“I picked up Dragon Keeper through Amazon's monthly Kindle deals right after I got my Paperwhite. Robin Hobb wasn't an author I'd yet read, but I'd heard of her and the synopsis of the book sounded intriguing. A world of dragons, but not the sort one usually expects. It sounded like something I hadn't read before, and I eagerly snapped it up for the sale price.
While the book had me enthralled, I have to admit, not a whole lot happens. This is very clearly a 'set up' book, one that's main purpose is to introduce you to the cast of characters you'll be following, get you attached, and ready to follow their adventures. That's certainly not to say the book was boring, there's just not any epic quests or major continent-crossing traveling going on. The action picks up at the end, and leaves you excited for the next book, ready to continue on with the travels of the characters you now care about.
The characters themselves were well fleshed out to me, and the world is interesting and wonderfully described. I found that Hobb has a good balance in her descriptive writing, and I never felt the need to skim through any long winded but ultimately boring explanations of the world. A large cast will keep you occupied as the story switches between their perspectives, and the interesting relationships between the humans of the world, Elderlings, Dragons, Sea Serpents, and Liveships left me intrigued and wanting to learn more.
Perhaps the only part of the book I did not like, or rather, did not bother to read, were the small bits between the chapters about the bird keepers and their letters sent back and forth. Hobb uses these to break up the action, and apparently give little insights into the communications between the various towns and cities. However, the information they contained was rarely, if ever important, and I found myself either skimming or outright skipping them. A neat idea, but ultimately it didn't add anything to the story and was a minor distraction.
I discovered that this Rain Wild's series takes place in the same world as several of Hobb's other series, which is something I definitely appreciate. While Dragon keeper is apparently not the book that's first up to be read if you are reading chronologically, I was never at a loss of what was going on, or felt at a disadvantage for not having read the other books. Each of the series supposedly stands alone and is readable to someone knew to the particular world within the books.
Overall, I really did enjoy Dragon Keeper despite it being more character than action driven. With the pace having picked up towards the end of the book, and adventures starting to be had, I've already purchased the second book to start very soon. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy or dragons, and look forward to sampling more of Hobb's work in the future!”
“Really enjoyed this. I'd forgotten how much I love hobb's writing. Her characters, and the Rain Wilds, are believable.”Sara B wrote this review Tuesday, October 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Just the usual, you can expect from Hobb, but goog.”gerard. d wrote this review Monday, April 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Another story about a gay male couple that has to hide due to society, oh, and dragons. Hobb is a good writer but needs to change things up a bit. This book was long and slow without any real conflict. The most interesting point to me was the conversations between the bird handlers.”Bob F wrote this review Tuesday, April 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Such engaging and extensive fantasy.”Abby Shannon wrote this review Monday, March 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Best book ever!! A girl named Thymara is different its not because she looks like a lizard its because she should be dead. Her life changes forever when the dragons arrive...........................”Aimee wrote this review Sunday, March 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Robin Hobb is one of my favorite authors and I was delighted when I saw she had a new series out especially books about dragons. In "Dragon Keeper" we are introduced to a new batch of dragons, but they're not exactly right or even healthy. They can't fly nor can they hunt on their own. When the humans tire of trying to feed and care for the dragons, a plan is hatched to send the dragons on a journey to their home--the mystical city, Kelsingra. A misfit band of teenagers including Thymarra, a wealthy Bingtown Traders wife, Alise Kincarron who is an scholar on dragons and a crusty river boat captain take on the quest to escort the dragons home. The beginning of the book is a bit confusing as all of the characters are introduced, but after that the book flows along.
The author does a great job of fleshing out the characters--their hopes and dreams, their heartache and loneliness and even the dragons begin to take on personalities of their own. The one criticism that I have is that Book 1 does not resolve any of the major conflicts in the story, but is more of a setup for the other 2 books. I'm happy that the other books in the series are already published and I'm eager to see what happens next in this series. ”
“Robin Hobb has created a again a world with a number of new strong characters. You want to know how their lives will develop. Unfortunatelly, the book is building up tension, but the book is already at its end before any major events.”Arnoud Visser wrote this review Friday, February 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After the Lodestone book, it was a complete pleasure to read this book! Ms. Hobb knows how to do world building! The details (never overpowering) were great and consistent. She made the Wildlings very real. Their looks made them feel consistently alien, yet their actions made them feel very human. Loved the cities in the trees and the live ships! The dragons were great, too. Other than Hest, none of the characters seemed stereotypically all good or all evil. It was very easy to get into the story and become vested in the characters. The end left me immediately wanting to start the next book (which I luckily had). ”Monika R wrote this review Thursday, May 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No