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Anyone Read Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

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Dd8 is on a dragon book kick, she has read the Eragon series, How to Train Your Dragon, and Dragon Watch.  I came across Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb which is an adult novel.  Has anyone read it and it is reasonably appropriate for an 8 year old soon to be 9?

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My sensitive daughter read it at about the same age and it was fine. I wasn't aware it was an adult novel! It's the first book in a series.

ETA: After reading the comments below, I went back and checked the spreadsheet I keep with notes on various books and series. I have noted that my daughter liked #1 in the series (Dragon Keeper), but not the 2nd and 3rd books. Now maybe I know why! 

Edited by MercyA

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Haven't read it, sorry, but if you're looking for rec's you might try The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Dragonbreath, Dragon of the Lost Sea, Dragon's Milk, Three Tales of My Father's Dragon, Dealing With Dragons, The Floating Islands (with content note: lots of folks die due to an earthquake and then a plague), Handbook for Dragon Slayers, Dragons in a Bag, Dragon Slippers, and Dragon Pearl. I've bolded the ones I think are most suitable for this age range, but that doesn't mean the rest aren't.

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Others my daughter enjoyed: Wings of Fire series (her favorite!), The Dragon of Lonely Island, Dragon Slippers series, Dragon in My Sock Drawer.

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I don't remember details from Dragon Keeper, but I went through all Robin Hobb's books a few years ago, and some do have fairly graphic depictions of pain, physical and emotional. There may be TeA-related content in the Dragon books, not sure, but I think there is in her other books. At one point I remember a foreign ruler is trying to get Dragon flesh, and his thugs slice bits off of a human-turning-dragon while keeping him alive for the purpose. These books are not ones I'd pick for that age. You could pre-read if you have it on hand, I remember them as engrossing, quickly read fantasy-- better than I've made them sound here!

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2 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

I don't remember details from Dragon Keeper, but I went through all Robin Hobb's books a few years ago, and some do have fairly graphic depictions of pain, physical and emotional. There may be TeA-related content in the Dragon books, not sure, but I think there is in her other books. At one point I remember a foreign ruler is trying to get Dragon flesh, and his thugs slice bits off of a human-turning-dragon while keeping him alive for the purpose. These books are not ones I'd pick for that age. You could pre-read if you have it on hand, I remember them as engrossing, quickly read fantasy-- better than I've made them sound here!

Agree. Fun adult or mature teen reads, not for 8 yr olds. Some of her books are quite gritty and dark. The whole series begins with Assassin's Apprentice, if I remember correctly. 

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I don't think it is appropriate at all for her age.

Wings of Fire is great for her age.  

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I have not read Dragon Keeper, but I have read other Robin Hobb books, and I would say that they are definitely adult/teen and not suitable for an 8 yr old. 

11 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

I don't remember details from Dragon Keeper, but I went through all Robin Hobb's books a few years ago, and some do have fairly graphic depictions of pain, physical and emotional. There may be TeA-related content in the Dragon books, not sure, but I think there is in her other books. At one point I remember a foreign ruler is trying to get Dragon flesh, and his thugs slice bits off of a human-turning-dragon while keeping him alive for the purpose. These books are not ones I'd pick for that age. You could pre-read if you have it on hand, I remember them as engrossing, quickly read fantasy-- better than I've made them sound here!

Above is what I remember as well.

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My dd likes Wings of Fire, too

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Well -- in the Dragon Keeper series, not necessarily book 1, but in the series, there is a plotline with Sedric where he marries a woman just so that he can have a secret relationship with a man, it is a sham marriage to him.  And he is a main character, it is a pretty important plot point for Sedric and for Alise.  

That is an example.  Just to give an example.  

Edit:  I love Robin Hobb and think they are great books, I would recommend them to anyone!  But they are for an older audience.  

Edited by Lecka
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I might consider Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger, Dragonsong, Dragondrums trilogy for younger than teens, but not her other books. Se*ual content and themes. Not graphic by any means, but certainly there. 

Also the later books by MCaffrey's children are nowhere near as good as the earlier ones. 

Ymmv!

 

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3 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

I would be extremely hesitant to recommend the Pern books to an 8 year old.

This is a good point!  

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She may already be reading the Pern books-- isn't Dragonwatch one of them? And I wouldn't intentionally introduce her to those yet either, but I think the more mature bits might fly past an 8yo without being noticed.

Not possible with the Robin Hobbs books.

As an adult I love both series, but not for 8yo's.

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1 hour ago, Aura said:

My dd likes Wings of Fire, too

 

A Wings of Fire book was in the elementary school book fair we were at last night! I'll have to check it out for my own dragon lover.

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Third'ing or fourth'ing that the Robin Hobb books, while excellent, are definitely not for kids; my 12yo is moving into adult books, but I wouldn't let her read Robin Hobb for a few more years yet.  I do love the series, though - I read through all of them last year.

A good dragon-themed YA series is Timothy Zahn's Dragonback series, which starts with Dragon and Thief.  It's more of a sci-fi take on dragons than fantasy, but it is *awesome*.  I re-read it every few years as an adult, and my oldest first read it around age 8 or 9 and re-reads it once or twice a year.

Dd12 just suggested the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia Wrede, which starts with Dealing with Dragons - she says it's fun with a lot of references to fairy tales (and it also humorously pokes at fairy tales).

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No, definitely not.  It has graphic sexual and violent content, including rape and assault.  And an instance of a mother attempting to murder her own child.  I don’t remember how much of that was in the first book, but I decided midway through that I wasn’t old enough for that content, as an adult, and quit the series.

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Ann McCaffrey’s children’s pern trilogy (Dragon Song, Dragon Singer, and Dragon Drums) are good books for that age.  Her other Pern books are all adult books with sexual content—though far less graphic and violent than the Robin Hobb series.

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I loved, loved, loved the “Harper Hall Trilogy” which is the set of Pern books people are mentioning.  I had them in a box set labeled “Harper Hall Trilogy.”  Edit:  Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums

A note about Wings of Fire, because I didn’t know this for a while — the author has written some of the Warrior cat books by Erin Hunter.  

So they are definitely a thought, too, for Wings of Fire fans.  Though my son who loves Wings of Fire has no interest in them 😉

Edited by Lecka

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I've read Robyn Hobb's Assassin Apprentice series (which precedes the Dragon Keepers), and it's definitely for adults and older teens (violence, pain, sadistic torture, pessimistic, at times almost fatalistic, worldview). Since Dragon Keepers is part of the same world, I would assume it is also has similar content. 

Here are some good alternatives:

dragon individual books
- Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher (Coville)
- Dragon Rider (Funke)
- Dragon Magic (Norton)
- Book of Dragons (Hague) -- excerpts from books with dragons
- Book of Dragons (Nesbit) -- humorous short story collection; read free at this link
- A Book of Dragons (Sanders) -- OOP; collection of all-dragon fairytales
- The Reluctant Dragon (Grahame) -- humorous short story; read free at this link

dragon series
- Dragon with a Chocolate Heart; Girl with a Dragon's Heart (Burgis)
- Dragon Keepers Chronicles: DragonSpell; DragonQuest; DragonKnight; DragonFire; DragonLight; (Paul)
- Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Dealing with Dragons; Searching for Dragons; Calling on Dragons; Talking to Dragons (Wrede)
- Dragon Slippers trilogy: Dragon Slippers; Dragon Flight; Dragon Spear (George)
- Dragon series: Dragon of the Lost Sea (#1); Dragon Steel (#2); Dragon Cauldron (#3); Dragon War (#4) (Yep)
- Dragon's Guide to... series: Care & Feeding of Humans (#1); Making Your Human Smarter (#2); Making Perfect Wishes (#3) (Yep)
- Pit Dragon series: Dragon's Blood; Heart's Blood; Sending of Dragons; Dragon's Heart (Yolen)
- Last Dragon Chronicles: Fire Within; IceFire; Fire Star; Fire Eternal; Dark Fire; Fire World; Fire Ascending (d'Lacey)

"nonfiction" dragons
- Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons (Drake)

- A Practical Guide to Dragons (Trumbauer)

Edited by Lori D.
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I just got a targeted advertisement for Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage.  She is the author of another series I have bought for my kids.

Maybe worth looking at 🙂

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I read it and love all of Robin Hobb's books.  I am pretty liberal about books, and my kids read adult sci fi and fantasy novels as kids (though not at eight), and I do not think it is appropriate for an eight year old.  I have a personal policy of never actually forbidding a book a child wants to read, although I don't suggest or recommend books that I don't think are age appropriate.  My policy is if they really, really want to read something in particular that I don't think is appropriate, I will read it with them and discuss.  But I don't think there's any way to avoid the inappropriate material in these books; it's intrinsic to the plot.  Good books, but not for kids.  I've not even handed them to my dragon obsessed almost 14 year old, although she is old enough now that I would be okay with her reading them. 

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