In His Majesty's Service by Naomi Novik
In His Majesty's Service is an omnibus edition containing the first three novels in Naomi Novik's TEMERAIRE series. (These 3 novels were also released in a Science Fiction Book Club omnibus edition called Temeraire: In the Service of the King.) Aside from these three books, Naomi Novik has written two more novels in the series, Empire of Ivory and Victory of Eagles, with Tongues of Serpents being the working title of the forthcoming sixth book. There's also a short story entitled "Feast or Famine," which is available on Naomi Novik's website, as well as two "outtakes" or deleted scenes from other books in the series. Read More
Naomi Novik(1973- )
Naomi Novik is a New Yorker who writes about Napoleonic-era England, China, Istanbul, and, dragons. She has been nominated for a Hugo Award, Compton Crook Award, Locus Award, and Campbell Award. You can read excerpts and deleted scenes, and see a glossary and a timeline at the Temeraire website.
Temeraire — (2006-2010) Peter Jackson has “optioned” the Temeraire story. Omnibus editions are available. Publisher: Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies… not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future–and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.
In His Majesty's Service by Naomi Novik
Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
When last we left our characters, they were trapped with the Prussian Army running for their lives in the face of Napoleon's Army. Returning home they are confronted by a disaster of cataclysmic proportions as an illness is rapidly decimating the dragon populace of England. Harrowing stuff...
Empire of Ivory takes quite a while to get going and is more compelling in its depiction of events than characters. The main character remains almost cardboard for most of the book, which leaves me uninterested in him. The reader can't really relate to his internal conflict. By the end of Empire of Ivory, things begin to improve, but still he just seems too cold by half. The dragons have more personality than most of the characters.
Temerarie has lots of potential if the characters improve. Read More
Fast Ships, Black Sails edited by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer
I was never a big fan of pirates (ninjas, on the other hand...) but nonetheless, the very word evokes adventure and the high seas. Fast Ships, Black Sails doesn't really stray far from that expectation and delivers eighteen stories marked with action, treachery, and a sense of wonder.
A good chunk of the stories revolve around traditional concepts of a pirate, with only a few exceptions, such as "Boojum" by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, which takes place in space. The rest take place on stormy waters with sea-worthy vessels manned by rascally crews. Surprisingly, many of the stories ar... Read More
Warriors by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (eds.)
FORMAT/INFO: Warriors is 736 pages long divided over twenty short stories and an Introduction by George R.R. Martin. Each short story is preceded by biographical information about the author and a short description of their contribution to the anthology. March 16, 2010 marks the North American Hardcover publication of Warriors via Tor.
“The King of Norway” by Cecelia Holland. I’ve never read anything by Cecelia Holland before, but the author is described as “one of the world’s most highly acclaimed and respected historical novelists.” Not surprisingly, her contribution finds the author doing wh... Read More
Warriors ed. by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
To quote from George R.R. Martin’s introduction “People have been telling stories about warriors for as long as they have been telling stories.” I imagine that for most all who enjoy fantasy or almost any genre fiction, it’s the timeless tradition of the telling of warriors’ tales that is the heart of our passion. In fact, reading Martin’s introduction titled “Stories of the Spinner Rack” is enough to put Warriors on any bookworm’s reading list. For many of us who grew up in Small Town USA during the 70’s and earlier, before the big book stores and Amazon.com, we know exactly what he was talking about. It’s a very relatable trip down memory lane that primes the reader for the adventures that follow.
At 736 pages, Warriors is practically a tome. It contains twen... Read More
Wings of Fire edited by Jonathan Strahan & Marianne S. Jablon
I don't like dragons.
This is probably not the first sentence you'd expect to find in a review of Wings of Fire, an anthology devoted exclusively to dragon stories, but I thought it best to get it out of the way right from the start.
There's nothing inherently wrong with dragons. They're just terribly overused, one of those tired genre mainstays that people who typically don't read a lot of fantasy will expect in a fantasy novel because they were practically unavoidable for a long time. To this day, I confess to having to suppress a mental groan whenever I encounter them.
For a long time, I actively avoided reading any fantasy novel with the word dragon in the title. Granted, I made several exceptions to this rule in the past, most notably The King's Dragon by Read More
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Back in 2007, Holly Black and Justine Larabalestier got in an argument about which fiction creature was superior — zombies or unicorns. Spurred on by that debate, they each recruited some of their author friends to write short tales in which they present the storytelling possibilities of the two mythic beasts. With header notes for each story in which they discuss the historical background for the different takes on the creatures, HollyBlack heads up Team Unicorn, and Justine Larbalestier heads up Team Zombie.
Writing for Team Unicorn, we have Kathleen Duey, Read More