Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb

Book 2 of the Rain Wild Chronicles

I loved the Fool’s series by Hobb and so I thought I might like these. I have listened to book 1 but forgot to blog about it. So far, each book has been over 21 hours of listening time so you need a hobby such as gardening or sewing where you can listen for long lengths of time. Fortunately, I do both.

Dragon Keeper sets the scene for the quartet where dragons hatch but are misformed and lacking in strength and so need keepers to tend them. The keepers are chosen and all set off on a long voyage to find the city of Kelsingra where dragons and elderlings lived many years ago.

The second book picks up the story along the river where they experience a tsunami after a volcano errupting and the keepers and boat people start to argue amongst themselves, mostly about who is pairing off with whom.

This book is primarily about who and how people or dragons are chosen and how they show their loyalty and love. Secrets which were built up in the first book are revealed, bringing motivations and greed into the light, sometimes with fatal conclusions and the dragons continue to get bigger and more fully developed. Although not made for water, it turns out that dragons do love heat and once they have sat on specially made heat blocks discovered along the river front, they get a shine on their scales, their colour develops and their wings strengthen. In this book we find that this journey has been essential for the well-being of the dragons and not just a quest desired by some of the humans. Vemon sacs are forming in the mouths of the dragons and some are learn to fly once they read Kelsingra.

This leaves the book set up for the next adventure which will be about discovering the city and presumably deciding whether to go back to the towns to purchase provisions and thereby alerting others to the fact that Kesingra has been discovered.

The books are long, too long and ponderous for me. Others that I have read by Hobb have also been long, I don’t think she writes a short book, but these move forward inch by inch and it is too slow. I do, however, feel for some of the characters who are well-drawn: Thymara who is turning into a dragon herself with the development of her wings and Elise who is there to document the quest as a way of separating from her husband.

Not the best series but I will persist with the audiobooks from the library.

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