Has everybody read the Temeraire series?
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:
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.