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Dragon Keeper (Rain Wilds Chronicles #1)

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Overview

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 ...

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Dragon Keeper (Rain Wilds Chronicles #1)

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Time and more time have passed since the dragon Tintaglia helped save the Trader cities from a deadly invasion. In the years since, The Traders have forgotten or ignored their promises to protect the earthbound dragons and their weak, afflicted offspring. Now, threatened with dragon attacks, Trader leaders have resolved to exile the dragons to the creatures' ancestral memories. On their long journey home, the dragons will be escorted by two women, one a young forest girl and the other a wife of a wealthy Trader. Dragon Keeper tells their story. Acclaimed in hardcover; now an inexpensive mass market paperback.

Booklist
"In a novel as good as it is massive, the first of two Rain Wilds Chronicles...Hobb continues to occupy a perch at or near the top among contemporary fantasists. This book is imaginative, literate, and compassionate from first page to last."
Booklist (starred review)
“In a novel as good as it is massive, the first of two Rain Wilds Chronicles...Hobb continues to occupy a perch at or near the top among contemporary fantasists. This book is imaginative, literate, and compassionate from first page to last.”
Publishers Weekly
Here be dragons—but debilitated, deformed, damaged dragons, hatched too soon, sick and starving, into a world that has mostly forgotten them. The first of Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles, an absorbing extension of her Liveship and Tawny Man trilogies, introduces 15 young dragons who struggle to survive with the grudging help of mutant Rain Wilders. Eventually driven out by the Traders Council, the hatchlings decide to seek Kelsingra, their ancient home. Caught up by the dragons' plight and longing to escape unhappy families and the stifling Rain Wild culture, self-taught dragon scholar Alise Kincannon and teenage tree-dwelling mutant Thymara volunteer to accompany them on the quest, with the help of magnetic liveship captain Leftrin and a host of colorful characters. Hobb's meticulously realized fantasy tale is a welcome addition to contemporary dragon lore. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The cocoons spun by the migrating sea serpents have burst open to reveal a new generation of dragons that will wreak havoc on the communities of Bingtown and Cassarick. Council members select humans born with strange physical mutations to help with the problem, as well as an unusual dragon "expert," the unfulfilled wife of a Bingtown Trader. Hobb's two-book miniseries, set in the same world as the "Liveship Traders" and the "Tawny Man" series, continues the tale of an exotic land and the people transformed by its inherent magic. VERDICT Human and dragon characters achieve a remarkable degree of believability in this inventive saga marked by its vivid detail and keen insight into human (and draconic) nature. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/09; the second book, Dragon Haven, pubs May 2010.—Ed.]
Kirkus Reviews
Hobb (Renegade's Magic, 2008, etc.) delivers the first of two dragon-filled fantasies, set in the same world as her popular Liveship Traders trilogy. This inaugural title deals mainly with the swirl of events leading up to a quest to find the legendary city of Kelsingra by a group of sickly, deformed, sentient dragons and their human keepers. A host of human and dragon characters are introduced, but two well-drawn women take center stage: unhappily married Trader Alise, a scholar of dragons; and teenage Thymara, a dragon-keeper who is herself deformed by scaly skin and claws. Hobb does an admirable job of creating a complex and engaging medieval fantasy world, greatly expanding on the Rain Wilds setting she introduced in previous books. Characters from past novels make cameos, but the author takes care to keep her new tale self-contained. She handles with originality and subtlety such traditional fantasy elements as dragons and magical items. The only complaint readers may have is that, after hundreds of pages of buildup, the novel ends abruptly before the main quest really gets going. A nicely imagined fantasy setting that will engage readers and raise anticipation for the second installment.
From the Publisher
"Hobb's meticulously realized fantasy tale is a welcome addition to contemporary dragon lore." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061561658
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/25/2011
  • Series: Rain Wilds Chronicles , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 80,667
  • Product dimensions: 6.86 (w) x 4.26 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb was born in California but grew up in Alaska. It was there that she learned to love the forest and the wilderness. She has lived most of her life in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of five critically acclaimed fantasy series: The Rain Wilds Chronicles (Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons, Blood of Dragons), The Soldier Son Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, The Liveship Traders Trilogy, and The Farseer Trilogy. Under the name Megan Lindholm she is the author of The Wizard of the Pigeons, Windsingers, and Cloven Hooves. The Inheritance, a collection of stories, was published under both names. Her short fiction has won the Asimov's Readers' Award and she has been a finalist for both the Nebula and Hugo awards.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 631 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(245)

4 Star

(173)

3 Star

(119)

2 Star

(40)

1 Star

(54)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 634 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Clearly just the first in a trilogy, but a great start

    As with the other Robin Hobb books I've read, this first volume of the trilogy gets a fascinating story off to a good start. She introduces the characters, the settings, the world she's created, and clearly has a story to tell.

    I had great fun reading the earlier books set in this world (Farseer, LiveShip and Tawny Man trilogies), and enjoyed the beginning of this tale quite a lot, but it's clearly just a beginning, with as yet, no middle and no end.

    Here's hoping the next volumes in this trilogy arrive quickly on the scene.

    As I read more of her work, I find that certain themes keep reappearing. A character's role in life is proscribed by their gender and family, but somehow they find the strength of character to fumble on, finding their destined place in the world. Charming sociopaths sometimes get their comeuppance, sometimes they get their comeuppance and fulfill their destiny despite themselves. So far in this first volume, there are only hints of the struggles to come.

    This story starts out in Bingtown, then moves up the Rain Wild river. A few characters from earlier volumes make an appearance, but so far, all the main characters in the story are new to this volume.

    I've recommended the first volumes in each of her earlier trilogies, since in my view, the trilogies really read like gigantic novels.

    If you'd like to find a prolific author who can write a novel that stands alone even as it functions well as part of a larger series, seek out the many volumes of the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. Many of her works are combined in omnibus editions, so it's possible to read the entire series without seeking out the earlier (hard to find) single novels.Space opera isn't usually my thing, but I found that series quite entertaining.

    19 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Offensive content: Contains Homosexual Rape of a Minor.

    This book may be offensive to some readers. The author builds a creative environment and good characters, but then ruins it with portrayal of homosexual rape of one of the characters as a minor. The book would have been fine without that portion.

    17 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2010

    How to ruin a good book on dragons

    This is the first book I have read by Robin Hobb. I enjoyed her character building and how she described the dragons. Was uncomfortable with some of her character's and really shocked to read about a sexual encounter that left me in unbelief. I would not recommend this book. Love Dragons but some of the character make up could have been left out.

    14 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    superb fantasy

    Years have passed since the last fatal hatching and the residents of Bingtown and Cassarik have become somewhat complacent as if those who died during the previous infestation never occurred. However, the townsfolk are stunned when the cocoons left behind by the nomadic sea serpents rupture open releasing a new generation of dragons that must be controlled rapidly before they devastate the town towns. These hatchlings seem substandard with many expected to die; those who live must be controlled before their hunger drives them to Cassarik.

    The Traders Council quickly reacts choosing special humans who contain mutations on their bodies to escort the young dragons to a different locale, the lost city of Kelsingra where they can be controlled easier away from the cities. Among the selected are uneducated teenage Rain Wilds Thymara and overly-educated unhappy dragon guru Alise, wife of a Bingtown Trader. The journey along the deadly Rain Wild River will prove arduous with only the strong surviving.

    Returning to the Tawny Man world with the first entry of a duology, Robin Hobb provides a superb fantasy. The story line is mostly seen through the eyes of the two women as they face danger and treachery on the quest. In some ways, the opening of Act Three (see the Liveship Traders and the Tawny Man sagas), is a coming of age duet. However, what makes Dragon Keeper a keeper is the cast as the travelers human and dragon seems real while the menaces come from the land, the river and within. Fans will look forward to the finish wondering whether Kelsingra will prove to be a Dragon Haven or hell.

    Harriet Klausner

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Your Typical Dragon Story!

    Spoiler Alert!
    In typical Robin Hobb style she not only twists her story away from the lovely dragon stories of Anne McCaffery and Christopher Paolini but she cracks the egg and scrambles the results!
    The plot is very unique, but again very much a Robin Hobb story. Much of the story will be very difficult to read if you are expecting the typical dragon/human fantasy of wondrous flights and loving human/dragon bonding.
    That said, if you have enjoyed as I have, Robin's usual moody atmosphere and mostly unhappy characters that keep you reading hoping for a ray of sunlight amongst all of the angst then you will enjoy this story.
    I am still unsure where she is going to take us in the next volumes. She provides us with plenty of villains, self serving characters and of course potential reluctant hero's.
    I am a huge fan of everything that Ms. Hobbs has written, but I keep hoping that one day she'll decide to write a feel good heroic fantasy that will let me go to sleep without worrying about what's going to happen next to my favorite characters!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Read the earlier series

    To really understand this series, you really need to find and read her earlier series The Farseer Series, and the first Rain Well Series. These books are set in trilogies and develop the background for these. If you have never read them, this series will seem strange.

    Her Soldier Son trilogy is also excellent. And remember, these books are adult fiction and not meant for the young.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    Good Read!

    I loved this book, it kept me interested and made me feel for the characters. Not your normal book about Dragons, and that made it interesting. I am looking forward to the next in the series.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    Even the first in a trilogy deserves a plot, sure wish this book had one.

    Character development is a good thing, but does it take an entire book just to introduce the characters? Just when all of the characters come together for the quest the book ends. Totally ridiculous.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    work of art

    what can i say other then out of every book ive ever read(which is a ton) i adore this book. Robin Hobb is a fantastic writer and her ideas for books continue to stun me.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2010

    Fantasy Marital Nightmare

    This book seems like a lot of dragon books but the protagonist is a female with a really sad delima. She's married a man who only wants to have a baby to get a fortune,of and then, he's not even faithful, and his lover is another man. I think it would be more suiting to have such a character as a secondary one as who would want to let such a cad have the blessing a baby?

    5 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Fantasy for the Mature Reader

    This was an excellent book for its character development and twist on the typical "dragon book." I found the plot to be so unique that it makes the book hard to put down. In fact, I purchased the second book in the series halfway through the first. The authors should be applauded for moving out of the typical fantasy fiction theme without mocking the original dragon themes of the epics. Parents of minor readers should be aware that this book does contain undertones of homosexual and heterosexual interactions between the characters. In no way is this an "adult" book but it is for more mature readers. It contains no more mature content than the wildly popular Wicked - which I also love.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Really great read, great building of characters,draws you into another world

    The world created is as much the story as any character. I enjoyed that the secondary characters are given as much life as the main characters. But the way of life,living in the trees and adapting to nature not changing it is really a wonderful point of view. Also how the enviroment effect every part of life.The dragons make you wonder what is next?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Didn't do much for me

    After the thoroughly engrossing Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, I guess I really expected this to blow me away. Not so. I didn't like the switching of viewpoints; I also never really liked any of the characters. I found it very disappointing. Maybe my expectations after reading the other trilogies were too high- who knows?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Not what I was expecting when i thought it was a dragon based bo

    Not what I was expecting when i thought it was a dragon based book. Small clue should have been at the beginning of the book when saw the index of names of keepers and dragons and short descriptions. (Generally if I see that in a story it means either way too many names to keep track of accurately or that they bounce back and forth from names so hard to get a feel for the character). Disliked that more than halfway thru the book before felt that any real tie to any of the characters. Really find the little bird missives that are used to beginning the chapters silly for lack of a better term as they don't seem to add much to the story. Also would love if someone could explain how the time works - that should have been in the index in my opinion because hard to tell how much time actually has passed based on the chapters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Read

    I love Robin Hobb books. I have read 12 so far. My only complaint is the expense of reading that many books. This series follows the Liveship Traders series, introducing new characters that you will love, as well as some favorites from Liveship Traders. Yes, there is a rape scene, but not quite what was described by some in other reviews. In fact, I put off reading this series because of those reviews. I am so happy I became desperate for something to read and gave it a chance. I am anxiously awaiting the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Good read

    Good content but could have done without the homosexuality between servent and master.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    I thought it was slow going at the beginning but once the main c

    I thought it was slow going at the beginning but once the main character, Alise, started on her journey, I was hooked. This is no Dragon Riders of Pern. Robin Hobb writes about a harsh world with even harsher characters. I like it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    excellent read

    can't wait to start the next one. great characters and plot

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    Read this book!!!

    I consumed this book with single minded determination. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 634 Customer Reviews

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