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Blood of Dragons: Volume IV: The Rain Wild Chronicles
Robin Hobb
Harper Voyager, 448 pages

Robin Hobb
Robin Hobb, aka Megan Lindholm, was born in California in 1952. At the age of about 9 she moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, where she graduated from high school. Later, after a brief stint at the University of Denver where she majored in Mass Communications, she married and moved back up to Alaska, where she started writing under her maiden name. She started publishing her short stories about twenty years ago in small magazines. Shortlisted for the 1989 Nebula Awards in the categories of novella ("A Touch of Lavender" -- also a 1990 Hugo Award nominee) and novelette ("Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man"), she was also nominated for the Nebula for her short story "Cut." She lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Robin Hobb Website
ISFDB Bibliography: Robin Hobb
ISFDB Bibliography: Megan Lindholm
SF Site Review: City of Dragons
SF Site Review: Dragon Haven
SF Site Review: The Dragon Keeper
SF Site Review: Renegade's Magic
SF Site Review: Shaman's Crossing
SF Site Review: The Golden Fool
SF Site Review: Fool's Errand
SF Site Review: Mad Ship
SF Site Review: Ship of Magic
SF Site Review: The Farseer Trilogy
SF Site Review: The Farseer: Assassin's Quest
SF Site Review: The Farseer: Royal Assassin

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Dominic Cilli

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Blood of Dragons In Blood of Dragons, Robin Hobb picks up the story right where she left off in City of Dragons. The dragons and the crew of the Tarman have reached the lost city of Kelsingra and now Alise, Tats, Rapskal and the others are trying to settle down and make a life for themselves in the city. The dragons that remained earthbound all go through the process of learning to fly and the dragon keepers are now developing into full-fledged Elderlings and searching for the silver that will allow the dragons to complete their development. Hest is still on his way up the Rain Wild River in pursuit of Sedric and Alise and the Duke of Chalced remains steadfast in his quest for dragon parts to heal his failing body.

Unfortunately, I didn't find Blood of Dragons to be even close to Hobb's best work. This series has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. I felt good about volumes one and three, but volumes two and four I felt were very weak entries. Once again, as was the case with Dragon Haven, not a whole lot happens in Blood of Dragons. The plot slows to a crawl and plays second fiddle to the characters and the overall result gets fairly boring. While I was writing this review, I wasn't worried about plot spoilers for readers because basically there isn't much to spoil. Nothing unexpected happens. All the bad guys get what is coming to them and everyone lives happily ever after. Don't get me wrong; this is a very well written novel, but the story just fell flat for me. We don't see many deft plot twists or typical Hobb cleverness. We do get the tenderhearted writing we've all come to expect from the author, but without a good story the book comes off more like a soap opera than a fantasy novel. I prefer not to make radical generalizations, but this is a book and a series better suited to readers who want to be swept away with the complexities of human relationships and love. So without meaning to sound offensive, this is a chick-book. (Failure, I know.)

Overall, I think your opinion of this book is going to be based entirely on what you expect to get out of the book. If your reading the book because you love the way Hobb makes you empathize with her characters, you won't be disappointed. The main focus of Blood of Dragons is on the interpersonal relationships of her characters and is a touching and quite skillfully written novel in this regard, but this time around it just didn't work for me. I couldn't get past the feeling that the plot was episodic and simplistic, so if you're looking for Hobb the storyteller, you're probably going to be disappointed with Blood of Dragons. I know if you've come this far along in the series you're going to want to wrap things up, but for fans that are new to Robin Hobb, you are going to want to stick with her first nine novels and then hope her next series sees her returning to form as one of the best writers in the genre.

Copyright © 2013 Dominic Cilli

When asked to write a third-person tag line for his reviews, Dominic Cilli farmed the work out to an actual 3rd person, his friend Neal, who in turn turned it over to a second person who then asked his third cousin to help out and this person whom Dom doesn't even know then wrote in 8th person Omniscient mode "Dom's breadth of knowledge in literature runs the gamut and is certainly not bounded by the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. One thing I can say with certainty is that of all the people I don't know who've ever recommended books to read, Dom's recommendations are the best.


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