New York Times best-selling author Robin Hobb - "one of the most important writers in 21st-century fantasy" (Contra Costa Times) - continues her enthralling fantasy saga of dragons and their keepers.
Once, dragons ruled the Rain Wilds, tended by privileged human servants known as Elderlings. But a series of cataclysmic eruptions nearly drove these magnificent creatures to extinction. Born weak and deformed, the last of their kind had one hope for survival: to return to their ancient city of Kelsingra. Accompanied by a disparate crew of untested young keepers, the dragons embarked on a harsh journey into the unknown along the toxic Rain Wild River.
Battling starvation, a hostile climate, and treacherous enemies, dragons and humans began to forge magical connections, bonds that have wrought astonishing transformations for them all. And though Kelsingra is finally near, their odyssey has only begun.
Because of the swollen waters of the Rain Wild River, the lost city can be reached only by flight - a test of endurance and skill beyond the stunted dragons’ strength. Venturing across the swift-running river in tiny boats, the dragon scholar Alise and a handful of keepers discover a world far different from anything they have ever known or imagined. Immense, ornate structures of black stone veined with silver and lifelike stone statues line the silent, eerily empty streets. Yet what are the whispers they hear, the shadows of voices and bursts of light that flutter and are gone? And why do they feel as if eyes are watching them?
The dragons must plumb the depths of their ancestral memories to help them take flight and unlock the secrets buried in Kelsingra. But enemies driven by greed and dark desires are approaching. Time is running out, not only for the dragons but for their human keepers as well.
©2012 Robin Hobb (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
I just finished the audiobook and was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I love Robin Hobb and most all of her books, but I knew something was wrong with this book when I saw that this book was only 13 hours when all of her others were at least 20+. Without any spoilers I felt this book was all filler drama to make an extra buck. This can't be the end of the series because there was not much progress from the last book. New problems that were introduced in this book were not even resolved. Anyways all bagging on the story aside, I was glad I read it. It wasn't horrible, it just felt incomplete and like it had no real ending.
I think some of the other reviews for this have been a little unfair.
City of Dragons is the third book in Robin Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles. According to Hobb, the first two books (Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven) were actually intended to be one book, but were split due to length. And the third and (forthcoming) fourth books were the same. City of Dragons is not a standalone book—it has no climax, virtually no resolution to its myriad storylines, and in fact where you would expect things to be wrapping up it only spawns new plot threads. In a genre where Pat Rothfuss can publish The Wise Man's Fear and we get innumerable Wheel of Time doorstops I'd question whether splitting the story was really necessary, but, regardless, my rating and review are with the understanding that I'm only looking at part of a whole.
Hobb's trademarks are all there: an immersive setting, lush prose, and deep, sympathetic characters. But this book doesn't feel as dark or as desperate as Hobb's other writing. There are threats, such as the fear that with Kelsingra known it will be overrun by treasure seekers, and the mysterious Chalcedean conspiracy. And problems, like the shortage of food and supplies, or the fact the dragons can't fly and so are completely dependent on their keepers. But none of these things feels particularly urgent or unmanageable. Disaster is not imminent. There are a few exceptions, such as one very desperate scene on the dark branches of the tree city of Cassarick (you'll know it when you read it)—but even that scene feels brief and truncated.
The result is that City of Dragons isn't focused on the dragons and keepers like the earlier volumes. It is a much broader book, showing the rippling consequences of Kelsingra's discovery and setting into motion all the forces that will no doubt clash in the finale.
But not every book needs to ratchet up suspense to unbearable levels. The book is a process of discovery, learning about the past and hoping for the possibilities of the future. Will the ancient society be restored, Elderlings and dragons living in symbiosis? And it is very much about relationships (romantic and otherwise). People are constantly forced to make choices about who to trust, who to be with, and then dealing with the consequences of those choices. Combine that with all the threads Hobb left in motion, and the final book promises to be an exciting conclusion to the series!
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I must have listened to a different recording then the other reviewers. I thought this book was the best of the first three and the first two were very good. I got lots of story for my money, more character development, and dragons that are real dragons. Dragons with attitude as it should be. You can start here and enjoy the book, but you really should start at the beginning. Matter of fact I would suggest you start with Ship of Magic and read that trilogy first. Reading the liveship trader trilogy will make this a richer experience. The Liveship Trader trilogy is my favorite fantasy trilogy of all time.
CEDRIC WOULD NO MORE RUN OFF WITH A WOMAN, THEN GROW A SPINE AND ASSERT HIMSELF.
I will agree with some others that their is a lot in this book that basically sets up the next book. I find it exciting to know that these characters are going to get involved more and what is the city going to be like? Watch out for chapter 10, it is the most emotional, scary, disgusting, and fantastic chapter of any book I have ever read. If you could win an award for best chapter, Hobb should get it for chapter 10. I will admit Hobb speaks to me, I am always amazed in how well she develops her characters. I am amazed in her insight into the human condition and how she is able to write about it in story form. I will say that if you have read any Hobb, with the exception of the Tawny Man trilogy and you don't already feel the way I do, then this will not change your mind. If you love Hobb, this is more of he same.
Flosnik is perfect for Robin Hobb books. I would not want her to read The Godfather, but her voice adds to the mood and atmosphere set in Robin Hobb's books.
I really became invested in the characters, especially the dragons. Sintara is wonderfully developed and Thymara is her equal in every way. I frequently forgot that Mercor (was he the wise old serpent in the first Liveship book?) was a dragon and Hebe wasn’t a frisky puppy.
Thymara, of course. That girl has skills and guts. Tats was a close second.
Dragons. I never thought I'd invest in a book with talking dragons, but this one really pulled me in.
I loved when Sedric and Carson came together.
My only disappointment with the book was Hobb’s inconsistencies with Malta, one of my favorite characters. When did her dark hair become golden? And when did Ephraim Vestrit become her father? She didn’t even like the man. Kyle Haven was her adored father. Sloppy. But I’m willing to forgive and forget if Hobb writes a final book (longer this time please!) to wrap up the series.
Yes I have loved all her previous books on audible
Yes and this one disappoints. The first help is a rehash of the the series so far. When it starts to get into new story lines it ends leaving you feeling cheated.
yes I am not good at casting.
disappointed but waiting for more.
This book appears to have been published to please anyone but the readers. Please finish the book before you ask us to buy it.
When Sintara finally decided she was going to fly.
Of the three books I've listened to so far, the story hasn't really progressed...there's a lot of unnecessary back & forth of the same storyline among the different characters. I'm all for fleshing out the characters & getting their perspectives but sometimes it stretches the story out to the point of the reader being frustrated. Even though I know there's another book to follow, the way the book ended demands a better wrap-up of the loose ends--does Hest make it to Kelsingra to demand that Alise come back with him to Bingtown or does she continue to defy him & stay with Leftin? does Tintaglia get back so Malta can heal her? does the dragons help the newborn baby survive? do all the dragons finally learn to fly & bring back the splendor of Kelsingra? Not to mention the character, Seldon...he's Tintaglia's keeper but I don't know how he really figures into the story & whether or not he survives the voyage or does he get killed for his blood for the old Duke?Although I'm committed to finishing the last book in order to find the answers to these questions, I feel like it would have been better just to have 2 really long audiobooks instead of chopping it up like it is...
I feel like not a huge amount actually happened in this one. Was pretty shocked when it ended where it did. I guess it's a disadvantage of an audio book.
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