Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb (The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 2)

9/10 A masterful, character-driven sequel that builds upon the story laid down in its predecessor.

A masterful, character-driven sequel that builds upon the story laid down in its predecessor.

The dragon keepers and the fledgling dragons continue to forge a passage up the treacherous Rain Wild River in search of the mythical Elderling city of Kelsingra. Accompanying them are the liveship Tarman, its captain Leftrin, and a group of hunters who must search the forests for game with which to keep the dragons fed. On the liveship are Alise, who has escaped her cold marriage to the cruel libertine Hest Finbok in order to continue her study of dragons, and Hest's amanuensis, Sedric.

Rivalries and romances are already threatening to disrupt the band of explorers: but external forces may prove to be even more dangerous. Chalcedean merchants are keen to lay hands on dragon blood and organs to turn them to medicines and profit. Their traitor has infiltrated the expedition and will stop at nothing to obtain the coveted body parts. And then there are the Rain Wilds themselves: mysterious, unstable and ever perilous, its mighty river running with acid, its jungle impenetrable and its waterways uncharted.

This book’s predecessor, Dragon Keeper, spent a great deal of time laying down the foundations of the story to come and fleshing out the characters, both human or dragon. Some found it a little slow going in places, but this is an often found complaint placed against the first book of a series. And so Dragon Haven is able to build upon all the hard work of its predecessor and Robin Hobb - writing as masterfully and as calmly as ever and with the even pace we have come to expect - has written a novel every bit as readable and compelling as anything she has produced before.

Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven are a very welcome return to the Realm of the Elderlings and the biggest questions concerning its history, that of what happened to the dragons, the Elderlings and their cities, begin to find answers. However, Dragon Haven features excellent characterisation, where Hobb’s detailed attention on giving each character a backstory helps the reader to better understand their feelings and behaviour. Add to this an ever-more fascinating plot, and appearances by beloved characters from the previous Realm of the Elderling novels, and it all comes together to make a masterful sequel.

The are no weaknesses but readers have commented that this series slightly lacks the complete and utter immersion of the previous trilogies (Farseer, Liveship Trader and Tawny Man) and that they would love for more appearances from their favourite characters from earlier books. Dragon Haven takes large steps to offer these readers exactly what they are asking for.

Dragon Haven is an excellent novel that benefits from prior hard work in the previous instalment. A tale rich in plot and characterisation it forms a worthy and exciting addition to Hobb’s delightful world of the Elderlings.

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1 positive reader review(s) for Dragon Haven

Our interview with Robin Hobb

City of Dragons, the third instalment in The Rain Wild Chronicles, will be published in the UK on the 23rd of April 2012. In advance of the book's release, Robin Hobb has kindly taken time to expound on the inspirations b [...]

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Robin Hobb's The Rain Wild Chronicles series

Dragon Keeper

The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 1

Dragon Haven

The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 2

City of Dragons

The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 3

Blood of Dragons

The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 4

Dragon Haven reader reviews

from U.S.

I read the first book Dragon Keeper and absolutely loved it ! I want the rest of the books that go with the series..!

9.5/10 from 2 reviews

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