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City of Dragons: Volume Three of the Rain Wilds Chronicles    by Robin Hobb order for
City of Dragons
by Robin Hobb
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

The much awaited third installment of the Rain Wilds series finds the dragons - back from near extinction but still physically challenged - and their untested, human servants, the immature Elderlings, trying to return to their ancient home of Kelsingra.

It has been a continual battle against starvation, an unforgiving climate, and treacherous enemies to regain their lost greatness. Complicating the situation is the need to reconnect with the Elderlings. With their goal getting closer and their magical powers slowly returning, the dragons may be able to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. But not so fast! Kelsingra can only be reached by flight and that may still be beyond the dragons' abilities and strength at this point.

With the Rain Wild River in flood stage, dragon scholar Alise and some other keepers must venture across the toxic waters in a small boat to a mysterious, silent world where immense structures, eerie statues, and empty streets greet them. A sense of foreboding also prevails in this strange place. Are the keepers being watched? Is this a welcoming place or will more hardships await those who take up residence here?

For the dragons to make the crossing, they'll have to somehow resurrect their past powers that will unlock their former ability to fly. Those same lost memories will also reveal some of the secrets of Kelsingra's history. Unfortunately, time is of the essence for another threat is approaching. There are those whose evil ways and dark desires would once and for all destroy this once magnificent population of dragons.

If you've read Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven, this is naturally a must read. On the other hand, if you haven't, I suggest you read its processors before you tackle this third installment!

One of the finest fantasy writers working today, Robin Hobb has been lauded as a master fantasist whose strength has been 'her ability to create compelling characters to inhabit her richly detailed worlds'. She really is very, very good. If you enjoy fantasy and haven't read Hobb yet; isn't it about time you did?

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