Book Review: Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb (book two of the Rain Wilds Chronicles)

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb art by Jackie Kay

Day the 5th of the Prayer Moon

I previously reviewed Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb, and I advise you to read that one first! There are some spoilers in this review.

Well, I said I wanted to see what Robin Hobb was going to do, and I have not been disappointed! Having warmed up to the characters during the first book, with this one I was able to dive right in. I was again struck by the richness of Robin Hobb’s worldbuilding. Her descriptive writing is skilled, nuanced and wonderful (I did have to do a bit of looking things up in the dictionary). Relationships and tensions that were laid out in the first book simmer, boil over, transform and deepen: Alise finally finds out that her husband (Hest Finbok, who is referred to in my head as idiot-man) was in fact having an affair with Sedric Melden, who was her best friend and Hest’s sort-of secretary…

What’s wonderful about this whole progression is that, although the feelings between Alise and Sedric are understandably complicated, they are able to salvage their friendship and somewhat bond over the fact that Hest has behaved manipulatively and awfully towards both of them. Watching these two characters heal from their treatment at the hands of idiot-man, and figure out how to do so while remaining friends, was wonderful. They also have both found lovers who treat them with the love and respect that they deserve, which lead to me yelling happily while I read.

Meanwhile, the dragons continue to be difficult, mysterious and joyful by turns. Thymara’s stubborn back wound persists, and Thymara persists in refusing to be part of the toxic machinations of Greft (idiot-man mark two). One of my favourite characters vanished really early on (swept away by a flood), which was rather upsetting. And everyone keeps heading up the river, slowly and laboriously and being changed by it…

Also, the letters between Detozi and Erek, the pigeonkeepers, start betraying something more than a professional relationship, and give us a glimpse into the havoc being caused by this expedition back in civilisation. A brilliantly engaging read.

Rating: read this book, curl up in the warmth and feel your wings grow and grow and grow…

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Another update: the surface is in sight!

So thinking that it was just one week of blergh was rather optimistic, as it turns out… However, there is good news my lovelies! I am plotting some plots in cahoots with various friends, and they are exciting plots! I am unable to tell you anything more at this point, but at some time in the future events will eventuate 🙂 I am also planning to put one of those “buy me a coffee” things on this site soon – I will very likely use the money for hot chocolate, should any of you actually decide to buy me a drink 🙂

Reading: I am currently reading The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke. I’m finding it a bit tricky to settle into, but it is making me desperately want to re-read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which I don’t think I ever reviewed on here. I have just finished Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb, Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw, and Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott. I’ll attempt to get reviews up soonish. I am also getting back into The Knowing by Kevan Manwaring, following a dramatic failure on the part of my e-reader thingamabob…

Writing: I nearly have a novella, nearly nearly. Gotta get another thousand words in there before it technically counts, but it’s getting there. Also the plotting project :D:D:D

Excited about: Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor, out in January. *excited sounds* and A Question of Faith by Tonya Liburd, out now and in my reading pile. Both of these things sound AMAZING.

Binti: the NIght MAsquerade

Could not find artist name.

A Question of Faith by Tonya Liburd

Art by Jennifer Johnson

Thinking about: organic spaceships and teenage ducklings. Teenage ducklings are amazing, they look SO DAFT!

That’s it for now – hopefully I will not be gone so long this time 🙂