Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love Robin Hobbs' Rain Wilds setting, a rain forest steeped in ancient magic that spreads through the human population like a cancer. In this most recent trilogy, the wielders of said magic are back in the world. A clutch of malformed, undernourished dragons travel with their appointed keepers (people so touched by magic that they are misfits in their society) search for an ancient city that may not even exist anymore.
As with most of Hobbs' books, it's the rich detail of the setting that makes the book so enjoyable. I love the characters too, especially the women who are drawn as individual and strong. These traits make life more difficult for them in their respective societies, and Hobbs doesn't gloss that over.
There is some clumsy plotting, including a deus ex machina ending and some stagnation in character development - where a character struggles with an issue, has a transformative experience that ought to advance them through their struggle, but then continues on struggling as if that experience had never happened. That may be realistic, but it can get in the way of a good story. The other positive points in this book allowed me to ignore these flaws, though. All books have some flaws, this one was still a great read.
This trilogy starts with Dragon Keeper (Rain Wilds Chronicles, Vol. 1)
, and the first books Hobb wrote about this world are the The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin & Assassin's Quest) 3 vols.