Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tongues of Serpents

by Naomi Novik
New York : Ballantine Books, 2010.

If you haven't read the first five books in the Temeraire series, this is a **spoiler warning** for those titles.

Temeraire and Laurence have been convicted of treason and transported to New South Wales, Australia. Arriving, they find that the political situation at the penal colony is in disarray - the troops staged a coup and overthrew the governor, who wants to be in power. Both sides want Laurence's backing, and he's not sure how best to navigate through the political turmoil without giving up his own high standards. Temeraire also has dragon eggs brought along to attempt the creation of a colony, and he only hopes that one won't open for the wrong sort of person.

I have been looking forward to Temeraire and Laurence's continued adventures ever since I finished Victory of Eagles a couple of summers ago. To be entirely fair, my expectations for this story were extremely high, so when I say that the story did not live up to them, this is not as harsh a judgment as it might otherwise have been. I like the relationship between Temeraire and Laurence as it has developed, and I love Iskierka and her banter with Granby or Temeraire. These are characters I love to spend time with, even when I was less than enthralled with the plot. I wished there were more interactions between the dragons, because that was my favorite part. Even the weakest in this series is a worthwhile read, and I'm already looking forward to the next.

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