The Double Phoenix

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Archive for the ‘Temeraire’ Category

Tongues of Serpents

Posted by spragujs on March 14, 2012

Tongues of Serpents cover artTongues of Serpents, by Naomi Novik, is the 6th book in her Temeraire series.  In this book Laurence and Temeraire have been transported to Australia as a consequence of actions in the previous novels.  There they encounter politics, aborigines, Chinese, smugglers, new dragon breeds, mythical creatures (besides dragons, of course), long flying, lots and lots of desert, and maybe even a place to settle down and call home?

I enjoyed this book more than some of the previous ones I think, and I’m not sure why.  (Not that it’s a bad thing; I just don’t know the reason!)  There’s some decent conflict, but mostly no fighting, the chance to start anew and build things.  I did find a little off-putting the POV changes mid-section.  Where it might take me a paragraph or two to catch that I’m reading from someone else’s POV.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned that as an issue for me with other writers as well.  It’s possible Novik has always done this and I just don’t remember!  (It’s been a while since I read book 5!)

This book dishes the news that the world has frankly gone to hell in a hand basket, and hints that many of the problems are a direct result of actions taken by our favorite duo.  Here’s to hoping their actions can bring things back around in the future!

In any case, I enjoyed the book, breezed through it, and have moved onto the recently released book 7, Crucible of Gold, where Laurence and Temeraire are thrown back into the fray.

Posted in Off the Shelf, Reading, Temeraire | 1 Comment »

Temeraire Genesis

Posted by spragujs on March 5, 2012

Temeraire ink by Daniel GovarI recently discovered the novella, “Vici”, by Naomi Novik as published in Fantasy Magazine.  As she describes in an interview with the magazine:

“Vici” is my idea of the backstory of how dragons were first domesticated by humans in Europe, and shows the seeds of various aspects of the relationship between dragons and humans that we see initially in Britain and other European nations in His Majesty’s Dragon.

The novella brought me back to the complete enjoyment I first felt reading His Majesty’s Dragon.  After the newness of the first Temeraire novel wore off I haven’t enjoyed the other novels as much, but I’m still fascinated by the idea and still buy the novels as they come out.  I’m particularly thrilled by the series’ idea of a crossover between traditional dragons and friendly dragons (my introduction to dragons was from Anne McCaffrey, so I’m partial to the friendly ones)!  I have unfortunately not yet read Tongues of Serpents (though it is on my shelf), but I think I will very soon as her next Temeraire novel, Crucible of Gold, comes out tomorrow (read an excerpt here).  Maybe they’ll be my next set of novels to read as I’ll be able to tackle a book from my shelf as well as a new one (so as to not get behind for once).

In short, if you haven’t yet read the Temeraire novels and want a short piece to see what it’s all about, try “Vici”!

Also, I always knew Temeraire was supposed to be a handsome dragon, but you can see that in the artwork above, as created by Daniel Govar.  (Found this from a post on Ms. Novik’s website.)

Posted in Off the Shelf, Reading, Short Fiction, Temeraire | 1 Comment »

Temeraire (the trilogy) by Naomi Novik

Posted by spragujs on July 26, 2006


Compilation of the trilogy purchased in hardcover book club size from the Science Fiction Book Club (SFBC).

Author’s website:

Overall: Ok, I quite enjoyed these books! ‘Course I may be overly biased toward books that have dragons in them, and especially books where the dragons are intelligent and friendly toward humans. 😉 I’ve always wanted a dragon! From what I’ve heard, they’re fairly accurate accounts of some of the events of the Napoleonic wars, just with some aerial combat included with the aid of the dragons. (This may or may not have changed actual historical outcomes, but I wouldn’t know, ’cause I know little about history and pretty much nothing about the Napoleonic wars.) The speech patterns seem strange to me. I’m sure they’re supposed to be appropriate for the time period, but they felt more like a kid trying to write what would have been appropriate for the time. Maybe I’ve just watched too many movies/TV! 😉 In any case, it wasn’t distracting or anything, and probably for me made the books more endearing.

Ok, I thought I’d put the spoilered sections below, but find that the stuff I want to write about at the moment are only slightly spoilery (think, back of the book stuff), so I’m not going to bother more than with this statement.

His Majesty’s Dragon: This book was excellent! I had trouble putting it down. Obviously a very good start to Ms. Novik’s career! (Here’s to hoping I haven’t missed some other books that she’s already written!) Great set up for the story and also really fun characters.
Throne of Jade and Black Powder War: These two books weren’t “can’t put them down” books, but they were still quite good! I would find myself thinking about the story at random even if I hadn’t felt compelled to pick up the book each evening (or more often) to read.

Theoretically there will be more books from Ms. Novik in this universe, and I for one will definitely look forward to them! Also, she’s got a bit of a short story on her website that details an anecdote that occurs between His Majesty’s Dragon and Throne of Jade. It’s at:

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