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Publisher's Summary

Guided by the great blue dragon Tintaglia, they came from the sea: a Tangle of serpents fighting their way up the Rain Wilds 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 impenetrable forest, it is a hard place for any to survive.

People are changed by the Rain Wilds, subtly or otherwise. One such is Thymara. Born with black claws and other aberrations, she should have been exposed at birth. But her father saved her and her mother has never forgiven him. Like everyone else, Thymara is fascinated by the return of dragons: it is as if they symbolise the return of hope to their war-torn world. Leftrin, captain of the liveship Tarman, also has an interest in the hatching; as does Bingtown newlywed, Alise Finbok, who has made it her life's work to study all there is to know of dragons.

But the creatures which emerge from the cocoons are a travesty of the powerful, shining dragons of old. Stunted and deformed, they cannot fly; some seem witless and bestial. Soon, they become a danger and a burden to the Rain Wilders: something must be done. The dragons claim an ancestral memory of a fabled Elderling city far upriver: perhaps there the dragons will find their true home. But Kelsingra appears on no maps and they cannot get there on their own: a band of dragon keepers, hunters and chroniclers must attend them.

To be a dragon keeper is a dangerous job: their charges are vicious and unpredictable, and there are many unknown perils on the journey to a city which may not even exist...

©2009 HarperCollins Publishers; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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  • Overall
  • Alison
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • 08-21-09

Great story

This continues in the same world as the author's "Live Ships" trilogy, and includes some of the same characters, a few years on. The narrator voices the fine mix of interesting characters, human and inhuman, with convincing skill. The only minor annoyance is that it ends somewhat abruptly, albeit after 17 very enjoyable hours - a story that is very clearly "to be continued". Soon I hope!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • E
  • 05-08-16

Reader reads far to quickly had to listen on 0.75

Would you be willing to try another one of Saskia Butler’s performances?

Only if I have too!

Any additional comments?

Please to see this narrator isn't used for the whole series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sarah
  • South Yarra, Australia
  • 08-10-10

Fantastic Narrator

I loved this book. Saskia Butler has done a fantastic job as narrator - all the different voices/accents for so many characters. It is a pleasure to listen to. I haven't listened to the second book in the series yet but I'm a bit disappointed they haven't used the same narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kim
  • Cape TownSouth Africa
  • 09-05-09

A definite keeper

Robin Hobb never disappoints - continuing with a story thread related to her brilliant Farseer, Liveship and Tawny Man trilogies, she weaves a magical tale that also comfortably stands alone. It will keep you up into the wee hours .... and anxious for the next installment. Here's hoping her other trilogies soon make their Audible debut - Robin Hobb is on of the rare gems of fantasy fiction with original concepts and plots that grab you and don't let go. I've read more than my fair share of the genre, and have found few that can compare.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Half a book

I am an avid Robin Hobb fan and hold her in the highest esteem. Dragon keeper is like reading/listening to the first third of a book. You just start to get into the story then is just abruptly ends. Leaving the listener feeling ripped off. Many narrators are able to create clearly distinct sounding voices for their characters. This one does not. That said she is very well spoken. In conclusion I felt ripped off as it is clearly only a third or at most a half of a book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A fantastic expansion of a beloved setting

This book introduce new elements and expand on the world in this fantastic setting. It has a lot of new setting material, fascinating characters and a good story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic

Loved this book. I listen to a lot of books but found this story and the characters quite addictive and immediately bought the rest of the series. I am only sorry, devastated in fact, that although Amercian readers can get Robin Hobbs other books on audible I, in the UK, currrently can't. I live in hope and in the meantime have had to resort to buying the written books!

  • Overall
  • Pam
  • Castletown, Australia
  • 04-28-10

Not a complete unit

Good book but the story ends in the middle. Each book should be complete in itself. If its going to be divided into parts then it should be clearly stated on the cover - part 1.I have always loved Robin Hobb. The Assasin series and the Mad Ship series kept me spell bound. She has not disappointed me with this book.

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  • Overall
  • Gabrielle Harvey-Jones
  • 09-14-09

A wonderful 'listen'!

I really enjoyed this, and will look forward to the next book in the series, when it is published, next year. This book introduced me to Robin Hobb and I am, at present, reading her first book. Hopefully Audible will present other books by this author soon!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Valerie
  • 09-20-09

Valerie C

Having read all of Robin Hobb's books, including those written under the name Megan Lindholm, I can say that she as done it once again! Fantastic book, vivid, real and with characters that draw you in and don't let go. Read it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Grace
  • 04-01-10

Great story let down by the narrator

Having read Robin Hobb's Assassin, Liveship, and Fool trilogies avidly as a teenager, I was really pleased to hear she'd started another trilogy set in the same world. I enjoyed this book, full of characters you can believe in and vivid descriptions of the Rain Wilds, although it feels a little Regency-esque. The main problem I have with this audiobook, though, is the narrator: I found her voice grating, although that may be simply a personal thing. More to the point, she misreads, mispronounces, and misenterprets words and sentences all the way through, which means that your attention is never fully on the story, as you're waiting for the next wince-inducing slip.
Overall, a good book not done justice by its presentation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • little bobs mum and dad
  • 02-25-11

An absorbing listen

What an excellent book. Extremely well written, with a wonderful level of detail that made the world Robin Hobb has created seem so vivid in my mind. I think that only happens when you read or listen to a great book with a gripping story. I found myself really caring about the characters and their fates, which means I now am desperate to listen to the sequel!

I have to applaud the narration, which is wonderful throughout. It seemed that there was a real understanding of the characters and their lives, which made it all the more interesting for me as a listener, and the accents used were very helpful in establishing the characters and who was speaking at any one time.

My only criticism is that I was a little confused at times. There are multiple plotlines which are admittedly superbly interwoven, but a little confusing for me, as I am not familiar with Robin Hobb's other work, which establishes the world of the Liveships. Perhaps this would help before you listen to this (far too) short series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mogie
  • 11-30-09

dragon keeper

Excellent book, i want the rest of the series now, I am totally involved,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • dicky
  • 03-16-15

Average

Good but didn't really go anywhere I was waiting for the big crescendo and then the book ended. It's as if the author took a really big book and a random place to break it down. The characters are more than likeable and the mythology is intriguing. I will read the next book because of my curiosity rather than being gripped.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 09-08-14

so tedious

Would you try another book written by Robin Hobb or narrated by Saskia Butler?

I don't think I could try another book written by Robin- just too wet and namby pamby. I nearly always finish a book, even if I don't like it. Just couldn't manage this one, so maybe it got better...<br/>The narrator has a really breathy reading style which I found off putting. She could probably do a child's book reasonably well, but got irritated by her very quickly.

Has Dragon Keeper put you off other books in this genre?

This book doesn't put me off the genre, but I don't think I'll bother with any of the other series of books written by Robin. I'm a huge fan of the genre, but this book was just so boring and was not immersive in any way. Try something by Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Brent Weeks or Patrick Rothfuss.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Saskia Butler?

Almost anyone

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dragon Keeper?

I don't think I could have edited this book- I would have told her not to bother.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Leycesteria, Surrey
  • 12-02-09

I too am waiting impatiently for Book 2

I really liked this audio book, the author has overtones of Mervyn Peake (Gormenghast) surrealism together with more conventional sci-fi/fantasy creation. Saskia Butler has a pleasant reading voice, the only niggle being the mis-pronounciation of a few words, but it is rare to find an absolutely perfect reading (except perhaps by the author - and then sometimes their voice isn't easy to listen to). I am waiting patiently for the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John Ferguson
  • 08-27-11

More Mills and Boons than Fantasy

Robin Hobb is an excellent author. She writes with a passion and captivating style. Unfortunately I found this particular trilogy more Mills and Boon than epic fantasy. There is too much love interest and not enough fantasy for my taste. The romance was given a very modern twist with gay lovers and a marriage of (in) convenience. I did not enjoy the characterisation in this book with Elise being far too naive.

The second book in the trilogy is an improvement, but still far to much gay interest which detracted from a potentially good story.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave Watts
  • 10-02-17

Good But Not Great

It took a while to get going and not much happened. A slow burn so should pick up in the next book. Well narrated though.

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  • Eleanor
  • 04-28-16

beautiful! Loved it

Loved the powerful feminine characters. Not at all disappointed after The Tawny Man Trilogy. Loved it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-17

Excellent!

The character and plot development was great! I loved all the characters and found the story itself very believable. On to the next book!
Narration was good- it did its job on keeping me focused on the story and able to distinguish different characters- I only wish there was more pause between switching of characters as it take me some time to realise there had been a switch and it's confusing. But all in all: LOVED IT!