A dazzling blend of military history, high-flying fantasy, and edge-of-your-seat adventure, Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels, set in an alternate Napoleonic era in which intelligent dragons have been harnessed as weapons of war, are more than just perennial bestsellers—they are a worldwide phenomenon. Now, in Tongues of Serpents, Naomi Novik is back, along with the dragon Temeraire and his rider and friend, Capt. Will Laurence.
Convicted of treason despite their heroic defense against Napoleon’s invasion of England, Temeraire and Laurence—stripped of rank and standing—have been transported to the prison colony at New South Wales in distant Australia, where, it is hoped, they cannot further corrupt the British Aerial Corps with their dangerous notions of liberty for dragons. Temeraire and Laurence carry with them three dragon eggs intended to help establish a covert in the colony and destined to be handed over to such second-rate, undesirable officers as have been willing to accept so remote an assignment—including one former acquaintance, Captain Rankin, whose cruelty once cost a dragon its life.
Nor is this the greatest difficulty that confronts the exiled dragon and rider: Instead of leaving behind all the political entanglements and corruptions of the war, Laurence and Temeraire have instead sailed into a hornet’s nest of fresh complications. For the colony at New South Wales has been thrown into turmoil after the overthrow of the military governor, one William Bligh—better known as Captain Bligh, late of HMS Bounty. Bligh wastes no time in attempting to enlist Temeraire and Laurence to restore him to office, while the upstart masters of the colony are equally determined that the new arrivals should not upset a balance of power precariously tipped in their favor.
Dragon tales: don't miss the rest of the Temeraire series.
©2010 Temeraire, LLC (P)2010 Tantor
"The characters are as riveting as ever, the setting is new but convincing, and the plot, with its first-class balancing of Laurence's and Temeraire's internal and external struggles, shows Novik's continued excellence as a novelist." (Booklist)
I've loved the series thus far, but this book just bored me to sleep. It's like getting your high school report card back..."So much potential, if he'd just use it". It's like during the planning out the book, they diagramed it, put in the "hooks," then handed it off to a ghost writer who wrote the bland "between the scenes" and never got around to actually doing anything with the hooks.
I'm hoping the next one restores my faith, because it really is a great series to this point.
Besides the superb narration, the best thing about this book is Kulangili / Demane and Temeraire / Laurence. Also, an incredibly vivid lightning storm and the wildfire. And such gruesome sea serpents!
But too much bickering among the characters as they trekked across Australia. Traversing the Blue Mountains, the valleys, and the outback from Sydney to Ayers Rock and hence to the northern coast, humans and dragons grew so tiresomely nasty. Ugh. Caesar deserves Rankin. Even little Sipho was a jerk, and Emily Roland.
But I love the valiant, long-suffering Temeraire.
The pacing is slow. Meandering. Chasing smugglers and thieves across the outback. Easter egg hunt gone Aussie.
Also, too many scenes involved the bunyip, or kianpraty, a large man-eating creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. Cool tunnels and trap doors, though.
I wanted a better sense of Captain Laurence and Tem coming to terms with their exile. But there are some good conversations and thoughts about this watershed. I wanted more scenes at their new homestead, building a life together.
I chuckled when Caesar hatched. Great scene with Rankin!
I have a soft spot for Forthing; as a homeless orphan boy, he slept in the dragon coverts to keep warm.
Five stars for narration by Simon Vance.
This was definitely the weakest of the Temeraire series. Not a whole lot happened in this particular chapter of the series, however it was certainly not so poor as to drive me away from wanting the next book to come out immediately.
but... nothing much happens in this book. I got a feeling that the author is building up to something important in the next installment. My least favorite of the series so far.
Simon Vance, you're super awesome. Naomi Novik, I'll read anything you write.
I absolutely adore this series, and it's brought to life beautifully by Simon Vance's top-notch narration, but this installment was very uneventful.
I loved the other entries in this series. I loved this one, too, right up until I realized that all those reveiwers who complained that it went nowhere... were absolutely right. The story concludes at a dead end. Is it the end of the series, or what? Poor Lawrence seems so depressed and discouraged. I feel like the next book will consist of him gardening or learning to crochet, because he's too world-weary to leave his front porch.
Even so, enough events are enough fun that it is worth a listen. Fans of Temeraire himself won't be disappointed, nor will fans of Ischierka (sp?) and the two new baby dragons are delightful. I just hope Lawrence gets a new lease on life in time for the next book.
This was the book that began my audiobook infatuation, and it was the perfect introduction to a love affair that looks set to go the distance. After having read the first 5 books in paperback I stumbled across Audible and this recording when looking for the best buy for purchasing book 6.
I fell in love with Simon Vance's glorious voice, and the soundscape he painted was perfect for all the characters and scenes I had already developed in my mind. His voice is rich and melodious, and his characters are properly distinguishable by voice alone. How a man with such a rich baritone voice can pull off a female treble without sounding foppish continues to amaze me. Too many male readers fall back on horrible, generic falsetto voices for all female characters, but not so with Simon, even the female voices are excellent and don't have that grating, distracting edginess of so many male readers that can often distract from the storyline. His verbal skills are impressive to say the least!
Aside from the performance, this is a wonderful addition to the series, in the crossover genre of fantasy/lit, this series would definitely be my favourite. I agree with others that this individual book did not seem drive Temeraire and Lawrence through such crazy adventures as previous novels, but as it is not the final volume in the series I was not disappointed. Sometimes it is about the journey and not the destination, and even fantasy characters deserve to have a vacation from their frantic lives to give us the opportunity to enjoy their character development as the primary objective. Despite the change in tone from previous novels in the series, I still really enjoyed this instalment in the saga of Temeraire and eagerly await the next.
When Temeraire discovers the Chinese dragons in Australia. His serprise and yearning to return to China is heartbreaking.
Simon Vance brings Temeraire to life. Vance's performance is wonderful.
When Temeraire truely realises that his actions have affected Lawrence's status in the world. But as long as they are together, they can handle any situation.
I know many people have felt this book was a disappointment compared to the rest of the series and that it didn't go anywhere. While I would be dissatisfied with the book if this was to be the end of the series, it is not and I believe leads to numerous possibilities in the last few books yet to be released (and some not yet written). The addition of several new dragons and foreign lands was enough to keep me engaged and I am terribly sad to know that I will have to wait at least a year before the next book is published and released. BOO! "I want more Temeraire daddy and I want it now!"
If you liked the series up till now, give this book a try and once again, Simon Vance rises to favorite reader status in my book.
I have enjoyed reading the series about Temeraire. But unfortunately, I found book 6, Tongues of the serpents, uninteresting. Weak plot and not well written.
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