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Hobb surpasses herself yet again...
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.