Dragon Keeper

August 3, 2016

Rain Wilds Chronicles #1. Author: Robin Hobb.

Summary:

Too much time has passed since the powerful dragon Tintaglia helped the people of the Trader cities stave off an invasion of their enemies. The Traders have forgotten their promises, weary of the labor and expense of tending earthbound dragons who were hatched weak and deformed by a river turned toxic. If neglected, the creatures will rampage–or die–so it is decreed that they must move farther upriver toward Kelsingra, the mythical homeland whose location is locked deep within the dragons’ uncertain ancestral memories. Thymara, an unschooled forest girl, and Alise, wife of an unloving and wealthy Trader, are among the disparate group entrusted with escorting the dragons to their new home. And on an extraordinary odyssey with no promise of return, many lessons will be learned–as dragons and tenders alike experience hardships, betrayals . . . and joys beyond their wildest imaginings. (Published summary.)

My Thoughts:

A richly complicated fantasy world with real problems and people. The dragons’ plight was truly moving – trapped in malformed bodies through no fault of their own, they have all the memories of their ancestors, and know exactly what they’re missing and how they are deficient. This would definitely have been a recommended one if not for the sexual content. At first the switching between viewpoints felt a little overwhelming, as Hobb went from view point to view point and it seemed like she might continue doing so, but by the time you’re a quarter of the way in she’s settled down to the relevant characters, who are coming closer and closer to meeting.

Content Review:

Sexual content: Man proposes marriage, woman accepts. Man jokes about having to ‘get an heir on’ the wife he doesn’t really love, says a man can force himself to do anything in the dark. Girl thinks about wedding night with mingled dread/anticipation. One kiss. Strong hints that married man is being unfaithful to his wife with another man. A brief description of a couple’s wedding night and consummation of their marriage. Dragon tries to mate another dragon, she fights him off. Woman refuses to sleep with her husband before a trip. Some innuendo in conversation. Married man forces himself on his wife one night when she doesn’t want him – again, on-screen but only low level of detail. Two men kiss each other several times, and although it’s blurred over it’s made clear they went much further.

Language: 9 d***, 2 derogatory names

Violence: A deer is killed by a dragon and eaten, as well as numerous water pigs. Dead dragons are eaten by their own kind. It is a fact that deformed children are exposed to die at birth. An elk is killed by a hunter. It is known that in the past, humans unknowingly cut up cocooned serpent/dragons, thinking they were wood. (They go through a very intense transformation, which they spend sheltered in a cocoon that could be mistaken for wood.)

 

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