Book Review: Dragon Keepers & Dragon Haven

July 12th, 2010 in Books, PlanetGNOME

A couple of weeks ago I asked for recommendations for dragon books. Then I was flipping through my Kindle books (I download a lot of free ones from Amazon) and I saw Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb. Amazon gave it away for a while and I downloaded it and never read it. I read it and I loved it. So I went to buy the sequel. I was quite willing to pay $9.99 – it’s still in hardback – for it but when I discovered it was $15 for a digital version I decided I wasn’t buying it. I checked all the local libraries and ended up on the waitlist. Last Saturday I was up in Fort Collins to meet friends and I found a copy in the Fort Collins library. I made my 3 year old run upstairs with me to make sure we got to it before any one else snagged it. I have to say I enjoyed Dragon Haven as much as the first book.

I feel like there’s been a lack of really good new science fiction and fantasy books (that aren’t about vampires and werewolves) and Dragon Keeper & Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb was just what I was craving.

Why did I enjoy it?

  • It’s definitely a fantasy book. There are dragons and people genetically change by either the world or the dragons. A what if book.
  • There’s life on the river – and I’m always fascinated by people living on water.
  • It’s got lots of different societies and social classes and I’m fascinated by how classes and societies interact. Robin Hobb also does a good job creating societies affected by having to live in trees and suffering from lots of genetic birth defects.
  • While it’s a fantasy book, things seemed based on science. It seems like it could be life on another planet or genetically altered life.
  • The character development is pretty good. There are lots of interesting characters, some more developed than others. Some a bit more naive (too naive?) than others. But all interesting. And some tension and romance thrown in for good measure.
  • There’s lots of strong female characters. I enjoy reading books about women and science fiction and fantasy books with strong female characters are less common than those with strong male characters. I think it’s one of the reasons that many of my favorite science fiction authors are women. (I also enjoy books with strong male characters. But it reminds me of this post I saw today. 64% of girls and 100% of boys draw scientists as men.)
  • There’s adventure – they are on a quest!
  • There’s intrigue, sabotage and mystery.

So if you like fantasy books and books about dragons, I recommend Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven.

2 Responses to “Book Review: Dragon Keepers & Dragon Haven”

  1. Jer says:

    Her Farseer Trilogy is really well done also.

  2. Mervi says:

    Great review! I’m sure you’d love all Robin’s books set in the same world (they start with the Farseer trilogy) but especially the Liveship Traders books (Ship of Magic, Mad Ship, Ship of Destiny). They have several strong female (and male) characters, are partially set in the Rain Wilds, there’s lots of societies/social classes and most of it happens at sea. Highly recommended! :)