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Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 1) Paperback – 4 Mar 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 237 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007342594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007342594
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Hobb is one of the great modern fantasy writers… what makes her novels as addictive as morphine is not just their imaginative brilliance but the way her characters are compromised and manipulated by politics.'
The Times

'Hobb is a remarkable storyteller.'
Guardian

'Robin Hobb writes achingly well'
SFX

Praise for The Liveship Traders series:
'Even better than the Assassin books. I didn't think that was possible'
George R R Martin

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.

" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Given that this book is part one of two, it is exceptionally good. Without that understanding though, you may wonder why it only really starts to get exciting right at the end with the rest of the book being gentle set-up.

Robin Hobb's writing style is beautiful. Slightly flowery but never too ornate for clarity, it soothes and calms me. The writing in this book flows particularly well with characters and places coming alive through careful descriptions.

Her world is, in my opinion, her strongest selling point. The realm of the Elderlings has been carefully constructed in other books (it is probably helpful though by no means necessary to have read at least the Liveships before this one) and is continued here. The life cycle of the dragons is given a strong focus and there are delightful peaks at Elderling relics, magical objects from a lost time. It feels unique in the world of fantasy as it does not draw on medieval times but a more prosperous era of trading and travel with a Puritanical society.

The characters themselves aren't as fresh as those in her other books (for example, the Liveships series with the pirate Kennit) but they are presented with the potential to be magnificent after a bit of growing up. A strength of this book is the multiple point of view storytelling which allows for the same character to be seen from different perspectives. The cast is quite small though and it takes very little time for them to become embroiled in the same plot making it easier to follow than many other sprawling multi-pov fantasy books. Plus her depiction of how dragons think is fantastic.

The book covers themes of marriage, sexuality, deformity, appearance, society, emancipation... and I daresay I have missed many.
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Format: Hardcover
I would have to say that Robin Hobb's Assassins, Liveships and Tawny Man trilogies are among the finest examples of contemporary sci-fi fantasy that I have been fortunate enough to encounter. That being said, I was utterly dissapointed with the Soldier's Son series which, while not being bad exactly, was simply not on the same par.

As excited as I was to hearof this new series returning to the world of the orginal trilogies I must admit that I approached it with a certain level of trepidation because of my dissapointment in the soldiers son series. Furthermore, when I did actually pick this book up, the typing error on the second line of the first page on my copy made me worry a little about the quality of the editing.

However, I literally read the book from cover to cover within the space of a night and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it- although, as already noted, some of the time period jumps were not as fluid as they could have been and occasionally disrupted the flow somewhat.

The reason I gave it 3 rather than 4 or 5 stars is simply that this book reads very much like an introduction or set up to the series rather than being a true novel in its own right. 400 or so pages in and the dragons had only just started their journey and, character development aside (and very good character development at that) very little actually happens.

I can't wait for the second book to really get my teeth into this story and to be honest, if you haven't already picked up this book I would actually recommend waiting on at the least the second installments release before you do.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I began `Dragon Keeper' I was aware that the story was originally intended to be a single volume and was only split into two parts when the author's page-count exceeded what was considered appropriate for a stand-alone novel. This latest novel from Hobb is extremely enjoyable and engrossing in its own right (no surprise at all to anyone who's had the pleasure of reading any of her previous works). But if it does seem to move a little slower and offer less immediately thrilling plot developments along the way, I would suggest this is due to the story being paced as the first 500 pages of a novel intended to be 1,000 pages+. So I imagine the second half of the story will offer a substantial increase in thrills & revelations. So I find myself in limbo longing for the two halves of the `Dragon Keeper' tale to be reunited, so that I can learn of all that befalls this eclectic group of characters in such a distinctive, fantastical & compelling story as is debuted here.

As this story takes place in the same world as that of Hobb's other trilogies (`The Farseer', `Liveship Traders' and `Tawny Man' trilogies), focusing in particular on an area called the Rain Wilds that was the setting for many scenes in the books in the `Liveship Traders' trilogy, I felt I had an advantage in having previously read and reveled in the three books of that trilogy. But in the same way that the `Soldier Son' trilogy could be read independently of Hobb's other works, similarly `Dragon Keeper' felt very much to me like a novel that might be enjoyed by newcomers with no prior knowledge of the setting or writing style. With this book Hobb is writing with a clean slate; introducing a new set of characters and exploring fresh material.
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