Dragon Haven continues the trek up a wild, deadly river in the Rain Wilds in search of a fabled city the dragons only half remember. Food and tempers run short, and the book has a nice dose of murder and betrayal to go along with its well placed, well done flits of romance.
Most importantly, we see the Keepers and the Dragons themselves change. The Dragons are growing into their own, gaining in size, awareness, and lethality, and the Keepers are caught in the middle of it all. The Keepers themselves, cast offs of the human society, gain more confidence and their interactions are very true to a group of people coming into their own, the good and the bad.
As always, Hobb weaves a stunning world to cradle her story, and Dragon Haven wallows in a rich, wet world. The discomfort of the travelers is palatable- if you have ever spent time camping in the rain you will be sympathetic to the abject misery of the entire cast as they search desperately for dry land and the myth they are all so invested in.
If you like character studies as much as I do, this series is a must read. The real driving force of the books is a group of dissimilar people being forced to exist in such close quarters, each depending on the other for their survival. Characters grow and change, and I found myself cheering for folks in Dragon Haven that I had written off in Dragon Keeper.