Sunday, January 1, 2012

City of Dragons: Volume Three of the Rain Wilds Chronicles-Robin Hobb

City of Dragons: Volume Three of the Rain Wilds Chronicles

Robin Hobb

Harper Voyager, Feb 7 2012, $27.99

ISBN: 9780061561634

The Rain Wilders handlers and their stunted dragons have reached the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra. However, they cannot cross the treacherous Rain Wild River by water or air except for Heeby the Red Queen who is the only dragon who can fly. When winter sets in, the supplies are low and foraging difficult. Captain Leftrin hates leaving behind his beloved Alise Kinncannon Finbock so she can study Kelsingra before the greedy Traders including her abusive husband Hest strip the city. Still, he and his Liveship Tarman head back to the Rain Wilds to pick up needed supplies and collect what the Trading Council owes him.

In Bingtown, an irate Hest plans to teach his wife a lesson for humiliating him and how much the monetary cost to him of her leaving. At the same time the dying odious Duke of Chalced seeks dragon blood and flesh to regain his youth so he has agents stalking the expedition. Finally pregnant Malta and her husband Reyn fear for their unborn as neither knows the effect of what the dragon Tintaglia did to them (see Liveship Traders’ saga).

Fans of the Hobb mythos (see The Tawny Man saga) need to adapt to the premise that the travelers reached their destination in Dragon Haven, but failed to make it inside the city as this reviewer wrongly assumed that this series was a duology. The third Rain Wilds Chronicles (see Dragon Keeper) is a well written fascinating fantasy that provides the audience a deep look at Kelsingra although that profundity slows down the action of surviving in a frozen wilderness with stunted dragons.

Harriet Klausner

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