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Dragon Keeper (Rain Wild Chronicles #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  14,686 ratings  ·  931 reviews
17 Damaged Dragons. 13 Misfits. 1 Impossible Quest.

Guided by the great blue dragon Tintaglia, they came from the sea: a Tangle of serpents fighting their way up the Rain Wild River: the first to make the perilous journey to the cocooning grounds in generations. Many have died along the way. With its acid waters and noxious airs, it is a hard place for anyone to survive.

ebook, 419 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Harper Voyager (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah Keliher
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
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
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.
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
Alex Ristea
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
David Sven
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
Feb 03, 2015 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
I've read all of Hobb's books, and enjoyed them all quite a lot. There are few authors so consistent. Perhaps it's because she saves the books I don't like for her Megan Lindholm persona.

I usually prefer to re-read previous books in a series before getting to the latest one. In this case, that might have mean reading nearly all of Hobb's work, since most of it is connected. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that. I wish I had been. it would undoubtedly have helped to place some of the reference
Ole Imsen
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
I really wanted to love this, especially with it being a follow-up to both the Tawny Man Trilogy and the Liveship Trilogy, and I really tried to love it. I really enjoyed it, but overall it really suffered from having too many perspectives, and not enough focus until too far into the book itself. This really didn't get into the main plot until the last half of the novel, which really was disappointing when the story just suddenly stopped. I'm guessing that Robin Hobb actually wrote the two novel ...more
Heidi Garrett
This book/series does have a slow start. BUT the dragon story is amazing. Hobbs takes time to build all her characters and world, and imo, the slower pace at the begging is worth that. I also love the Rain Wilds world. The acid river, the living in trees, and the Rain Wilder kids who live with the physical markings of their environment. Plus...the Tarman. If you're looking for a solid fantasy and you love dragons, this is a series totally worth reading. I'm going to pick up the next book!
After a three-book detour to write The Soldier Son trilogy, Robin Hobb has returned to the world where nine of her books have been set – and “Dragon Keeper” (Eos, $26.99, 496 pages) picks up where the Liveship Traders trio left off.

Hobb is a wonderful writer, perhaps my favorite on the scene today, and one reason is that her books try to deal with real-world issues in a fantasy setting. In this one, she continues her focus on how environmental changes can affect even the most powerful species, a
Laura Ownbey
The quick and dirty:
Rating: 3 stars
Premise: The story centers on three women of very different backgrounds: Alise, a young scholar of dragon history; Thymara, an outcast at home only in the tallest trees; and Sintara, a flightless dragon chasing after faded ancestral memories. The three of them are drawn together on a journey upriver to resettle the dragons in their lost ancestral home. For each of them, it's also a journey to find freedom and a place in the world despite the many dangers of the
Sandy Lender
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
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.
After the Soldier Son trilogy, which disappointed me (and many others, I think), Hobb returns to the world of the Liveship Traders and the Six Duchies. She picks up from the end of Ship of Destiny; the serpents have reached the Rain Wilds and been encased in the cocoons which will turn them to dragons. When they hatch, though, there's something terribly wrong; many of them have died, and the rest are weak or deformed. The Rain Wilders become tired of taking care of them, and they and the dragons ...more
Duffy Pratt
I liked what is here, but it's not a complete book. Unlike her other multi-volume works, this one seems simply to cut off at a random middle point, and it doesn't even pretend to have any kind of closure. It doesn't even have the equivalent of what, in music, would be called an imperfect cadence. For me, that makes this pretty much impossible to review, except to say that I've enjoyed it so far and it shows lots of promise. Now, I need to decide whether to plow right ahead into Dragon Haven, or ...more
Ree Linker
Robin Hobb books make me angry, and I mean that in the best possible way. She makes me care about her characters, and then she does infuriating things to them. About this book in particular:

* Dragons! Dragons!
* I like the Rain Wilds, and I'm glad to go back there.

Not so much:
* Oh my soul, the narrator for these books is the same one I hated in the Live Ship series. I don't particularly like huuuuuuuuh way of speaking. But I won't get into that heeeeeeeuuuuuuuh.
* You can't start with this b
Agora que já perdi as esperanças de voltar a ter livros de uma das minhas escritoras preferidas em português (a SdE confirmou no seu Facebook que não está nos seus planos publicar livros da Robin Hobb num futuro próximo – nem longínquo, digo eu), deixei de ter quaisquer problemas em me aventurar na leitura dos seus livros no original. The Dragon Keeper é o primeiro de uma série de livros que decorre no mesmo universo das séries publicadas em Portugal, apesar de a relação com as mesmas ser muito ...more
I've liked other books by Robin Hobb so when I saw this come up on my "you might like" list at Amazon, I got it. I really liked it. The world is very interesting and while some things are obvious to the reader (if not to the characters) there is a lot of mystery and history to discover in this world.

My only objection is that she just ended it. It was ka-chunk, no more book to read. I understand that this is a journey that the characters are taking but still, I like my multi-book series to feel
This is a multi-series combined review and is copied/pasted across all of Hobb's related series. It does not refer only to this trilogy, and includes Liveship, Rain Wilds, Farseer, Tawny Man, and Dragon Keeper series.

These are the most compelling, most enjoyable, best-plotted, most complicated epic fantasy books I've read in ages. I adored them. There are 5 (?) interwoven, inter-dependent series that the author clearly outlined before picking up her pen for the first time. The characters are wo
Robert Beveridge
Robin Hobb, Dragon Keeper(Eos, 2010)

Back in the days of Hobb's long-running, and wonderful, series about the Six Duchies and the Bingtown Traders (which ended in 2005 with Fool's Fate), I was given to writing in my reviews about how Robin Hobb was simply unable to let a good deed lie. No matter how selfless any given act might seem on its face, there are always nasty unintended consequences in the world of Robin Hobb. Those of you who remember the majestic, glorious end of Fool's Fate, if you're
Aug 23, 2009 Arctic rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: robin hobb fans, jane eyre fans, victorian era fans, alaskans, fantasy fans, women
Robin Hobb never ceases to amaze me. Even the weakest of her books are spellbinding works of art, thanks to her complex world-building, rich characterization, and intricately interwoven stories. And Dragon Keeper just might be her best story yet... if only the ending wasn't so abrupt. Dragon Keeper is the first of two books, the second, Dragon Haven, to be released next year. March 2010 can't arrive fast enough.

Hobb's Liveship Trader series has long been my favorite of her works, so I was more
Dragon Keeper is Robin Hobb's eleventh book set in the Realms of the Elderlings, and the first in a new story arc set immediately after the events in her Liveship Traders trilogy, but focusing on new characters.

After hundreds of years, the last serpents have finally made their migration up the rainwilds river, and with the help of the rainwilders, and the dragon tintaglia, they make their cocoons for the winter. But the new dragons that hatch out in summer are deformed, slow-witted, and unable t
This is the Robin Hobb I know and love. Recently I tried reading Shaman's Crossing, and couldn't get into it at all. It was odd for me to not love a Robin Hobb book, but I had to set it aside.

The Liveship series has been my favorite of hers, and it may be too early to say, but I think I like this one even better. I have read some reviews that say this book was slow, but I didn't find that to be the case at all. Maybe it's just that I like her writing so much? I don't know, but I thought this mov
Lazy Seagull

I dunno. This book just didn't do it for me. Maybe it was a disconnect with the new characters. I dunno.

I've been feeling a bit of a gap between the effect desired in her writing and the effect elicited from me from her later works, like the Soldier's Son trilogy and this series.

I don't think I'm going to be picking up the rest of this series/any series forthcoming (unless y'all convince me to with reviews or something) unless she decides to continue Fitz's story/involve The Fool/do
The Dragon Keeper is a return to the Realm of the Elderlings 'verse. I love the first trilogy of books in it dearly, struggled through the second, and enjoyed the return to form in the third. I've detailed what I found difficult about the Liveships trilogy in my review of those, here. Some of those problems are repeated here: I find Hobb's writing stronger, in general, in the first person, because of her tendency to go off on long, long pages of exposition. At least when it's in the voice of a c ...more
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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)
Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2) Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3) Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1) Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3)

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