We’ve finally come to the end of our journey and as our dragons and their keepers work to wake up the Elderling city of Kelsingra and uncover its hidden secrets, boats bearing Hest and the Duke of Chalced’s minions are also making their way up the river hoping to slaughter the dragons in order to release themselves from the Duke’s subjugation. Also hoping for relief is Selden, languishing in ill-health at the Duke’s abode where he’s unwillingly providing a temporary cure for the Duke’s old age in the form of his ‘dragon-man’ blood. But the Duke of Chalced is soon to discover that ordering a dragon’s slaughter is far easier than doing so, and that there are consequences– huge, flying, venomous, deadly consequences.
Finishing a Robin Hobb series always leaves me feeling a little bereft, as happened again here. And while this series never quite hit the giddy heights of the Fitz and Liveship trilogies, it also wasn’t anywhere near as emotionally devastating (though, perversely, that’s also probably why I haven’t rated this one quite as highly) and it also give me some moments of wild glee along with some brilliant characters that almost began to feel like real people to me (despite the fact that they were sometimes, y’know, dragons).
Robin Hobb has a real talent for building worlds that I never want to leave, and I’m already eagerly anticipating my next visit.