Dragon Haven – Robin Hobb

Draco ex machina.

Stars: Four out of five.

Review format: Brief review plus links.
Summary: In this sequel to Dragon Keeper:
For years now the dragons have been trapped on a swampy riverbank between forest and river, hungry and barely alive, reliant on humans to provide for them.

With their survival at stake, fifteen dragons—among them the wise golden Mercor, the haughty and dazzling silver-blue queen Sintara, and the delicate copper beauty Relpda—have set off on a dangerous trek into the unknown, up the Rain Wild River, in hopes of rediscovering the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra, the lost haven for dragons and Elderlings alike. The dragons are accompanied by a disparate group of human keepers, rejects from Rain Wild society. They, too, yearn to find Kelsingra and create a home of their own, one in which they may make their own rules and decide their own fate. But is Kelsingra real or merely a fragment of a glorified past buried deep in the dragons’ shared memories? No map exists to guide them, and the noble creatures find their ancient recollections of little use in a land changed by generations of flooding and seismic chaos.

As the dragons, the humans—including the strong and defiant Rain Wild girl Thymara; the wealthy dragon scholar and Trader’s wife, Alise; and her companion, the urbane Sedric—and their magical supply barge, captained by the gruff Leftrin, forge their way ever deeper into uncharted wilderness, human and beast alike discover they are changing in mysterious and dangerous ways. While the bonds between them solidify, starvation, flashfloods, and predators will imperil them all. But dragons and humans soon learn that the most savage threats come from within their own company . . . and not all of them may survive.

(quoted from goodreads)
Provenance: Borrowed from the local library.

Dragon Haven – delivers on the promise laid out in the first volume of the Rain Wilds Chronicles, Dragon Keeper. Four stars. Yay.Robin Hobb:  Finally. A Robin Hobb book I can enjoy, without missing out on backstory from ‘part one’.

I am writing up this review many months later than my reading… so this is a short one. Yes, that’s all. Onwards with the links!

Linkage, Spoilage, and many Quibbles below

Links and other reviews   (added by me, not generated)

  • So Many Books – Says thumbs up, with the highlight being the character development: “If you like character studies as much as I do, this series is a must read. The real driving force of the books is a group of dissimilar people being forced to exist in such close quarters, each depending on the other for their survival. Characters grow and change, and I found myself cheering for folks in Dragon Haven that I had written off in Dragon Keeper.”
  • Val” liked the book fairly well, but had reservations about the length which in her opinion was a “…factor that contributed to this feeling that perhaps these books are a bit longer than they need be”
  • Gripping Books gave it 8/10.
  • My review of the first ‘half’ book: Dragon Keeper – Robin Hobb (bibliophage91.wordpress.com)

Quibbles

  • Sorry, I don’t remember any now.

Things I liked (including some spoilers)

  • I am such a sucker for happy endings.
  • When Thymara has her big face-off with Sintara over the wings (???!!!) it felt really kind of bleak and tragic. It was such a wonderful moment for Rapskal to descend from the sky on dragonwing. Yah, convenient way to save the day, but it worked so well in ancient greece: that’s why Deus (or Dragon) ex machina a cliche.

“Sintara!” she heard someone shout in awe. “Look at Sintara!”

Another dozen running steps and this time she beat her wings more slowluy and powerfully.

And when she leaped, she left the ground behind.

  • I like that Leftrin echoes Briss’ phrase of how everything will change – since they’ll be able to farm and really live at K. Not just trade off the bones left behind.
  • The world is nicely detailed, but does not overwhelm you with in-jokes or references to stories already told.

—.~.~.~.—

Shall I link to your review? Let me know in a comment or contact, and I can add the link here.

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