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Originally published Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 5:30 AM

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Local books: dragons and their keepers, and a history of the Elwha

New in local books: the third volume of Robin Hobb's Rain Wilds Chronicles; an environmental history of the Elwha River; "It Gets Better," new in paperback; and how to win a fight.

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New releases

"City of Dragons" by Robin Hobb (Harper Voyager, $27.99). Volume three of the Rain Wilds Chronicles series by the popular Tacoma fantasy author: Dragons and their keepers reach Kelsingra, a mythical city that looms large in their history. They still face a host of obstacles, including their own stunted, flightless forms, poisoned waters and "evil forces that would like nothing more than to butcher the fabulous beasts for ill-gotten reward." Hobb reads at 7 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 7 at Seattle's University Book Store; free (206-634-3400 or www.ubookstore.com).

"Finding the River: An Environmental History of the Elwha" by Jeff Crane (Oregon State University Press, $24.95). Crane, a professor of history at Sam Houston State University, writes an environmental and human history of the Elwha River, including work in progress to remove two dams that will return it to a natural state.

"It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living" edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller (Plume, $15). New in paperback: Savage and Miller collect stories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people who suffered bullying as teenagers and survived to lead rewarding adult lives. For more information on the "It Gets Better" project, go to www.itgetsbetter.org.

"How to Win a Fight: A Guide to Avoiding and Surviving Violence" by Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder (Gotham Books, $17). The authors, who teach goju ryu karate in Seattle, give straightforward advice on how to handle a violent physical encounter — first, how to avoid violence, and second, how to win a fight if violence becomes inevitable. Kane is in security. Besides teaching karate, Wilder is a Franciscan monk.

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