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 love listening to the books. Mr Vance does a wonderful job, although he does forget which character he's reading for on occasion but it does not last long. I also think the female parts should be read by a female but Mr Vance does a wonderful job of these parts as well. As for the books themselves so far they're absolutely wonderful!
I really enjoyed listening to Simon Vance reading the series. I have read the complete series myself but he really bring every character to life. I could not help listening every free moment I had.
A Must Read Series!!
Temeraire and his Captain William Laurence well rounded characters that you grow to care deeply about. Laurence with his “uptight” high born British Royal Navy up bring contracting with the relaxed culture of Royal Aerial Corps sends him on a lift time of turbulent decision making with harsh outcomes.
This series needs to be read in order because each books drops off and the next starts with no setup or opening Novik assumes you read the previous books.
Give me your tired heroines , your huddled hobbits yearning to breathe free; the wretched refuse of your deleted pages, and I will read.
I had originally started the Temeraire series with my nephew while we waited (and waited, and waited) for Eragon's saga to finally play out. We've loved every minute of Novik's world so far. "Tongues of Serpents" has its bright spots: We meet some new and wholly unlikable foils (both human and dragon) including the terminally witless Captain William Bligh in his Governorship of New South Wales.
Unfortunately, the majority of this book is the search for a stolen dragon egg. It felt like the wily thieves nabbed all 5 books' worth of momentum along with the egg. We're dragged around the Australian outback and shown a land that is both beautiful and hostile, but whose spectacle is never fully realized on the page. Six months of roasted kangaroo for dinner and struggling from one water hole to the next while poor Laurence sinks farther into a malaise, well, it just isn't a very good read.
But strap yourself into the belly netting. The last few chapters seem to get us back on track with new characters in both the air and water, as well as some events that are sure to have major repercussions in China.
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.
very imagnitive, adventurous
when the dragons found the pavillion with the nearly newly hatched dragon from the stolen egg.
yes, was very disturbed by the reaction of some of the british navel officers when things were not going their way.
It is an extremely interesting series. I keep rooting for Lawrence and Tameria and hoping in the end they will be aquitted of all the charges that are against them.
I love the Temeraire series and the performance of narrator Simon Vance. I look forward to more from Naomi Novik.
I am conflicted on this review. I liked the book, it was good, but it seemed to have no point. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I like the characters, the setting, and I am content to listen to an "Adventure in the Life of Temeraire" story. That being said, I felt like the previous books were going somewhere, and this one seems to have no ultimate vector. If this is what the author intends, I can live with it, but I noticed a difference in the story. I will see what happens with the next few books, which I still intend on reading/listening.
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