Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Black Powder War

Apparently, Novik wrote this as a filler between Throne of Jade and Empire of Ivory because EofI shared a plot with a book that had just come out about a deadly virus wreaking havoc on the the dragon population. So she just threw this together and kaboom, we have a fantastic extra episode of the Temeraire series, complete with a meeting between uber-bad guys Napoleon and Lien the evil dragon and the Battle of Jena.

What cheers me up is that we've only got to 1806, Empire of Ivory is 1807 and presumably Victory of Eagles coming up next is 1808-9. That gives us another 6 years of Napoleonic mayhem, and I very much hope a grand finale set at Waterloo.

I love the Temeraire books - the characters are developing well, Novik is a lovely writer with a wonderful style which has never yet lapsed into American, which is a considerable achievement for a genre writer from the US setting books in Europe. The plot of BPW is a little episodic, but there are some great characters introduced, both historical and fictional, and heartstopping moments - the escape from Istanbul was particularly dramatic and startling. And I am enjoying Temeraire's desire for a dragon emancipation movement.

Anyway - for a great historical fantasy, go for Temeraire, the stories buckle and swash, there's action and emotion and Novik is good at raising the stakes conflict-wise. She's setting up some really interesting stuff....But I'm rationing myself and at the moment am reading only dry books on educational management in anticipation of exams next week. Once those are done, my TBR pile needs to tremble and despair, because my plan for the summer is to reduce it from mountain to hillock by August when I next go to the UK for another bumper book-buying session.

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