Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

What I expected:
Really, I thought that this story would be a continuation of the story of Malta Vestrit and Reyn Khuprus! But with lots of dragon stuff in it!

What it was:
It wasn’t what I expected!
The story mainly revolves around a few main characters: Alise Kincarron Finbok, Thymara, Sintara, Captain Leftrin and Sedric. Alise is predominantly an expert (of sorts) on dragons, she is also married to Hest Finbok, to whom Sedric is Secretary. Thymara is the keeper of a blue dragon queen called Sintara. Captain Leftrin is of Tarman a Liveship working the Rain Wild River and Sedric is escorting Alise on on her journey.
In Bingtown the traders are rebuilding and trying to get on with living. Families are consolidating their heritage and need the young to marry and carry on the family line. For some the matching process is a negotiated match rather than a love match, but could love grow from such a marriage?
In Cassarick the dragons hatch and humans are responsible for their care under the agreement previously made with Tintaglia, who is nowhere to be seen of late.
There is a lot of detail in the telling of the story and the most important thing I want to say on so many levels is “Oh! Sedric, how could you?!”

5/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

Official description:
For years, the Trader cities valiantly battled their enemies, the Chalcedeans. But they could not have staved off invasion without the powerful dragon Tintaglia. In return, the Traders promised to help her serpents migrate up the Rain Wild River after a long exile at sea—to find a safe haven and, Tintaglia hopes, to restore her species. But too much time has passed, and the newly hatched dragons are damaged and weak, and many die. The few who survive cannot use their wings; earthbound, they are powerless to hunt and vulnerable to human predators willing to kill them for the fabled healing powers of dragon flesh.
But Tintaglia has vanished and the Traders are weary of the labor and expense of tending useless dragons. The Trader leadership fears that if it stops providing for the young dragons, the hungry and neglected creatures will rampage—or die along the river’s acidic muddy banks. To avert catastrophe, the dragons decree a move even farther up the treacherous river to Kelsingra, their ancient, mythical homeland whose mysterious location is locked deep within the dragons’ uncertain ancestral memories.
To ensure their safe passage, the Traders recruit a disparate group of young people to care for the damaged creatures and escort them to their new home. Among them is Thymara, an unschooled forest girl of sixteen, and Alise, a wealthy Trader’s wife trapped in a loveless marriage, who attaches herself to the expedition as a dragon expert. The two women share a deep kinship with the dragons: Thymara can instinctively communicate with them, and Alise, captivated by their beauty and majesty, has devoted her life to studying them.
Embarking on an arduous journey that holds no promise of return, the band of humans and dragons must make their way along the toxic and inhospitable Rain Wild River—an extraordinary odyssey that will teach them lessons about themselves and one another, as they experience hardships, betrayals, and joys beyond their wildest dreams.

Get your copy:
Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 1)

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