Review: Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Historical fantasy, #2 of 9 Temeraire
‘“You speak in ignorant disdain of the foremost nation of the world,” Yongxing said, growing angry himself, “like all your country-men, who show no respect for that which is superior, and insult our customs.”
“For which I might consider myself as owing you some apology, sir, if you yourself had not so often insulted myself and my own country, or shown respect for any customs other than your own,” Laurence said.’
This is the second book in Naomi Novik’s fantastical reimagining of the Napoleonic Wars… with dragons! After the events of His Majesty’s Dragon, Temeraire has been revealed to be a Celestial, a Chinese dragon that is supposed to be ridden by only the Emperor and his kin. His Captain Will Laurence being neither of these things, the Chinese have come to take him back. Temeraire, naturally, refuses to be parted from Laurence, and thus the two of them begin the long journey to Temeraire’s homeland.
I have to confess that I felt let down by this book. There were several problems that served to make it less interesting than its humourous, exciting predecessor: Continue reading Book Review: Throne of Jade (Naomi Novik)
Review: His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
Historical Fantasy / Temeraire, #1 of 9
Basically the only thing you need to know about this book is that it is a reimagining of the Napoleonic Wars… with dragons. What more could you want??
Will Laurence is a British Navy officer with a fiancé, his own ship, a good first officer, and a comfortable set up for life in general. His career is unexpectedly derailed when his ship captures a dragon egg from the French. When Temeraire – the dragon – hatches, he latches onto to Laurence (as dragons do, apparently) and Laurence gives up his life on the ocean for one of dragonback aerial combat.
Continue reading Book Review: His Majesty’s Dragon (Naomi Novik)
Review: A Creature of Moonlight, by Rebecca Hahn
Young Adult/Fantasy – Standalone
“She knew, as I knew, that you don’t stop a story half done. You keep on going, through the heartbreak and pain and fear, and times there is a happy ending, and times there isn’t. Don’t matter. You don’t cut a flower half through and then wait and watch as it slowly shrivels to death. And you don’t stop a story before you reach the end.”
Marni lives on the edge of the woods in her grandfather’s cabin. These woods have a powerful and possibly sinister attraction for young women, many of whom are lost to the forest each year, and Marni struggles to resist the creatures of the woods that call to her. Complicating her life further is her position as one of the only living relatives of the King; for different, but equally compelling, reasons, she is drawn to both the woods and the King’s court.
This was a super confusing book for me. I fell in love with it immediately. Then I fell out of love with it along the way – only to fall very hard for it again towards the end, so much so that it suddenly and unexpectedly brought me to tears. The plot is meandering but the prose charming. It’s slow-paced, with minimal dialogue – and there is a lack of clarity (descriptions that could be either literal or metaphorical, characters and places whose names we never learn) that could be either frustrating or intriguing, depending on your mindset.
Continue reading Book Review: A Creature of Moonlight (Rebecca Hahn)