- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Voyager - GB (22 April 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007569084
- ISBN-13: 978-0007569083
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Temeraire Series (8) - Blood of Tyrants Paperback – 22 Apr 2014
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'In the best tradition of fantasy, historical fiction and nautical novels.'
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This book starts a little slowly, but soon gathers speed, taking the reader from a shipwreck off Japan via China and an overland flight to Russia, just in time for Napoleon's invasion. Novik is in her element in the Napoleonic war sections of these books and does not disappoint here. We end on a cliff hanger, and I for one can hardly wait for the next novel in the series.
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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 story was kind of disjointed with three different adventures (Japan - Laurence loses his memory, China - the team goes hunting rebels, Russia - Back to fighting Bonaparte). The three tales didn't mesh well or lead easily one to another. I kept forgetting who the characters were in the earlier stories and why they were important.
I also had a hard time following why the secondary characters were behaving the way they were (particularly in China). It was all mildly confusing and almost nonsensical.
The Russian part is HEAVY on combat scenes - which is usually fine. I normally find these engaging because Temeraire makes them interesting. I didn't this time though. They all felt distant and impersonal in a way I hadn't experienced with Temeraire before. They got so boring, I ended up skimming (so sad).
The worst part though was that neither Laurence nor Temeraire seemed themselves in this book. Their personalities had somehow lost that larger-than-life quality that makes me read these books again and again. This was understandable for Laurence at first (having lost his memory), but Temeraire was lackluster and a bit whiny/predictable. So disappointing. I love seeing they way each character in these novels slowly changes/deepens/becomes more complex. This book felt like a huge step backwards in all that.
More than anything, it felt like it had been written in a hurry without the usual care taken to make it vivid and alive. It also doesn't come to a climax, but just kind of peters out as if rather than finish the tale, the author had run out of time and/or energy to write it.
It jumped from one event to the next without explanation.However the battle scenes were in
great (too much) detail. I miss the inter-action between Temeraire and Laurance. Also the other
dragons, much more intriguing characters than most the humans, way too little of them.
I can only hope there is another book in the works and it wont take years to come out.
It seems once a series becomes popular the subsequent books become shorter allowing
the author to sell more -when 2 could easily be one book! I will continue to follow this series
but wish she would get back to format of earlier books.
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.
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