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Even though there is no action. So glad to be backin that world with every character pulling you, engrossing you with their every step. View all 17 comments. Sep 07, Samantha rated it liked it. Great, but not my favorite of Hobb's books. Definitely seems like a big set-up book though and I've heard good things about the rest of the series.

So here's to book 2! It took me a little bit to get into this one, which isn't unheard of for a Robin Hobb book since she is so thorough with her characterization. However, I still didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as her other series' so I reduced it a star. Her characters are still decent, but I found that I have not connected with any yet, which was disappointing. The story is interesting enough to keep me turning those pages, but not much was accomplished in this one.

Hopefully that will not be the case with t It took me a little bit to get into this one, which isn't unheard of for a Robin Hobb book since she is so thorough with her characterization.

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Hopefully that will not be the case with the next. I am still a HUGE fan of hers and am excited to check out the rest of this series. Jul 06, Kaitlin rated it really liked it. I read this book once again as a buddy read with my loyal group of Robin Hobb readers. We're all a bit obsessed with her work by this point honestly and we'd all been missing this world and these characters so being able to dive back into a story of Elderlings, Magic, Monsters and Myths was just wonderful and although this isn't my favourite of her books I still really enjoyed this.

It is a shorter book than many of the Hobb ones I've recently read, and the story does have a few skips in time an I read this book once again as a buddy read with my loyal group of Robin Hobb readers. It is a shorter book than many of the Hobb ones I've recently read, and the story does have a few skips in time and a little bit of recapping which I didn't love, but honestly it's Robin Hobb and her excellent world and characters and we do see some truly wonderful developments in this book. This book in particular is set in the Rain Wilds, a section which we have already explored a little in the Liveship Traders books and it's a place which I instantly fell in love with.

The people of the Rain Wilds have to live in vast, enormous canopies of trees because the river that they live near is toxic and erodes boats and skin alike. The only boats that can travel the river are the Liveships which have magical properties, and the people who live in the area suffer greatly for their proximity to the river and harsh land.

However, there are many secrets and adventures to be found here too and we follow a couple of new characters in this book who promise to discover to some pretty big events and secrets. The characters who are new in this book include Captain Leftrin, Thymara and Alise. Each of these characters lives either within Bingtown, the Rain Wilds or is a trader with the two and has a lot of ties to both these places and the people we've met in previous books who live here too.

I found myself quickly being intrigued by each of them, although I think that Thymara and Alise were easily the two whom I connected with quickest. I enjoyed Leftrin's story too, it just took me a little while to warm up to him. Leftrin is a trader who uses his ship, the oldest one which can travel the Rain Wild River, to trade up and down it. He's a middle aged fellow with few prospects ahead other than his day to day life which he enjoys immensely I liked Leftrin as a character the more I got to know him but he does still feel like the character we know the least about.

He's a likeable person with some unlucky situations, I will certainly look out for more of him in the upcoming books! Thymara is a young girl who was never meant to be alive. She's a disgrace, a monster and even her own family except her father wanted to dispose of her. I instantly liked her spark of life and her adventurous and intelligent nature. Being constantly known as an outsider she's someone I found interesting to read about and her story quickly takes some very exciting turns which I have no doubt will lead to more and more adventure!

Finally Alise, she's probably the one we most focus on in this book and she's certainly someone who I liked and then didn't like and then liked. I liked her because she's an expert on Dragons and Elderlings which is something I too have a fascination with. She's calm and clever and full of ideas of what she wants to do, she's also a little weak and doesn't quite have that spark that we know some of Hobbs other characters have found or developed.

Over the course of the book we do see the beginnings of her finding herself, and I found that by the ending I was really loving who she was becoming: We do have some other characters too such as Tats, Sedric and Hest, all of whom are also new and very different. Some of them are sweet and kind, others mean and horrible. I love that Hobb can really make me feel strong emotions of all kinds towards her characters and for each of these three my feelings were ever tested.

As for the pacing of this book it was a little bit rushed at times. I've become used to seeing a slow build up with Robin Hobb towards an eventual epic conclusion and parts of this book did skip forwards through large chunks in order to tell a story more completely. Whilst I liked that we got to the present day storyline, I felt it could maybe have been done a little smoother, and so I hope this is something we won't encounter again any time soon.

With that said I do think that because this is a shorter book than many of her others and because she wants each series to be a potential entry point I understood the need for it and it wasn't a major detraction at all for me. The ending of this book is not what I was expecting at all. I think it's rather abrupt and very 'stop you in your tracks'. I just didn't see it heading that way, and I didn't think that it would be so sudden and wild.

I think it worked as a shock factor and it was pretty bold and daring to end a book that way, it certainly makes me want to know what will happen next and I can't wait to move on with the story. Dragon Keeper is definitely a book for Robin Hobb fans, and fans only. It's the first half of Book 1, technically, having been split for publishing reasons, so the story doesn't get underway for a long, long time.

A lot of the text is spent building up characters and their motivations, so expect lots of exposition between dialogue. But who cares, it's Robin Hobb! We get right into the heads and mindset of being a dragon similar to being a cat The language, as always, is superb, and you will have never savoured a story more than this. It's like a long walk in the woods, where you don't really have anywhere to be, and no responsibilities weighing on your mind. It doesn't all have to be court intrigue and power struggles like we're used to in the genre. Hobb gives you real characters on a much smaller scale, but the emotional payoff is none smaller for it.

I read this with The Robin Hobb Collection book club —hop in the discussion with us! View all 12 comments. The Dragon Keeper is not epic. It doesn't wow me. This book should be read as an introduction to the books to come. Toward the end, things do heat up when all those newly introduced characters are thrown on a boat together which results in the first sneaky power games and head for a vaguely remembered magical city somewhere out th The Dragon Keeper is not epic.

Toward the end, things do heat up when all those newly introduced characters are thrown on a boat together which results in the first sneaky power games and head for a vaguely remembered magical city somewhere out there in the Rainwilds. I'm super confident that the books to come will be amazing. And I'm excited to find out what Hobb has in store. However, several of what I consider those special, superb Hobb-ingredients are missing in The Dragon Keeper.

Compelling characters for instance. For a big chunk of the book only Alise seems nicely fleshed out. And even she lacks the spunk of Althea and Malta, the two incredible heroines from The Liveship Traders. Greft a Draco Malfoy including servants and Sedric have potential. But captain Leftrin isn't exactly Brashen Trell material. His ability to impress me in the books to come will probably co-depend on whether he's capable of successfully corrupting Alise.

My main concern however.. I miss that charming, evil bastard of a pirate Kennit! Or ANY Kennit-ish character. More importantly, Hobb always made a point of cleverly weaving multiple layers through her stories, some so hidden and secret, that as a reader I often sensed there was a delicious magical undercurrent to the story that was just.. In The Dragon Keeper , what you see is mostly what you get: Those intriguing Rainwild people are no longer a mystery, as they were when a veiled Reyn Khuprus offered Malta the most magical gifts.

The dreamlike Elderlings with their buried cities lost a little of their appeal as well, now that it has become clear that humans can become them, when touched by dragons. Last but not least, is it crucial to read The Liveship Traders and The Farseer books before picking up this one? The latter will definitely provide you with the complete picture and Hobb masterly connects her works, which often results in "oh my god, Amber is actually Paragon looks exactly like But the Farseer books are skippable.

View all 29 comments. Jul 10, Shelby M. This story is intriguing! I was a little nervous because the Rain Wild Chronicles has mixed reviews. Feb 06, Mark Halse rated it really liked it Shelves: Though it pains me to give a Robin Hobb book anything less than 5 stars the ending to this book was an enormous middle finger. This story was clearly chopped up by a publisher in hopes of making as much money as possible.

The page count of each book alone is telling of this crime. Publishing politics aside, this book was Hobb business as usual and that means excellent character development. Robin Hobb writes stories that become a part of you and that's all a reader can ask. Highly recommended if y Though it pains me to give a Robin Hobb book anything less than 5 stars the ending to this book was an enormous middle finger. Highly recommended if you have book two at the ready.

Oct 30, Franco Santos rated it liked it Shelves: Some memories are best left undisturbed. Sometimes, if you forget something, it's because it's better forgotten. En The dragon keeper se presentan las bases para lo que va a suceder en los siguientes tomos de la saga, quiero creer. A pesar de esto, es un buen libro, entretenido y para nada pesado. View all 3 comments. Review from Tenacious Reader: I also have to confess to reading the different series that make up The Realm of the Elderlings in the wrong order as I was ignorant of how much interconnection there is between all of them.

That means I have read books both preceding and following this trilogy. I really had no idea how much connected between them. But now I do, and even with my unique reading order, I am really enjoying this. Actually, I have to confess to enjoying knowing some of the connections that come from my knowledge of The Fitz and the Fool books, but I would have preferred to have read them in order and made the connections as they were presented. This book starts with the hatching of the cocoons created by the serpents at the end of The Liveship Traders. These poor things were not given the proper start at life as they should have been.

The journey they made to cocoon was far from ideal and took its price.

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And as a result, the hatched dragons are sorry things that dependent on humans and confined by their lack of flight. It is an interesting situation as dragons are born with memories of their ancestors, so they are very aware of the shortcomings and the life they are missing. This is an area that we have seen bits of in Liveship Traders, but it was never focused on to the extent it is here.

Thymara is a protagonist who is one of those that even by Rain Wilds standards is considered an outcast by her level of change. I also really respected her desire to do more than her father expected of her, to look for something to do with her life. Alise is a character that I have had a bumpier ride with. She is the daughter of a Bingtown trader family, but hers is not a wealthy family, and she is not terribly attractive. As she passed prime marrying age without a single suitor, she has resigned to a life of spinsterhood, until suddenly she has, for some reason, caught the eye of Hest Finback, a wealty and very handsome Trader son.


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Of course, as we all know, if something seems too good to be true, there is liable to be a reason. But even if she does, she may see the business logic in not being alone the rest of her life. She can be terribly practical. While she was anticipating spending her days alone as a spinster, she decided to take up an unusual hobby as a women, and pursue studying dragons and Elderlings. This is the part of her personality I like, her drive to do something other than just sit and embroider, and plan party and decorate.

Alise broke from the mold by pursuing her own interests, and I had to admire her for that trait. Books like this reinforce my decision to do a Backlist Burndown. Dragon Keeper is the start of a journey that is making me binge read this series. I am glad I finally made time for this one!

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Jul 09, Helene Jeppesen rated it liked it. I was looking for a great fantasy story and that is exactly what I got. This book contains dragons, and even though this is clearly the beginning of a big journey and we don't get to spend that much time with the dragons, I can sense that Robin Hobb is going to rectify that in the next books in the series. I liked how the dragons were portrayed as vulnerable as well as strong and fierce animals, because that made me grow to like them and care for them.

We also get to follow the story from one of I was looking for a great fantasy story and that is exactly what I got. We also get to follow the story from one of the dragons' perspective which I thought was great. Basically, this book is written in a lot of perspectives and I was a fan.

I think Alise was my favourite character because she grows to be very independent, but there was not one character that I didn't like reading about. I was a bit confused, though, with the letters appearing between each chapter. They didn't add anything to the story for me, and I read through them quickly so that I could get on with the real story. All in all, I was quite a fan of this book and that's why I immediately ordered the sequel so that I can continue on with the journey.

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As much as I love her writing, this was waaaaaaaaay too stretched out. It could have easily been half as it is now and would have been almost perfect. Further more, not much happened; it also ended like a chapter, not like a first part in a series. Still… the dragons ripped my heart in thousand pieces and some of their keepers too. And I thought till now that Fitz was the unhappiest of her characters.

As for the other characters, they are a lousy bunch. And all those meticulously endless detailed to the micron descriptions of them made it a tedious reading. However, with all these annoying facts, I liked it. I'm also hoping that things will improve with the advancing of the story. No, not hoping, I know will improve.

View all 16 comments. Jul 13, Jackie rated it it was amazing. The world-building is descriptive but unoriginal, and none of the characters shine in any meaningful way. In fact, Hobb completely fails to evoke in the reader compassion or empathy for any of the characters. Even the serially unfortunate protagonist seems to come by his misfortunes only through his own missteps and lack of foresight. She is one of my favorite authors. There are few greater works in this genre as her excellent Farseer and Fool series; however, this one feels like she was contractually obligated to produce something, and even she could not be bothered to care much about it.

This trilogy is my favorite of all Hobbs' many works and I'm not sure why. It's magic is more earthly, the settings and characters not glamorous dragons nor feuding courts nor Standing Stones.

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I love all the other books; they have enriched my life and invaded my dreams. But this trilogy with its care for the earth, its recognition of the arrogance of men who try to rape the earth because they think they can, and a very unheroic-looking main character who matures into a very relevant low-key and altogether series of small endings. If you're interested in ecology or indigenous rights or three books of excellent prose, settle in.

No dragons, no princes, no Wolf Brothers, but an intricately crafted delight. Robin Hobb is my favorite author these days.


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So, despite a higher-than-average collection of negative reviews, I dug into the trilogy with no expectations. And I finished it with a tinge of sadness. There would be no more adventures with Nevare. And I really liked him. Was it a high-energy, galloping read for me? Sometimes the descriptions needed massive editing; I edited with page flips. But the story was superb.

The characters were well-developed. At first he thinks to sell it for an immense profit, but then decides to use it for his ship to protect it against the acidic river. Thymara, an year-old girl with claws and scaling, consistent with Rain Wilds defects from birth, goes with her father to watch the hatching of the dragons.


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  8. She is shocked to find that the new hatchlings are weak and malformed. She communicates with one when her father is almost killed and eaten. Sisarqua has turned into a dragon, naming herself Sintara, and is distraught to realize that her proportions are all wrong and she is not what she should be, and will likely never fly. Alise Kincarron is a plain, freckled young woman, past the prime age for marriage and suspecting spinsterhood. Most of her time is consumed by her passion for dragons and her studies thereof. She is unsure of the attention she is getting from a handsome local Trader, Hest Finbok.

    When finally confronting him, he admits that he is not in love with her, but is wishing for a marriage of convenience for both of them. If she can provide him with an heir, he will fund her fancies, including her research of dragons, including a trip to study the hatchling dragons since he had caused her to miss a trip she had already planned to watch them hatch.

    Agreeing, Alise begins to hope for a real marriage to her handsome suitor, but is desperately disappointed on her wedding night. She learns that the marriage was suggested by her childhood friend, Sedric. She ultimately decides that if she sold herself, she would demand a high price, and begins to use Hest's money freely to pursue her studies of dragons and Elderlings. With some time having passed on the Tarman, the work with the wizardwood is finished.

    Captain Leftrin wants to give a lifetime contract to all of the workers to protect the secret of their illegal use of the forbidden substance. The only remaining man to sign is Swarge, who admits that he is betrothed and does not want to be separated from his new wife-to-be. Leftrin agrees to give a contract to Swarge's wife so that they may be together and Swarge signs the contract.

    Leftrin hopes that he will never hear from the man again. Meanwhile, Alise has given up on all efforts to make Hest attracted, or even interested in her, as they have all been met with failure or worse.

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    Hest is displeased with Alise's inability to produce an heir and comes for another one of his unpleasant attempts to impregnate her. When she is unwilling, he rapes her. After the shame of this event, she accuses him of being unfaithful to her, in the hopes of ending their marriage contract, and provides proof in certain things she has noted, such as his luxurious perfumes and a second house that he rents. Hest is furious and demands that Sedric, his secretary and constant companion, confirm his fidelity. Sedric confirms, though it is later revealed to be a lie, as Sedric is, in fact, Hest's lover.

    Four years have passed since the hatching and Sintara is sad and tormented by the dragon memories that she is filled with. The dragons are weak and unable to feed themselves, relying on hunters to provide them with a limited amount of food. As the more feeble dragons die off, the stronger ones consume them to claim their ancestral memories.

    Tintaglia has gone missing, not having been seen for some time. It is rumored that she has found a mate and no one, including the young dragons, believes that she will return.