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The Dragon Keeper

(Rain Wild Chronicles #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  27,497 Ratings  ·  1,520 Reviews
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 by a river turned toxic. If neglected, the creatures will rampage--or die--so it is decreed that ...more
Hardcover, 553 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Voyager
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Rating details
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Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-books
3.5/5 stars

A good foundational start to a quartet but it’s also the weakest start within any of Hobb's series so far.

Dragon Keeper is the first book in the Rain Wild Chronicles quartet, which also marks the beginning of the fourth out of five subseries within Hobb’s The Realm of the Elderlings series. The entire storyline in this book took place in the Rain Wild section of the world and plot-wise, the first book has a very simple premise. The Dragon Keepers have to herd the dragons to find their
else fine
Feb 24, 2010 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
Bookdragon Sean
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 4-star-reads
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
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000-09, 3-star, 2018
Three stars for dragons, everything else sucked.
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it liked it
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!
Jul 24, 2013 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 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
This story is intriguing! I was a little nervous because the Rain Wild Chronicles has mixed reviews. I LOVED seeing the dragons, and so enjoyed being back in the Rain Wilds.
Mark Halse
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Helene Jeppesen
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic-fantasy, 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
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, great
I'm glad to revisit the fantasy world created by Robin Hobb---one of the few true queens of fantasy not the fake ones---again and this journey takes us to the mysterious Rain Wild River and its forest, we travel upriver together with a bunch of Rain Wild misfits and a pack of deformed dragons in hope to discover the long-lost mystical city of dragons and the Elderlings.

There hadn't been any dragon walking this world for centuries and neither the dragons and the humans know what to do with each
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 Morrell
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, x-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 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
Sad Sunday (Princess Consuela Bananahammock)
I like dragons! (DNFs Seraphina)
I don't like series! (Reads The Witcher saga like there is no tomorrow)
Females in magic rock! (Magic Bites is somewhere in my attic...)
I looooove old fashioned high fantasy! (If you bring The Black Company close - it hisses at me)

So, I had doubts plunging into this book. And I think the first half is 3*. But somehow I grew to like it as I read further. Maybe it's still 3,5* but I would really like to read series further.

The author takes her time with everything -
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars on this one. It's still good, but it's a lot of setup and basically a series of pissing contests between a whole set of new character. I'm enjoying learning more about the dragons and I'm excited to see what this book has set up for us to learn in the next three
Abbie | ab_reads
3.5 stars - solid but not as deep as the others, I’m looking forward to continuing the series though!
steph // bookplaits
Sep 25, 2016 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
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 rated it really liked it
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
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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

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)
“Death fed life.” 3 likes
“That is true. I could not prevent what was done to me, nor can I change what people made of me. But I know what I am and have decided to continue being what I am.” 3 likes
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