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Dragon Keeper (Rain Wild Chronicles #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,363 Ratings  ·  1,152 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
Mass Market Paperback, 493 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Harper Voyager (first published June 25th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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else fine
Mar 09, 2011 else fine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 10, 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
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
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
Dec 13, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mar 02, 2010 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.
David Sven
Nov 25, 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
Aug 01, 2016 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
Sep 28, 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
Aug 06, 2016 Birchsilver rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf

DNFed at page 500 of 553.

Firstly, I thought this was a book for my age. But at page 113-114 there was SEX SCENE. And mentions throughout.

The book starts off with a woman getting married, and then alternates between this girl Thymara who's born with scales and claws. CREE-PY!

Pretty soon I was bored out of my tree.

There was NO action whatsoever until about... *checks*
Page 460. Out of 553.

I honestly don't even know why I read to page 500.

Then the famous "journey" began. Really, all th
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
Dec 10, 2013 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
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.
I didn't like Dragon Keeper on my second read (or listen I suppose in this instance) as much as I remember liking it the first time around. Not sure what it was exactly, but it reads a lot more like a soap opera-drama than the heavy fantasy of the Farseer Trilogy for example. Considering several of the main characters are teenagers, this isn't surprising I suppose.

The reader, Saskia Butler, has a lovely voice, but unfortunately at times I couldn't take the narrative seriously - a couple of the v
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
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
Jul 19, 2013 Metaphorosis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2013-rev
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
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.
Aug 04, 2016 Beleth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
The Dragon Keeper is not a book for casual fans of Robin Hobb. It's slow, character-building, and action is at a minimum. It's also only half of a story.

Dragon Keeper takes place a few years after the events of the Liveship Traders series. I love being back in Bingtown and I enjoyed all the little cameos from the Liveship books. The story mainly focuses on Alise, a Bingtown scholar and Thymara, a Rain Wilds girl heavily marked by the Wilds (there are a few other POV characters). Alise and Thymar
Oct 28, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 26, 2014 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion this is Hobbs' best series. I would recommend reading the Liveship Traders trilogy first, even though you certainly don't have to read it to enjoy this series. The Liveship books are a prequel of sorts to these books, and they are also a wonderful read. Caution: if you want to take on both series, it is a whole lot of reading material, and even if you read super fast like me, it will keep you occupied for quite some time.

Update (re-read): Though the pacing for Hobb's novels are oft
Heidi Garrett
Mar 08, 2015 Heidi Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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!
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
Clay Kallam
Jan 28, 2011 Clay Kallam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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“Death fed life.” 2 likes
“Any human who dared to attack a dragon deserved to die himself. And dead, of what use was he, unless someone ate him? She didn’t see why leaving a human to be eaten by worms was more acceptable.” 0 likes
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