Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Oh, hey, Naomi Novik is starting a new series!

Has everybody read the Temeraire series?

Temeraire

In my humble opinion, the first book is excellent and then the sequels gradually trail off into less-good and wind up not really worth bothering with as we go on a forced march to EVERY DAMN CONTINENT IN THE WORLD except Antarctica. But that’s just me, no doubt some people love the Australia one, or heaven help us, the South American one. I must confess, I haven’t read the latest installment.

And don’t get me started on how impossible it is to use elephants as a domesticated food animal. Gestation period of 22 months and slooooow growth; that is simply not going to work at the rate dragons would eat their way through a herd. Not that quibbling over ecological implausibility is reasonable, because I doubt dragons would be sustainable anywhere in the world, it’s just that the elephant thing brought me to a sharp halt.

Anyway! Temeraire aside, this is exciting:

Novik

Here’s the synopsis:

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

I’m definitely up for this. I loved loved loved the first Temeraire book, I liked some of the sequels, and I look forward very much to seeing what Novik will do with a dark fairy tale.

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4 Comments Oh, hey, Naomi Novik is starting a new series!

  1. Cheryl L

    Yes, I too, was excited when I saw the listing for UPROOTED. I’m still enjoying the Temeraire series. I just can’t get enough of an enormous dragon who speaks like a character from a Jane Austen novel! I’ve also read a few of Naomi’s non-Temeraire short stories and have been impressed, so the thought of a new series makes me very happy. :-)

  2. Kristina

    My feelings about the series align with yours. The first book was one of my favorite reads of 2010 (the year I discovered it); the others have been up and down. I remained a loyal reader, though, because I enjoy spending time with these characters and at this point I genuinely care about what will become of them. That being said, BLOOD OF TYRANTS – the latest – is the weakest of series, in my opinion. It’s basically three novellas, and the first part relies on what has to be my least favorite trope of all time – amnesia. (It’s so soap-operatic I almost thought it was a joke when I first read the synopsis.) But I’m so invested in the characters at this point that I will buy the next – last? – volume when it comes out. I have to know whether Will and Temeraire have their happy ending.

  3. Elaine T

    I greatly enjoyed TEMERAIRE #1, but rapidly lost interest in the series, beginning with #2 (boring travel). My husband lasted longer, but he’s also given up by now. Shame, as she had some interesting stuff going on, I just didn’t find enough to justify pushing on through the dullness.

    But the new one sounds like it will be worth a look. (puts on wish list.)

    (4 gallons of tomatoes canned … and the Teen now does goat-miking. What can one DO with goat milk?)

  4. Rachel

    Hi, Elaine — make cheese?

    My brother really liked the Chinese trip; but for me it was bit too much travel, yes.

    Kristina, I’m glad to know about BLOOD OF TYRANTS. I don’t like amnesia either, so at least I’ll be prepared when I eventually read it.

    Cheryl, I have to grit my teeth through the looong travel sequences and through certain plot points, but as Kristina says, I am invested in the characters and do want to know how things work out. SURELY Novik will give Will and Temeraire a happy ending?

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