City of Dragons was an enjoyable read. After the massive pain of disappointment I received for reading through Dragon Haven, my expectation towards this one was honestly smaller than a bacteria. It is quite a surprise that this turns out to be quite enjoyable even though it’s full of almost nothing happening.
There is one thing that I realized for certain after reading this, I loved the Liveship Traders characters. Their appearances always give me joy and I also realized that it was one of the major things that made the first book more enjoyable to read too. I really think Hobb should’ve stuck with the Liveship Traders characters as the main characters for this series, the new characters just paled in comparison. With the exception of Leftrin, in my honest opinion the characters in this quartet are by far the weakest characters Hobb ever wrote. They’re just not interesting, utterly hard to like, and I just don’t care about their fates.
Although this is Hobb’s smallest book within her 16 book series, it’s one of the rare ones in her series that have great pacing. The plot—once again—almost doesn’t move at all, but this time the world-building was great, with more information on the Elderlings and Dragons, and most importantly, we don’t have to see the characters riding on a ship through mud and river while looking for a mate to fuck each other brains out for 500 pages. Plus, unlike the previous two books in the quartet, Hobb’s prose seems to be returning slowly to her previous series greatness.
“What you’re looking for is the feeling that no matter what, being with that person is always going to be better than being without that person. Good times or bad. That having that person around makes whatever you’re going through better, or at least more tolerable.”
City of Dragons may not be a great penultimate book for the quartet but it serves as a good filler and transition for the conclusion of the series, which I have really small hope will be satisfactory. That may sound extremely negative but seriously, this quartet is miles apart weaker from Hobb’s usual quality. If one of you ever start with this quartet, please DO NOT let this series be a sign of her strength as her author. I hope my prediction will be proven wrong and somehow, the last book of the quartet can blow my mind away.