After many years, dragons have hatched again outside the ancient city of Cassarick. But something is wrong with the creatures; each is inferior or weak in some way, and many die. Tending these stunted dragons has left the people of the surrounding area weary. The Traders Council, the city's leadership, fears that if the Rain Wilders stop providing for the young dragons, the hungry and neglected creatures will rampage and destroy Cassarick. To avert catastrophe, the council rules to relocate the young dragons to "a better location" up river, and residents are recruited to escort the valuable yet fearsome creatures on the arduous journey. Among them are Thymara, an unschooled Rain Wilds girl of sixteen, and Alise, a wealthy, educated, and deeply unsatisfied Bingtown Trader's wife.
Witnessed from the viewpoints of these two very different women, Dragon Keeper tells the story of this disparate band of humans and dragons as they make their way along the toxic and inhospitable Rain Wild River in search of their new home---the ancient, long-lost city of Kelsingra.
©2010 Robin Hobb (P)2010 Tantor
Dragon Keeper is in my top 10% of the hundreds I've read/listened to.
I don't do memorable moments - I like the entire story or else I don't like it, and I love this one.
I had a hard time getting used to this reader in the Live Ships series, but have come to appreciate her excellent continuation of voices even in this series. She is talented, but different. Different is not negative.
Yes - but sure couldn't!
I strongly suggest that potential readers listen to Hobb's Live Ships series first. The Dragon series is an indirect completion (or continuation?) of that first series and a greater understanding and appreciation will be the result of reading Live Ships first. The Live Ships series is one of the most inventive I've ever read. I don't think I would have appreciated this as much had I not already known the roots.
Robin Hobb is an author I can never get enough of. I love how her adventure tales are character driven and always tinged with bittersweet. This one is no different and I look forward to part 2. I really like how she gently reminds the readers of details in books past without turning it into an obvious summary. I haven't read Liveship Traders in years, but her hints refreshed the plots instantly. I do suggest you read the Liveship tales first before starting on this book.
My main issue with the book is how abruptly it ended! I realize Hobb always writes in series and expected this to be continued, but this wasn't even a cliffhanger. It just seemed to skid to a halt in mid-scene. I was so confused I made sure I didn't have a chapter in my Library left to download. Very unsatisfying not to have some little mini wrap-up so the reader knows that yes, this section of tale is coming to an end.
The reader was mostly good. She has an odd vocal habit of drawing out the last syllables of words in the end of paragraphs. For example: "...we have been richer, that's for surrrreee". or "...the final killing shalloooows." The city name Kelsingra often sounds like "Kelsingraaaaa", especially when she is voicing the dragons. Perhaps it has to do with her English accent, but I found it rather distracting in an otherwise excellent reading.
This is the first book that I have read/listened to by this author. I tend to be a bit hesitant about unfamiliar authors as I am quite picky. Fortunately, this book became very interesting early on and I soon became addicted. The plot jumps back and forth between the important characters and I found myself yearning for them to all come together. Each one was interesting in its own right, and this kept me enthralled. I am just as pleased with the 2nd book in this trilogy. I am dying for the 3rd book to be published! The wait is terrible, but worth it.
A lot of people don't seem to like this narrator, but I actually decided on this book because of the narrator. She narrated a few books by Jacqueline Carrey (whom I adore), and I fell in love with her voice and cadence.
I enjoyed the book, however I believe that the book ended too suddenly. I always expect a cliffhanger to entice me to purchase the next book in the series but felt like the book ended in mid chapter,or mid paragraph. I looked in my library for another section in case I had not downloaded the entire book although I was sure I had downloaded all parts. This was very disappointing.
I personally disliked the narrator's reading and hope the next book will be narrated by someone else. I think the accent did not fit with the story and distracted as I listened. I found myself rolling my eyes through out the reading because of her accent and the drawing out of the words. Although I would purchase the next book I am not sure I would buy the audio, depending on the narrator I may just wait for the paperback and read for myself.
I liked the characters of the book - none are perfect, and all are well delineated. Each has their own troubles to over come.
The narration was horrendous. The narrator was over-wrought and it made this book incredibly difficult to hear. The first time I attempted to play the book, I listened for 5 minutes and couldn't handle it, so stopped the book. It took me 4 attempts before I actually could get past the narrator's absurdness to be able to pay attention to the story.
Robin Hobb always amazes me with how well she develops characters. Her ability to accurately portray a variety of unique points of view is verging on unparalleled, and this new series is the pinnacle of said skill. While the plot isn't particularly fast paced, or full of swashbuckling action, the characters emotional and mental journeys are the driving force behind the narrative. A definite must read for anyone interested in seeing a master at work.
When I first started listening to this book I wasn't a fan of the narrator. I have read the book before so liked the story. Eventually she grew on me. Give the book at chance cause it is a great story.
This is my first read of one of Robin Hobbs' books. The foreshadowing of events is magnificent, as well as the character development. My major issue, is the lack of geographical knowledge, and perhaps that is because I have started with the wrong set of books.
As to the comments about the Narrator, I envision Dragons to have very different voices and pronunciations then we do, so the accent works for me.
If you are debating listening to this one, I suggest you give it a shot. I was unsure at first, and actually for several hours into it. But I couldn't stop. I could see the shadows of the future, but had to go on to see how it all came together. I'm looking forward to the next one.
Kept waiting for a story to develop but it never did. I don't even remember who any of the characters are and I've listened for 5 hours. Read the Assassin's Apprentice series but skip this one.
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