I really enjoyed both Dragon Haven and [b:The Dragon Keeper|4703450|The Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #1)|Robin Hobb|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B0FypZbFL._SL75_.jpg|4767778].
There are adventure/quest books that are all about the quest, and then there are the ones that are all about the people. I'm happy that this series is about the latter - both the humans and the dragons. There's an immense amount of character growth throughout these two books and it was wonderful to immerse myself in it.
I thought the handling of the different relationships of the characters - of friends and lovers, healthy and abusive, keeper and dragon, promiscuous and chaste, servant and master, - even the pigeon correspondence of the two keepers, was wonderful. I appreciated that the author didn't have a judgemental tone - she let each character discover right and wrong on their own without pontification - lots of 'show' in this book, rather than 'tell'. I liked that there were some harsh realities discussed in this book, that are applicable to our reality as well. I would love an older teen to read this book for those doses of reality beyond the 'romantic moment' - applicable to both sexes, regardless of orientation.
I enjoyed the POV shifting from one character to another and thought that it was most skillfully done when mid-scene. There was never any question as to whose 'voice' it was.
My only quibble is that I'd love a quick guide to the calendar to be printed in an appendix or somewhere in the book ( One of the books I've recently read had this and it was great to have.) Every chapter begins with a pigeon message, with the date, but it's hard to tell just how long the journey has been taking, because although we know that actual physical growth is happening for the keepers and dragons, it's all in "Year 6" - but how that relates to time as we know it passing is hard to tell. Have they been traveling for 2 months? 6 months? 14 months? A very minor quibble, but one that nagged me throughout the books.
Very much looking forward to the next book in the Chronicles! The author's website says she's working on it now.