Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Review - Dragon Haven

Dragon Haven (Book Two of the Rain Wilds
Chronicles
) by Robin Hobb
I love Robin’s unique take on dragons. She builds off of the telepathic dragon concept many may be familiar with from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. However, unlike the juvenile Eragon books, Hobb’s dragons only start with that concept.


The Rain Wilds dragons have a unique life cycle where they start off as sea serpents, then undergo a metamorphosis to eventually become majestic flying creatures with arms, legs, and wings. Unfortunately centuries have passed since the last dragons ruled the skies and the sea serpents forgot how to become dragons. Old and tired and guided by the last remaining dragon queen, they embark on a journey up a river to a place where they can undergo the metamorphosis. Only a few survive to hatch, and they emerge as small, deformed and clumsy shadows of what dragons are supposed to be.

Of course, this all happened in the first book. In the second book, which I just finished reading, the fledgling dragons have to swim up river again, this time trudging along in the shallows, guided by their keepers, a few hunters and a barge and its crew who have embarked on a journey to lead the dragons to their ancestral home… which is only rumored to exist. The dragons and their keepers grow and change both in character and physically during the journey. The author takes us deeper into her unique dragon ideas with a concept that dragon blood can alter humans and turn them into magical “Elderling” creatures, which seem to be strange but beautiful mutated dragonish humanoids. However, the changes are not always predictable and can go horribly wrong…

I found the second book to be as enjoyable as the first, and look forward to the third. I thought it started out a little slow, with most of the plot revolving around romances and relationships, but halfway through it got interesting and the end is worth the wait and leaves you interested in what while happen in the next book.

I would love to see someone make a costume based on the character Thymara from this book.

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