Robin Hobb is one of my favourite authors. I tend to write overly long reviews. Dragon Haven is neither a bad book nor a boring one.
So why am I finding it almost impossible to write anything about it at all?
Well, to be honest, part of it’s me. There have been too many books recently, too many book reviews, and too much stuff going on in real life, so maybe I’m a little burned out, words-wise. But most of it is the book. And in particular, it’s that problem again that I mentioned in Dragon Keeper: Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven are the same book. Not that one repeats the other, no – but fundamentally, they’re two parts of one thing. The only difference is that in one, the plot is at a different point.
And because they’re two parts of one book, everything I could say about Dragon Haven I have already said about Dragon Keeper. In fact, I’m now finding it hard to keep clear in my mind what actually happened in Dragon Haven, and what happened in Dragon Keeper instead. On the whole, I would say that the way the story culminated in Dragon Haven (there are a further two books in the series, but this story is ended, and the next two represent a sequel to these two) improved my opinion of the story, but did not fundamentally alter my impressions of the story’s qualities.
I suppose I can add, since I’m not sure I emphasised it enough last time, that one problem with these books, and a strong indication that they were originally intended as a much smaller story, is that the ‘plot’ is really just a sequence of things that happen – not really a problem in a novella, say, but a difficulty in a two-lengthy-novels epic. I’m also growing increasingly annoyed with Hobb’s tendency to create dramatic (sometimes potentially lethal) conflicts, and then have them ‘resolved’ by some dramatic distraction occuring in the nick of time.
Other than that, I don’t have much to say, I’m afraid. Dragon Haven is an appropriate and generally satisfying conclusion to Dragon Keeper; but for my views on the strengths and weaknesses of the novel, you may as well just read what I wrote last time…
For the sake of completion, I’ll make clear that I think this was a 5/7 (i.e. Good) read, possibly a little better than the first half but generally one with it in its characteristics, to the extent that I don’t feel the need to formally evaluate its qualities.
And for that review of the first half, see here.
EDIT EDIT: what? where the hell did my last edit go? Huh?
Well, I won’t write it all out again. It was just to say that one interesting thing I did notice here was the way in which the domestic abuse themes were mirrored in the inter-species relations, and I was curious to find out what that implied, in the broader context of Hobb’s themes and ideologies leading up to these books.