4 out of 5
This is the second book in the Rain Wilds Chronicles and continues where Dragon Keeper left off. The series must be read in order. The motley crew of dragons, keepers, hunters and barge crew members are still heading up the Rain Wilds in search of the dragons elusive home. Several of the subplots are resolved with a number of secrets revealed. Characters, including the dragons, grow in ways the reader doesn’t expect. I really enjoy Hobb’s ability to create well rounded characters. No one is perfectly good. Those that are bad are not so much evil as selfish. While in the first book the dragons were slowly getting stronger, here their development takes off in leaps and bounds as does the development of the keepers. The trip is a story of growth through adversity. At first the little notes at the beginning of the chapters between two pigeon keepers seems a little gimmicky but it becomes an excellent way for the reader to learn what is going on in the world outside of the Rain Wilds. The ending is fulfilling while still leaving enough material for more in the series.