Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
The legendary dragon city of Kelsingra has been discovered. But most of the dragons now lack the strength for the final hazardous river crossing, and the mythical silver wells they need to survive are nowhere to be found. In a desperate attempt to unlock the whereabouts of the wells, the keepers risk "memory walking" _ immersing themselves in the drug-like memories of long-deceased Elderlings. The magic of the city and the final secret it conceals present their only chance of survival, not just for the queen dragon Tintaglia but for Malta and Reyn's infant Elderling son as well.
To make matters worse, time is of the utmost importance. The Duke Of Chalced has dispatched his forces to the Rain Wilds with a compelling mission: slaughter a dragon to stave off his own demise. The tide of history is about to turn on a life-and-death battle that will ultimately decide the dragons; fate. If they win, the regal serpents will rule the world once more. And if they lose, they will vanish from the world forever. From the blurb.
I have been eagerly awaiting this fourth and final book in Robin Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles, Blood of Dragons. I was expecting an awesome end to the series, but I should know by now that Hobb over delivers. This is a brilliant conclusion to the series!
The dragons have got to learn to fly and make their way over to Kelsingra, so they can reach the hot baths that will help them grow and fully develop into the dragons they always should have been. They also need to find the silver wells, too - desperately. Without it, dragons are likely to become more like animals. And they're not the only ones who need it; the Elderlings won't survive as they should if it's not found. There is an urgent search to find it; the dragons and Elderlings need it soon, but Malta and Reyn's sickly Elderling child needs it now. With Tintaglia out of reach from everyone, the only dragon who can save the baby, Silver in their only hope. What they don't know is Tintaglia is making her way to Kelsingra, badly injured herself, and almost at death's door. And still people hunt for dragon flesh for the Duke of Chalced, who will go to desperate lengths to prolong his life.
Blood of Dragons is such an incredible story! What I've mentioned above covers perhaps half the book, and only scratches the surface. It's one of those books that so much happens in, it's hard to believe it happens just in this one book - a lot is packed in to these 481 pages, and most of it is pretty epic. There are parts of this book that are really quite disturbing. There are those that are so upsetting, and others that are sickening. There's a fair amount of action in this novel, that we haven't seen much of in the others, and it's wonderful! The dragons don't take too kindly to being hunted for their flesh. There are also people who get what's coming to them, and it's brilliant to see!
There are also questions that are answered, questions that arose through this series, and questions that arose from the very first series in the Realm of the Elderlings. We finally understand what we first discovered in The Farseer Trilogy, with Verity creating his Elderling dragon with liquid Skill - the Silver that the dragons need to much are is what flows in what we know as the Skill river from Assassin's Quest. And with discovering this about Silver, we discover more about things we first learnt about in The Farseer Trilogy. We start to fully understand exactly who and what Elderlings were - and who and what the Keeper Elderlings will become. Again, it harks back to the things we learned about how the stone dragons were created - but in this book we realise what we learned in The Farseer Trilogy was just the tip of the iceberg.
Blood of Dragons is an incredible ending to a fantastic series! I finished this book sad at having to say goodbye to these characters, but even more eager to read Fool's Assassin, the first book in the next series in the Realm of the Elderlings, Fitz and the Fool. So looking forward to reading it, and I have a feeling we may not be saying goodbye to these characters for ever.
Published: 28th October 2014
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Robin Hobb's Website
My other reviews from the series:
The Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles Book 1)
Dragon Haven (The Rain Wild Chronicles Book 2)
City of Dragons (The Rain Wild Chronicles Book 3)