 pages that I felt cheated for having read the build up. It was a poorly written book and felt as though the author just wasn't sure what to do with all those developed characters and the many sub-plots. A thoroughly unsatisfying finish to what started as a very interesting series.

I normally really like Robin Hobb and thoroughly enjoyed her first three series. The Soldier's Son trilogy turned out to be a bit pointless and now The Rain Wild Chronicles quadrology promised a return to form but delivered a poor finish. Regardless of turning one book into two, I would have been happy enough had they been two good books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
I love everything Robyn Hobb does, my bookshelf groans under the weight of all her earlier book -- thank goodness for my new KIndle! She slightly lost the way with the Soldier Son trilogy, but now we're right back to the wonderful world of dragons. If you are new to these books, start at the beginning with the Assassin trilogy, each book builds for the next. I am sorry I read this one so fast!!
Now I must go back and start again... thirteen books to enjoy. More, please, Robyn!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2013
Although the fourth bok in the series it was still as gripping as ever. The imagination of Robin Hobb is amazing. Her writing is unputdownable once you begin to read. The characters are still believable although they are all imaginary beings. The build up of events is moves smoothly from pne setting to another. If you are a fantasy fanatic then Robin Hobb and her Dragon series is a must not miss!! Loved every minute of it and missed it when I had finished.
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This is the fourth and last book of The Rain Wild Chronicles (after Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven and City of Dragons).

In Kelsingra, Alise is at a lost. What is her life purpose now that the city is about to reawaken? She doesn’t know yet that Hest, her former husband and tormentor, is on his way to claim her back.

While hunting on the eastern bank, Thymara and Tats find remnants of bridge piles. The dragons could use them as launching platforms to fly across the river. The creatures also tell the Elderlings to find wells of Silver, a substance they need to survive.

Tintaglia is severely injured, shot by Chalcedeans. After a harrowing flight back to Trehaug, she learns that Malta and Reyn have already left. They’re on the Tarman, making for Kelsingra to beg the dragons to save their son Phron. But only Tintaglia can help the infant, and the queen is mortally wounded again on the way.

Meanwhile in Chalced, sick and starving Selden is sold to the dying Duke, who wants to drink his blood and eat his flesh to prolong his life. But the despot needs to heal him first, so he puts him in the care of another of his prisoners: his daughter Chassim. Realizing they share the same fate, the young couple become friends.

In this final volume, the exciting multiple story arcs converge to an thrilling ending. In addition, I loved learning more about the expanding mythology of Robin Hobb’s world, the Realm of the Elderlings, and was absolutely delighted to uncover tiny hints and clues to elements in her former Robin Hobb. I need to read those again!
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on 30 May 2015
Robin Hobb has been my favourite fantasy author ever since I picked up Assassin's Apprentice many, many years ago now. With Blood Of Dragons, Hobb brings yet another cracking series to a close - this time focused around the Rain Wilds that have been talked about a lot in all of her previous trilogies but never as in much depth and detail as they are here.
Blood Of Dragons brings about the cultimation (for now) of a storyline that has been brewing ever since her first novel and the Farseer trilogy that followed. Though at times this latest quadology has read a little like a grown-up version of How To Train Your a Dragon, over the course of four books this series has slowly grown on me - offering up many interesting and important insights into the mysterious Elderlings of whom Hobb has spoken so much before in all of her preceding trilogies, whilst introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters that have both grown and matured as the series has continued.
Whereas up until now the central theme in all of her other books has been about her characters trying to bring about the return of dragons to their world, this latest entry instead takes a good, hard look at the possible ramifications for these actions, whilst simultaneously asking whether or not such a decision might be so wise. The Elderlings of legend too are on the cusp of returning and there is much to suggest here that this might not entirely be a good thing either.
As war bristles with Chalced and evil forces still conspire to try and secure stolen Dragon parts, the characters of this series find themselves facing some of their hardest challenges yet.
Are they really prepared to die for what they believe in? And just how far will they go to protect their latest discovery - the recently found lost Eldering city of Legend?

I have simply loved this series and much like The Liveships, it has been a grower on me. Though there are some that have described its final moments as anti-climatic, I find them perfectly fitting when put into context with all of Hobb's other books so far. Here, the story is not about big sweeping battles but instead the bigger message - things are changing in this world and quickly, and its people need to learn that in order to survive, they are going to have to adapt and embrace all that is coming.
Though the series lacks the equivalent of a Fitz or a Fool, the return of a few old, familiar faces is a welcome addition and I have no doubt that characters such as Thymara will go onto much bigger and better things in the future as knowing Hobb, I very much doubt that this is the last she intends us to see of them.
Overall, though this series has not always been up to the high standards set by some of her earlier series', this final book is one of the strongest so far. True, we don't always get the endings we might want for some of the characters (and those who have read this will know exactly of whom I mean) but this only adds an extra dimension and depth of realism to her work for isn't this often the case in life that we don't always get what we want?
Highly recommended - but more for fans than casual readers of Hobb's work.
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on 5 January 2015
I have been eagerly awaiting this fourth and final book in Robin Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles, Blood of Dragons. I was expecting an awesome end to the series, but I should know by now that Hobb over delivers. This is a brilliant conclusion to the series!

The dragons have got to learn to fly and make their way over to Kelsingra, so they can reach the hot baths that will help them grow and fully develop into the dragons they always should have been. They also need to find the silver wells, too - desperately. Without it, dragons are likely to become more like animals. And they're not the only ones who need it; the Elderlings won't survive as they should if it's not found. There is an urgent search to find it; the dragons and Elderlings need it soon, but Malta and Reyn's sickly Elderling child needs it now. With Tintaglia out of reach from everyone, the only dragon who can save the baby, Silver in their only hope. What they don't know is Tintaglia is making her way to Kelsingra, badly injured herself, and almost at death's door. And still people hunt for dragon flesh for the Duke of Chalced, who will go to desperate lengths to prolong his life.

Blood of Dragons is such an incredible story! What I've mentioned above covers perhaps half the book, and only scratches the surface. It's one of those books that so much happens in, it's hard to believe it happens just in this one book - a lot is packed in to these 481 pages, and most of it is pretty epic. There are parts of this book that are really quite disturbing. There are those that are so upsetting, and others that are sickening. There's a fair amount of action in this novel, that we haven't seen much of in the others, and it's wonderful! The dragons don't take too kindly to being hunted for their flesh. There are also people who get what's coming to them, and it's brilliant to see!

There are also questions that are answered, questions that arose through this series, and questions that arose from the very first series in the Realm of the Elderlings. We finally understand what we first discovered in The Farseer Trilogy, with Verity creating his Elderling dragon with liquid Skill - the Silver that the dragons need to much are is what flows in what we know as the Skill river from Assassin's Quest. And with discovering this about Silver, we discover more about things we first learnt about in The Farseer Trilogy. We start to fully understand exactly who and what Elderlings were - and who and what the Keeper Elderlings will become. Again, it harks back to the things we learned about how the stone dragons were created - but in this book we realise what we learned in The Farseer Trilogy was just the tip of the iceberg.

Blood of Dragons is an incredible ending to a fantastic series! I finished this book sad at having to say goodbye to these characters, but even more eager to read Fool's Assassin, the first book in the next series in the Realm of the Elderlings, Fitz and the Fool. So looking forward to reading it, and I have a feeling we may not be saying goodbye to these characters for ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2013
An excellent book and a good ending to the series, as always I have put this last book in the series down and feel a little gutted that I won't be able to read anymore about these characters and storyline.
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I liked the liveship traders books and I've been following the dragon spinoffs. This shows the once-sea-serpent dragons as grown, flying dragons at last, living in the dragon city in the jungle of the rain wilds and now being hunted by people who wish to sell parts of them for medicine. If you have not been following the series, it would be best to go back and read the earlier ones first.

Hobb at this point is just writing and selling so she is not too worried, it seems to me, to tighten up her prose. She has always padded stories out and this quartet has felt more padded than earlier books. Partly it is because every secondary character is followed obsessively - even if they end up ignominiously dead we have had to spend many pages getting to know their innermost thoughts and ambitions. Actually, we skip much of those parts, in order to get on with the story. I read this book in a day but the size, over 500 pages in hardback, may deter some new readers. I borrowed mine from the library.

Certainly it's a decent story based on a very interesting premise in this quartet, which is based on the liveship books, another such story, and there is lots of action and description. Fans will enjoy it, new readers should start with Dragon Keeper and work their way along.
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