This year I set myself a personal challenge to read new to me authors and The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb was a one such novel courtesy of my subscription to Scribd. There are some books that are surprising and enjoyable and then there are some books that are surprising, amazing, wonderful, and engaging literary experiences. This first book of the Rain Wild Chronicles is just such a book, it is far more than just a beautifully crafted fantasy novel. It is an incredibly beautiful and engaging book.
Fantasy novels have never been my go to choice for reading material, I’ve never been able to lose myself in the stories and characters in the genre. This book changed that entirely for me. The environment, the characters, the plot, the writing are all exquisitely crafted works of literary genius. I read this first book in early February of this year and it is still one of my favorite reads of the year.
The descriptions are so vivid and detailed that characters and environments leap off the page and into your imagination with ease. Imagine rivers that are acidic and trees so massive and sturdy that entire cities are built high in their branches. Ships made from living wood that has mystical properties, dragons that aren’t the standard flying, fire breathing creatures we’ve grown accustomed to but rather imperfect creatures with distinct personalities and faults. Then there are the human inhabitants of the world which without giving away anything are varied, flawed, gorgeous, and deeply engaging.
I know my reviews don’t discuss story and characters and this review will be no different. I’ve read all four of the books in the series and the other three reviews will follow. This book was the perfect book to stumble onto thanks to an author recommendation on Twitter and my Scribd subscription. I fell in love with the characters, the environment, the storytelling, and the world. This book is one of those I will buy and proudly display on our bookshelves. I know it is something I will reread more than once in my life.
Five stars out of five stars.