Friday, 16 September 2011

Dragon Haven

(Slight note, unrelated: I've just started using the new interface, not entirely convinced by it.  So if this post doesn't work/looks weird/does strange things, that's why...)

This is the second book in Robin Hobb's most recent trilogy, and it's really good.  Meant I did absolutely no work for an entire day as I just lay on my bed and read this book.  I blame the person who kindly leant it to me.  I was meant to be doing uni work.  Actually, I'm meant to be doing uni work now as well, but as you can see, that's not happening.

While I've read a lot of fantasy since I first started reading Robin Hobb, I think her novels remain my favourite fantasy.  They're just so rich and detailed, so intensely real and so magically other.

Dragon Haven continues the tale of the crippled dragons and their keepers as they hunt for the mythical city the dragons sort of remember.  Romance, intrigue and the struggle to survive all give the novel depth, coupled by the wonderful missives by carrier pigeon that appear at the start of each new section, giving you character by proxy.  I love those bits, it's a really intriguing idea, to show how much (and how little) you can discover about these two characters by the notes on the edges of official post.

The dragons go stronger as they travel, and the people, cast-offs for the most part, along with a silent liveship and his tough captain, a trader lady indulging her dream of learning about the dragons and her attendant who doesn't want to be there, also grow and develop.  It's a brilliant cast, and you find yourself caring intensely about the characters.  Loved it, from start to finish.

This is definitely a recommended read, though it's worth reading the first, Dragon Keeper, first (and preferably sooner before this than I did), and you'll need plenty of time to set aside because you won't be able to put it down.

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