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Dragon Keeper (Rain Wild Chronicles #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  22,647 Ratings  ·  1,266 Reviews
“Robin Hobb is one of our very best fantasy writers.”
New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson

With Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb, critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling “master fantasist” (Baltimore Sun), begins a breathtaking  new series about the resurgence of dragons in a world that both needs and fears them—the world Hobb’s readers most recently visited
Hardcover, 474 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Eos (first published June 25th 2009)
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Tobias No, it likely occurs some time after, or at least towards the end of the Tawny Man trilogy.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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else fine
Feb 24, 2010 else fine rated it really liked it
I grew up on a toxic waste dump. I realize that sounds melodramatic, but technically it's accurate. My childhood home was ringed by no fewer than five Superfund sites - and, as we like to say, those are just the spots they've cleaned.

When I was a kid people weren't so concerned about the pollution. Arsenic was in the dust we kicked up on the playgrounds, on the berries we picked in the woods, in the small ponds where nothing lived and no birds ever stopped. The waterways were lined with gray he
Bookdragon Sean
I feel somewhat sorry for the dragons in this. They spent the entirety of the Liveship Trader’s trilogy trying to find a place to evolve out of their basic serpent form, and when they do find it most of them die in the process. They’re too mutated and twisted to be able to develop into dragons. Only fourteen remain by the end and even those are stunted and unusual, that much so that the dragon Tintaglia abandons them for a richer prospect, mating with the ancient dragon Icefyre in Fool's Fate. S ...more
Apr 17, 2017 Mili rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just cannot get bored with Robin Hobb :D Ive been away this weekend busying around in the Rainwild. No one to bother me but my dry cough and tired body. I swooshed through the book, while normally Im a slow reader. Her writing simply captivates you till the end, like a trance. Even though there is no action.
So glad to be backin that world with every character pulling you, engrossing you with their every step.
3.5 stars. 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!
May 31, 2011 Felicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Robin Hobb wrote a few of my FAVORITE series, Assassin's Apprentice and the Liveship Traders, so I'm always a fan of her books. This one was as well written as the others, but it felt slow to start, and as soon as the story picked up, the book ended! JUST AS I GOT INTO IT!

So, I guess I should be waiting for the next book excitedly to continue the story, but considering the subject matter of the book, I'm a bit reluctant to follow up with the series, for totally squeamish personal reasons. The wh
Jul 24, 2013 Kaora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 06, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Alex Ristea
May 10, 2011 Alex Ristea rated it it was amazing
Dragon Keeper is definitely a book for Robin Hobb fans, and fans only.

A fair warning that this is a *slow* book. 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...), and so
Franco  Santos
Some memories are best left undisturbed. Sometimes, if you forget something, it's because it's better forgotten.

Gracias, Hobb, por esta introducción de personajes de 550 páginas. 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.
The Dragon Keeper is not epic. It doesn't wow me. It doesn't overwhelm me the way Hobb's books usually do (*cough* with the exception of her Soldier Son trilogy, I awkwardly bit the dust halfway through it *cough*). 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 ...more
Mark Halse
Feb 06, 2016 Mark Halse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-priority
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
Oct 28, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Review from Tenacious Reader:

It took me a while to get to this series, and I’m not entirely sure why since I count Robin Hobb as one of my favorite authors. 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. So, lesson learned. Going into this series (The Rain Wilds Chronicles), I have read all the other published boo
helen the bookowl
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 ...more
It wasn’t one of RH’s best, that’s for sure. 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. I was wrong. !@#$%^&*!!!

As for the other chara
Jul 13, 2009 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was like revisiting a favorite place. And now I am reading the manuscript for Dragon Haven, book 2 and it is even better.
Nov 21, 2012 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Liveship Traders
Executive Summary: This one may only be for big Robin Hobb fans, and those who didn't read/like Liveship Traders need not apply.

Full Review
I tore through the first 9 books of Ms. Hobb's Ederlings world last year. This series wasn't complete however so I wasn't in a rush to start it.

After almost a year away, it's good to be back. There is some overlap with the events of Tawny man, so I'd recommend you have read those as well as Liveship before tackling this one.

That said this book is slow. Any
Shelly K
Apr 23, 2017 Shelly K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
If I did't already have Robin Hobb in my blood I may not have loved this book. As it is, I do and I did.

This is the continuation of the dragon's story that started in Live Ships. When I read Live Ships, the bit about the dragons was my least favourite part so I wasn't sure how much I would like Rain Wilds. Tintaglia kind of irritates me.

Turns out, it was great to return to the Rain Wilds. And there are some amazing new characters and relationships to get sucked in to. It's a bit of a slow star
I'm back into The Realm of the Elderlings and I certainly missed it. I missed Robin Hobb's slow character building and detailed scenes. Dragon Keeper focuses our attention on the Rain Wilds and a few characters from Bingtown as well. Our first character is a debutante woman, named Alise, from Bingtown with a scholarly appreciation to learn more about the dragons and Elderlings. She is in a loveless marriage with a man, Hest, that is in a relationship with his male assistant, Sedric. In exchange ...more
Michelle M
Feb 15, 2017 Michelle M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, read-2017
And we begin another series. This one, taking place in Bingtown (a bit) and the Rain Wilds (mostly) is classic Hobb goodness.

The serpents that traveled so long and so hard in the Liveship books have completed their hibernation and are now dragons. Only, their travel was too long and too hard, only a handful have survived, and they are all stunted in one way or another. Unable to fly, dependent on the humans to feed them now that Tingtalia has disappeared, the situation is untenable.

Until the d
David Sven
Nov 14, 2013 David Sven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audiobooks
I listened to this on Audible and really enjoyed Saskia Butler's narration - maybe not quite as much as Nick Taylor in the Tawny Man Trilogy, but she was still very easy to listen to.

The story picks up shortly after the events of the Liveships Trilogy and we get to see the serpents cocoon and then hatch as dragons on the shores of the Wild Rains River. Unfortunately, most of the dragons die and what remain are stunted and deformed and have to be tended by humans who see them as little more than
I can see why some people were not excited with Dragon Keeper. It's really the first half of a 900 page book, and it moves very slowly without reaching any goals other than the start of a journey. Unlike the Liveship books, it's not a seafaring Fantasy adventure, but more of a long introduction to a new host of characters. The characters are where the book excels. Hobb has the ability to make you feel a whole range of emotions for them, including hatred for some.

I am amazed at how quickly I loa
Aug 20, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Robin Hobb's fantasy storytelling - she writes relatable characters in an interesting world...with dragons yay!
This was not WOW but I really enjoyed it and will definitely be carrying on with the series.

I think the live ship traders series was better but maybe that's because I read it first and loved the novelty of a new world? I think the characters were stronger in that series.

I am so glad I started reading Robin Hobb - I really like her style. Hopefully the next book will be back to h
Steph // bookplaits
Sep 25, 2016 Steph // bookplaits rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
In three words: slow, character-driven, fascinating.

"'Some memories are best left undisturbed. Sometimes, if you forget something, it's because it's better forgotten.'"

I really don't know how Hobb does it, but she consistently creates characters I either can't help but fall in love with or feel such strong dislike for. In The Dragon Keeper, we get the perspectives (written in third person) of several new characters in Hobb's world: Sintara, one of a number of deformed dragons; Alise, a Bingtown
Nov 11, 2012 Hanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I don’t know how she keeps doing it; where she keeps finding the creativity and the imagination to flesh out yet another story, yet another set of characters that sound so real they could have been my companions on the tram today. None of those had any scales, but it was close. There was one man in particular that looked like he had washed his hair in acid river water. Not kidding!

This clearly is a first book in a trilogy though; it doesn’t have any legs to stand on its own. And given that this
Jul 08, 2009 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read the Liveship Traders and the Farseer trilogies. They might be improved in small ways but they were generally really good.

This book sucked. Three quarters of it could be removed and it wouldn't affect the story too much. The things with Sedric and Hess and Alise ... it seemed so cheap, their stories were more worthy of Mills and Boon than a serious author. None of the characters felt very real.

In the other series, the world had a nice haunting feeling of there being deep layers to it
Decent. Wordy. Repetitive. Not that well-written, technically speaking.
Enjoyable but not enchanting.
Insanely abrupt ending!

Will continue story.

I realize that I started with the wrong series. Sounds like the one preceding this is better and also builds into this one. Oh well.
Sep 25, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rain Wild Chronicles is generally regarded to be the weakest of Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings series. While I do agree that, so far, it hasn't quite matched up to the standards set by the Farseer, Liveship Traders, and Tawny Man trilogies, Dragon Keeper was still a pretty good book.

In the same vein as Liveship Traders, The Rain Wild Chronicles follows a number of different characters: Sintara, a malformed dragon; Thymara, a heavily marked Rain Wilds girl; Leftrin, a Rain Wilds ship ca
Sandy Lender
Feb 28, 2010 Sandy Lender rated it liked it
Despite the character Tats’ communist/socialist rant toward the end of this statement for (or against?) women’s rights, I enjoyed the world development of Robin Hobb’s Dragon Keeper. What’s disturbing about the entire book is its lack of hope—its darkness.

The serpents who have made the arduous journey upriver to their nesting sands have produced handicapped, malformed, and, in some cases, mentally challenged dragons. What’s surprising about this is few of them are sympathetic because they’re mea
Ole Imsen
Jun 27, 2010 Ole Imsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robin Hobb is one of my favourite fantasy authors, and in my opinion her trilogy "The Liveship Traders" is one of the best Fantasy series ever written. So obviously I was excited to hear about this book, and could not wait to get my hands on it and read it, something I did when it came out. I actually re-read it for this review.

The Dragon Keeper's starts out with a retelling of some of the events of Hobb's "The Liveship Traders" from a different perspective. And it continues with events happen
Kate Copeseeley
I am in such a dither about what to write for a review. I love Fantasy. I love love LOVE originality. I love beautiful descriptions.

I did not, however, love this book, even though it had all three of those things. I would just like to say, before I go further, that I didn't mark down this book because of its HORRIBLE ending. I mean, could you have cut us off any more abruptly Robin Hobb??? Sheesh.

Anyway, for me, it was the characters and the story (or lack thereof) that didn't do it for me here.
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** I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 st ...more
More about Robin Hobb...

Other Books in the Series

Rain Wild Chronicles (4 books)
  • Dragon Haven (Rain Wild Chronicles, #2)
  • City of Dragons (Rain Wild Chronicles, #3)
  • Blood of Dragons (Rain Wild Chronicles, #4)

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