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Pern dragons

Throne of Jade & RIP wrap-up

It's high time I wrote something here but it's been a hectic couple of weeks with grandchildren visiting and various bugs afflicting us all, so something had to go and reading and bookblogging was it. I'm hoping now for a nice quiet November, at the end of which we're away for several days holiday in South Wales again. Can't wait.

Anyway, because it's been so busy I've not read much and it took me two weeks to read Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik when it should have taken three or four days. No matter, if I prod myself often enough I might even come to realise that this reading thing I love so much is not a race.

Throne of Jade is book two in Naomi Novik's Temeraire fantasy series. In book one we saw how William Laurence, a captain in the navy at the time of the Napoleonic wars, became the companion of a Celestial dragon, Temeraire. By the end of that book the two are a fighting unit and this is the situation at the beginning of book two. But all is not well. Temeraire was seized as an egg from the French, the Chinese having given the egg to Emperor Napoleon. The Chinese want their dragon back and have sent a delegation. Against his better judgement Laurence and Temeraire embark on the sea voyage back to China to sort out the mess and try to ensure that the two can stay together. The voyage is hardly uneventful though and Laurence has his work cut out, not only communicating with the Chinese but in deciding which of them he can trust. And this is without the age-old friction between the dragon corps and the navy. And hanging over all is the reality that once dragon and companion get to China they could be separated forever.

This is such a good series. You might be forgiven for thinking that dragons and the Napoleonic war are scarcely a good mix but you would be mistaken. It works wonderfully - a sort of mix between Anne McCaffrey's wonderful Pern books and Hornblower. I like Laurence as a character but for me the star of the show is definitely the dragon himself, Temeraire. I love his mix of child-like wonderment at the world and high intelligence and the author seems to be working on creating a well rounded and attractive personality in him. But really it's the togetherness of dragon and companion that is the crux of these books, their utter faithfulness to each other; I really like that I have to admit.

The other thing I like is the armchair travel aspect. I thoroughly enjoyed the sea voyage part as I like books about sea voyages. The Chinese part was excellent too and felt realistic to me, but then I'm no expert. The travelling continues I believe as I know book 4, Empire of Ivory, is set in Africa.

Hopefully this is to be a long running series. According to the FantasticFiction page for Naomi Novik there should be six books out by now but I'm not sure this is the case. But anyway, I have the first four which is enough to keep me going for a little while. This is a good series if you love dragons or something a little different in your fantasy reading.


The last two months have flown by and with it Carl's
R.I.P. V challenge.

I was doing:

Read four books, any length, that you feel fits my very broad definition of scary. It could be Stephen King or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming or Edgar Allan Poe…or anyone in between.

I read four books... was hoping to read more but it didn't happen and I have actually completed the challenge which, for me, this year, is a plus as my reading has been slower than normal. The books I read were:

Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth by Chris Priestley
Blood Sinister by Celia Rees
The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

I enjoyed them all. Couldn't pick a favourite really but if one was slightly (ever so) less enjoyable it would be Blood Sinister. If I have any regrets it's that I didn't manage to read anything really meaty for the challenge... the likes of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova or The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Oh well, there's always next year and I do have a likely candidate on my current library pile - The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox. Too late for the challenge but no matter.

Anyway, thanks as always to Carl for hosting the R.I.P. challenge again this year.


I think there are technically six books out now - I've read Temeraire, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory and am on Victory of Eagles. That's five, and Throne of Serpents is out in hardback, so it's technically six, though I never really count it until something's out in paperback... *g* I'm always a bit surprised there are enough hardback sales that they still publish them so far in advance - and disappointed... *g* I'm up to the bit that I hate now - having to wait for the author to catch up with the series... That's what happened to me with Harry Potter, and I've still not gone back to finish (and remain unspoilered - shhhhh! *g*) Maybe now would be a good time to finish them off...
Ah, that explains it. A close blogging friend's eyesight can't cope with most paperbacks so the few books she buys have to be hardbacks. So I do understand the need for them, but what I don't get is why the paperback takes so long in some cases (not all) to come out. A couple of months ought to be enough imo. I can't believe the new Temeraire book will not come out in paperback until next *June*. That's ridiculous. I tend to wait for the paperbacks too, unless Amazon have them really cheap, which sometimes happens. I'm eyeing up a couple of inexpensive hardback ghost novels on there at the moment and wondering if I should treat myself. I don't exactly *need* new books... *coughcough*... but they sound so good.
There are 6 Temeraire books out now, at least in the U.S. (although Tongues of Serpents is only in hardcover so far). I've only read the first three, but I believe they do all involve traveling. I am really enjoying the series so far!
Yes, apparently there are six. I have 4 and will get the 5th but wait for the 6th to come out in paperback. I gather it's June here which will give me plenty of time to read the next 3. I love them too.