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Blood of Tyrants: Temeraire, Book 8 | [Naomi Novik]

Blood of Tyrants: Temeraire, Book 8

Shipwrecked and cast ashore in Japan with no memory of Temeraire or his own experiences as an English aviator, Laurence finds himself tangled in deadly political intrigues that threaten not only his own life but England's already precarious position in the Far East. Age-old enmities and suspicions have turned the entire region into a powder keg ready to erupt at the slightest spark.
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Publisher's Summary

Naomi Novik's beloved Temeraire series, a brilliant combination of fantasy and history that reimagines the Napoleonic wars as fought with the aid of intelligent dragons, is a 21st-century classic. From the first volume, His Majesty's Dragon, listeners have been entranced by the globe-spanning adventures of the resolute Capt. William Laurence and his brave but impulsive dragon, Temeraire. Now, in Blood of Tyrants, the penultimate volume of the series, Novik is at the very height of her powers as she brings her story to its widest, most colorful canvas yet.

Shipwrecked and cast ashore in Japan with no memory of Temeraire or his own experiences as an English aviator, Laurence finds himself tangled in deadly political intrigues that threaten not only his own life but England's already precarious position in the Far East. Age-old enmities and suspicions have turned the entire region into a powder keg ready to erupt at the slightest spark - a spark that Laurence and Temeraire may unwittingly provide, leaving Britain faced with new enemies just when they most desperately need allies instead.

For to the west, another, wider conflagration looms. Napoleon has turned on his former ally, the emperor Alexander of Russia, and is even now leading the largest army the world has ever seen to add that country to his list of conquests. It is there, outside the gates of Moscow, that a reunited Laurence and Temeraire - along with some unexpected allies and old friends - will face their ultimate challenge...and learn whether or not there are stronger ties than memory.

©2013 Temeraire, LLC (P)2013 Tantor

What Members Say

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  •  
    Tango Texas 08-21-13
    Tango Texas 08-21-13 Member Since 2012

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Setting Up for the Grand Finale"

    Bottom line: If you have come this far in the Temeraire series, you will definitely want to grab Blood of Tyrants and you will enjoy much of it. This series is one that must be read in order and if you haven't started it, I recommend it as wonderful alternate history fantasy - start with His Majesty's Dragon.

    This is not the best book in the series - actually, I'd say it is the weakest. But if you have gotten to book 8, you have probably come to love these characters as I have and spending time with them again is enormous fun in spite of a rather frantic inconclusive plot line for this edition. Laurence's amnesia that begins the book is silly, but does serve as a reminder not only of past events in the series (catching us up for the home stretch I guess) as Laurence slowly recovers, but also calls up one of the central elements that makes this series truly grand. The walk down memory lane recalls the moral/ethical development of both Temeraire who started his life as a blank slate and Laurence who started the series with a moral code externally dictated by his station, government, and culture. Watching Temeraire and Laurence both grow in the development of personal conscience and understanding of the the other's perspective has been a delight and has made this series special in the world of fantasy. (In addition to having the best dragons since Pern!)

    Novik takes her human/dragon duo to Japan, China, and Russia in this installment of the Napoleonic wars as fought with dragons. However, in spite of an inordinate number of skirmishes and all-out battles in this book, the over-arching plot line is little advanced, the Laurence/Temeraire relationship is only explored from the past (because of the hokey amnesia thing) with little opportunity for the two to grow as they have in previous episodes, and the book has a rather graceless ending with everything up in the air.

    Although Blood of Tyrants seems to be mostly a set-up for the Grand Finale of the Temeraire series, I still really enjoyed it and recommend it to all Temeraire fans. A little time with not only our heroic duo, but also some fun moments with clever Emily, long-suffering Granby, and the hilarious, narcissistic Iskierka, in addition to the ever-so-fabulous voices of Simon Vance makes this a good listen. I think and hope Novik is prepping us for a really great conclusion.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay SAUGUS, MA, United States 11-30-13
    Jay SAUGUS, MA, United States 11-30-13 Member Since 2005

    Warcraft Addict

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    "A bit of a let down"
    What did you like best about Blood of Tyrants? What did you like least?

    As always the interaction of Laurence and Temeraire is one of my favorite relationships in literature.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Frustration.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I love Simon Vance, and have discovered other books because he was narrating.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a good read, but the story does not go anywhere. This and the book in Australia read like filler material. This is better than that simply because of the return to the Napoleonic Wars, and how the Russian campaign is changed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russet Cloudcroft, NM, United States 09-03-13
    Russet Cloudcroft, NM, United States 09-03-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful entry in the series"

    I thought this was an excellent addition to the Temeraire series, faster paced and with more adventure and emotion than books 6 and 7. This is among my favorites in the series, nearly up there with books 1 and 5.

    Amnesia is certainly a tired potboiler plot device, but after all this is an adventure serial.
    I thought Novik handled it well and delicately, using it to highlight how much Laurence has changed over the course of the series and how his relationship with Temeraire has developed as well. She also uses the device to get some emotion and tender moments, without wringing it dry.

    It's good to see Temeraire moving to more of a general's position, which is very difficult for him but gives the readers a better idea of the big picture. There are a number of nice plot twists and bits of clever strategy which I thought were quite interesting. I only wish that Temeraire had been able to use his eloquence more to persuade other dragons, as he did in book 5. As usual we get to see some new countries and the different ways their cultures deal with dragons, in addition to some old familiar friends from earlier in the series. And of course the difference between human and dragon perspectives on events and characters is a source of humor and some deeper philosophy.

    Simon Vance's narration is fantastic as always - I only disagreed with him on one voice (Granby's), but otherwise all the voices he choices were suitable and distinct, with accents noticeable but not intrusive.

    This is the first Audible book in which I've found a technical problem - a bit from earlier in the book spliced in between 5:39 and 5:42 in the first section. Annoying, but on consideration I didn't feel that it detracted from my enjoyment enough to remove any stars.

    The book ends on a cliffhanger, but not a horrible cruel one - just enough to have me looking forward eagerly to the next book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dub Ottawa, ON, Canada 09-11-13
    dub Ottawa, ON, Canada 09-11-13 Member Since 2005
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    "What if you had a dragon, then didn't want it?"

    What if you were dangerously ill somewhere in Asia, and as you recover, someone told you you owned a dragon? Seeing what problems they cause, would you even want it?
    *no spoilers*
    Our hero, Captain Laurence, is lost overboard during a storm, and separated from his beloved Chinese Celestial dragon Temeraire. Even when reunited, Laurence can't recall or feel the once unbreakable bond they once shared. All he knows is his duty to do whatever it takes to stop Napoleon's sacking Moscow. And what is worse, the casual brutality of dragons, the machinations of men, or the epic brutality of war?

    Can this disjointed pair survive? Will Laurence return to his familiar life in the navy and give up Temeraire forever? Will Temeraire return to China and find another partner? Can Laurence regain his memory, or does he want to?

    Simon Vance is back again, a perfect narrator for this tale.
    The action is cut off mid-brutal-battle, when seems more of a cheat than hurtling us into the next book in the series.
    Still, can't wait!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JR ISANTI, MN, United States 08-24-13
    JR ISANTI, MN, United States 08-24-13
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    "Good return to form"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend to anyone who has liked the Temeraire series


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He continues to do an excellent job of narration


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a return to form. I wasn't a big fan of Tongues of Serpent, but Crucible was much better. This is just as good as Crucible. I can't wait for last novel

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ERICK Anchorage, AK, United States 09-18-13
    ERICK Anchorage, AK, United States 09-18-13 Member Since 2010

    Hayden729

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    "What on earth was she thinking?"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Amnesia? Really? I was ready to roll with it. But after a couple of chapters of it I was done with it. There is nothing new about the style of the amnesia and it feels like a device, almost from the outset, to create drama for drama's sake. It seemed awfully convenient that Lawrence just happened to forget everything just up to the time he met Temeraire and became an aviator. Poppycock, it was just too blaringly obvious. I found myself struggling through part 2 of the book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final third of the book was by far the best


    Was Blood of Tyrants worth the listening time?

    Not on the whole, but I do love the last part.


    Any additional comments?

    Just stay away from Amnesia people. It's just so stale of a literary device and is dreadfully hard to pull off with any class. Naomi Novik, you're better than this.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roz Kailua, HI, United States 11-11-13
    Roz Kailua, HI, United States 11-11-13 Member Since 2010

    Yoyo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something Missing?"

    This one ended so abruptly that I was sure my download was incomplete, until I read the other reviews here. The final book better get here soon, or I just might seek out the author and sit on her doorstep until she finishes it. Get to work Naomi!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    areader Columbus, Ohio, United States 05-15-14
    areader Columbus, Ohio, United States 05-15-14 Member Since 2006

    Avid Audible Subscriber...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Blood of Tyrants: Temeraire, Book 8"

    Keep up the excellent stories Naomi Novik. I hope you continue the series. Simon Vance is an excellent narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Lewiston, ID, United States 10-03-13
    Shawn Lewiston, ID, United States 10-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a good story but the book is messed up"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, not until the reading is fixed, one part is read twice and I think two parts at least are missing from the reading


    Would you ever listen to anything by Naomi Novik again?

    Yes because I believe this was a mistake done by the person reading it not the author


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Tupelo, MS, United States 10-27-13
    John Tupelo, MS, United States 10-27-13 Member Since 2003

    Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Great Volume in Excellent Series"

    Initially begins so oddly that you wonder if you somehow missed a volume between the last book mostly set in South America and this one. You slowly learn that it does indeed pick up the tale. Overall, this book is divided between 3 situations - each as interesting as the last. I again deduct a star for overall rating because the author again randomly ends the book. This ending is even more abrupt than the ending in Book 7.. It's not so much a cliff hanger as the book just stops. Not particularly fond that that practice in this series and given the free form storyline, you begin to wonder if the series will conclude.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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