Teaser excerpt from Robin Hobb's DRAGON HAVEN

Here's a little teaser extract Robin Hobb's Dragon Haven. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

The dragon keepers and the fledgling dragons are forging a passage up the treacherous Rain Wild River. They are in search of the mythical Elderling city of Kelsingra, and are accompanied by the liveship Tarman, its captain, Leftrin, and a group of hunters who must search the forests for game with which to keep the dragons fed. With them are Alise, who has escaped her cold marriage to the cruel libertine Hest Finbok in order to continue her study of dragons, and Hest's amanuensis, Bingtown dandy, Sedric. Rivalries and romances are already threatening to disrupt the band of explorers: but external forces may prove to be even more dangerous. Chalcedean merchants are keen to lay hands on dragon blood and organs to turn them to medicines and profit. Their traitor has infiltrated the expeditionand will stop at nothing to obtain the coveted body parts. And then there are the Rain Wilds themselves: mysterious, unstable and ever perilous, its mighty river running with acid, its jungle impenetrable and its waterways uncharted. Will the expedition reach their destination unscathed? Does the city of Kelsingra even exist? Only one thing is certain: the journey will leave none of the dragons nor their human companions unchanged by the experience.

Thymara stared at her. She put her words together carefully. ‘Alise, people like me, like them, people who are already so heavily touched by the Rain Wilds, we are not allowed to marry. Or to mate. They are breaking one of the oldest rules of the Rain Wilds.’

‘It’s a law, then?’ Alise looked puzzled.

‘I … I don’t know if it’s a law. It’s a custom, it’s something everyone knows and does. If a baby is born and it’s already changed so much from pure human, then its parents don’t raise it. They ‘give it to the night’; they expose it and try again. Only for some of us, like me, well, my father took me back. He brought me home and kept me.’

‘There’s a fish there, a really big one. He’s in the shadow of that driftwood log. See him? He looks like he’s part of the shadow.’

Alise sounded excited. Thymara was jolted at the change of subject. On an impulse, she handed her spear to Alise. ‘You get him. You saw him first. Remember, don’t try to jab the fish. Stab it in like you want to stick it into the ground beyond the fish. Push hard.’

‘You should do it,’ Alise said as she took the spear. ‘I’ll miss. He’ll get away. And he’s a very big fish.’

‘Then he’s a good big target for your first try. Go on. Try it.’ Thymara stepped slowly back and away from the river.

Alise’s pale eyes widened. Her glance went from Thymara to the fish and back again. Then she took two deep shuddering breaths and then suddenly sprang at the fish, spear in hand. She landed with a splash and a shout in ankle-deep water as she stabbed the spear down with far more force than she needed to use. Thymara stared open-mouthed as the Bingtown woman used both hands to drive the spear in even deeper. Surely the fish was long gone? But no, Alise stood in the water, holding the spear tightly as a long, thick fish thrashed out its death throes.

When it finally stilled, she turned to Thymara and cried breathlessly, ‘I did it! I did it! I speared a fish! I killed it!’

‘Yes, you did. And you should get out of the water before you ruin your boots.’

‘I don’t care about them. I got a fish. Can I try again? Can I kill another?’

‘I suppose you can. Alise, let’s get the first one ashore, shall we?’

‘Don’t lose it! Don’t let it get away!’ This she cried as Thymara waded out and put a hand on the spear.

‘It won’t get away. It’s very dead. We have to pull the spear out of the ground so we can get the fish to shore. Don’t worry. We won’t lose it.’

‘I really did it, didn’t I? I killed a fish.’

‘You did.’

5 commentaires:

Jonathan said...

A peculiar excerpt, but I kind of hope the rest of the book is like this: any time one of the characters is about to get stuck into some exposition, someone sees a fish and everyone has to drop what they're doing and grab a spear. Nothing much would happen aside from the characters becoming excellent fishermen.

Anonymous said...



CJohnson said...

Definitely looking forward to this one, I've been hearing really good things and Hobb is one of my favourites.

Anonymous said...

Hobb's THE FARSEER TRILOGY is right up there with LOTR, imho. Absolutely different, of course. But in terms of quality, totally on par with it.

Bruhilda said...

The good thing about Hobb's is that she can write about something as mundane as catching a fish and make it engaging and readable enough to hold my interest. That's a gift.

I'm looking forward to reading Dragon Haven. ^^