Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 13, 2013
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“A first-class entry in a remarkable and appealing series.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Novik’s plots and characterizations get more intricate and plausible with each novel. . . . Novik’s re-creation of much of world history based on the existence of intelligent dragons has been so well crafted that all eight books in the series are highly recommended.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Novik combines dragons . . . with period history to achieve a brilliantly realized re-creation of military history laced with the fantastic. . . . Well-crafted.”—Library Journal
“If you’ve never read these novels, now is the time to start.”—io9
“A fun, action-packed read.”—San Antonio Express-News
Praise for Naomi Novik and her Novels of Temeraire
“Novik’s influences run the gamut from Jane Austen to Patrick O’Brian, with a side trip through Anne McCaffrey. Her books are completely involving and probably addictive, their central conceit explored in clever detail with a great deal of wit and historical insight.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“These are beautifully written novels: not only fresh, original, and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart.”—Peter Jackson
“A gripping adventure full of rich detail and the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”—The New York Times
“A glorious series whose future status as a genre classic is now assured.”—SF Reviews
- Publisher : Del Rey; Bookclub edition (August 13, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345522893
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345522894
- Item Weight : 1.65 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.61 x 1.38 x 9.57 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,155,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The rest of this review probably contains spoilers.
After enjoying many of the previous Temeraire novels, I really dislike having to give this one only two stars, but I had problems with this book. First, the plot twist that Laurence has amnesia seems too contrived. The memory loss is way too selective, and utimately never seems to make a difference to the outcome at all. Second, after so much wonderful descriptions and detail that the previous books gave for people, places, events, and especially societies and their integration (or lack of) of intelligent dragons, this book is missing a whole lot of it. Too much text is spent on Laurence's amnesia and Japan is barely touched at all. Third, there are no long journeys in this book. Once they leave Japan they are suddenly back in China for yet another political plot just like the second book, which then gets resolved all too cleanly. Then they are magically in Moscow as if no time had passed at all. Russia seems to be where the focus of the book wants to be, and was the only interesting part of the book. But there so little of it, that we had to sit through over 300 uninteresting pages of Japan and China that feels thrown in so the book would be large enough. And lastly, the ending is such a cliffhanger that I felt cheated.
The book itself is quite long and jump between a lot of battle fields and places - from Japan to China and than Russia. It is quite weird as the previous books did not make so much regions jump. However, it does not really hurt the plot or the story line.
The battles and the movement of the dragoons and soldiers within the battle field is written amazingly and I found myself hooked and actually believing the existence of dragoons.
Well written and I am anxious to read the last and final book
I am anxious to read the next and final book.
#1 - The cuts are too abrupt. While the series has always been prone to skipping over journeys where there are no events that advance the plot, in this case there are so many cuts that result in so much time missing between scenes that the storyline feels jerky and disconnected. It reads more like a series of scenes or a mash-up of short stories than a novel.
#2 - While the story of how the Napoleonic Wars might have played out with dragons is interesting, what we, the readers, are here for are the characters. It's the characters and their interaction that gives the books their charm. That's sorely missing in this book.
The scenes that should have had the most emotional impact--Temeraire's initial reunions with Laurence, both pre- and post-amnesia, and Mianning's reaction to the news (and gift) of a Celestial-Kazilik egg, to name just a couple--are simply missing from the book. (And what did Churki think about China and the dragons there?) Those kinds of scenes give the reader the emotional connection to the characters that we want--they allow us to worry and rejoice with 'our' characters and keep us invested in their futures. This is really the lack that I, as a reader, felt the most.
Aside from that, no, I didn't enjoy the amnesia subplot, which I consider a very tired plot device, but I'm willing to believe the author has a plan for this in the final book. In any case, it's not the biggest weakness in the book.
I get that the author had a lot of pieces to move into place for the final book of the series but I'm disappointed that the "story" of this book was shortchanged as a result. It would have taken very little more content to smooth out the many scene chops or to show us the "interesting scenes" that were skipped over.
Nevertheless, I want it to be clear that I am enjoying this entire series a great deal and I do look forward to reading the next book when it comes out!
Top reviews from other countries
I loved this one as much as the previous seven books (just slightly peeved that i hadn't noticed it was out sooner!). I would suggest anyone coming new to the series should start at the beginning, although I was impressed with the way Naomi Norvik refers to previous events in a subtle way, without pages of boring repetitious information which could spoil the narrative. The story flows along as usual, I couldn't put it down and read long into the night in order to finish it! Then wished I hadn't as there was nothing to look forward to!
So, if you are a fan read the book. If you are looking at this as a standalone book skip it.
Book arrived quickly and in great condition.
I would especially have liked to explore a little more of Japan and the dragon-culture there which was quite intriguing (also really liked the character of Kiyo ^__^) - perhaps Captain Laurence & Temeraire can return there in some kind of Last Samurai style scenario? :-).