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City of Dragons
by Robin Hobb
$27.99, Harper Voyager, 334pp
Release Date: February 7, 2012

Ms Hobb continues to delight us with her world of the Traders and the re-emergence of dragons. This is the third in the Rain Wilds Chronicles.

In this story, we finally hear that the dragons disappeared along with the Elderlings after some sort of cataclysmic eruption. There are only a handful of dragons left in the world and all but two of them are crippled. They survived the trek to the legendary city of Kelsingra only to be trapped on the wrong side of a treacherous river and unable to fly. If the dragons and their keepers can’t find a way to learn to fly, they’ll likely die or, at least, languish in misery. The keepers are gradually turning into the legendary Elderlings but no one really knows what that means until one keeper and his dragon do manage to fly to the city. What they find there changes everything about what they think they know about dragons and Elderlings.

At the same time, when word gets back to Bingtown about the discovery of Kelsingra, greedy men start planning to plunder it. But they are imagining the group of weak, sickly dragons that left there and have no idea of what they will encounter when they get to the city. What the dragons have accomplished and remembered will astonish and confound them. Alise, who spent the first two books and this one establishing herself as the dragon expert, has a humbling experience in front of her in the final book. But the dragons have also a humbling lesson to learn. The relationship between dragon and Elderling isn’t what they think it was.

The plot and world building was superb. And I really love some of these characters. I’m even starting to like one of the dragons and they are definitely not the typically sympathetic dragon types. ~~ Catherine Book

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