The Dragon Keeper - An Abundance of Information Lacking Action

The Dragon Keeper - An Abundance of Information Lacking Action

The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb is the first book of The Rain Wild Chronicles, set in the same mythical world of The Realm of the Elderlings as her other famous series: The Farseer TrilogyThe Liveship Traders Trilogy, and The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy. This is our first taste of Robin Hobb’s highly praised fantasy literature, which I think is a good thing since we couldn’t compare it to any of her other works.

Although starting a brand new series is always exciting, The Dragon Keeper was a little too slow on the action and story telling. It was instead intended as a world builder, focusing on characters’ current livelihoods, and their motivations leading them into the story.

Something that caught me off guard about this book was how political it is. This may not come as a surprise to a seasoned Hobb reader but for me I just wasn’t expecting it. Even though I am not overly interested in the politics it was obvious that they are an important foundation of the book. I think the real problem for me wasn’t necessarily the politics but my inability to become immersed in those chapters. I found myself becoming aware of my surroundings more frequently and would have to concentrate on the words in order for my mind to form pictures of the situation. That being said I am glad to have all that information now, as I don’t believe a lot of the dialogue between characters would make sense without it.

The characters in The Dragon Keeper are exceedingly diverse, in both personality and my interest for them. Alise Finbok is a great example of the character development in this book. At 21 years of age she finds herself unmarried and with no future marriage proposals in sight so she decides to become a scholar of Elderling and dragon lore. When I imagine an educated woman of the time, I think of someone who is mature and strong; this is not Alise. I was reminded of a child all too often during her chapters, finding myself increasingly irritated by her inability to see the obvious. In time, over the 4 year gap, she did come to grow on me and grow within herself. It is however a very slow journey for her.

Rapskal was one of the redeeming characters throughout the book, but unfortunately only plays a secondary role as one of the keepers sent to watch over the dragons on their journey up Rain Wild River. He delivers a much needed breath of fresh air from the overall serious tone of the book. His innocent and bubbly personality is extremely endearing (similar to a puppy), you can’t help becoming attached to him and simply wanting more.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed learning a brand new mythical world with Robin Hobb’s own ideations about the entwined relations of humans and dragons, and other fantasy beings. You can very well tell that there is so much more under the surface just waiting to be told. One particular offset that intrigues are the liveships, which luckily have an entire trilogy all to themselves!

Next up: Dragon Haven, the second book in Robin Hobb’s The Rain Wild Chronicles series.

Alo & Alex (:

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24 Feb 2016 6:14 PMBrittany Mitchell