Book Review: Blood of Dragon’s (Volume Four of the Rain Wilds Chronicles), by Robin Hobb
While this fourth installment of the Rain Wild Chronicles is entertaining I give it three out of five stars for an unbalanced plot tempo, more repetition than is necessary in a book series, and the highly predictable ending. I’m a fan of happily ever after but the plot and sub plots were predictable with each one boxed into a crescendo finish or disaster.
What I liked about the book:
1) I’ve enjoyed how the city of Kilsingra has been almost a character itself. It is such a cool idea to see the new inhabitants of this ancient city explore the lives of old inhabitants by witnessing their memories captured in stone. Much more is discovered about the city in this book, and I enjoyed seeing its mysteries come to life.
2) It was good to see some resolutions for both dragons and elderlings. Especially the reconciliation or understanding established between Thymara and Sintara.
3) The one day battle was very entertaining. I wish less time was spent seeing the dragons and elderlings ready for battle, and more time was dedicated to seeing it.
What I didn’t like about the book:
1) It’s a complaint I’ve had reading previous books in this series, Hobb likes to repeat things, often. She did a better job of regurgitating information from previous books in this one, but some of it was not relevant. If we the reader witnessed certain actions take place in the previous chapter, we should not have to read a subsequent chapter with characters rehashing the previous chapters action. It’s just unnecessary and makes the story drag. Once again two hundred pages in and details are being repeated in the narrative about long established cultural elements.
2) Hest was built up as an unredeemable bad guy, but then he is put through paces during a horrific situation. I still didn’t care what happened to him, and I think entirely to many words were wasted on him. There was a nice little bow tied on his plot line, but this was not as powerful as I think it was built up to be. What happened to Hest was an obvious choice and it would have been more interesting for his ending to go in an unanticipated direction.
3) The length of time it took for the Thymara, Tat’s, and Rapskal love triangle to resolve was just annoying. To me this “confusion” and “need for time” made Thymara look weak minded. I like how she delineated herself from the memories Rapskal embraced and how she went about revealing this to Tat’s. However it was clear to me Rapskal was no longer in the running for her a quarter of the way into this book. How annoying for this resolution to be dragged through the entire book.