Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. So here's a thing I'm looking forward to: Blood of Tyrants, by Naomi Novik (August 13, 2013, from Del Rey).

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.

I'm not sure now where I first ran across the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik; possibly it was just random bookstore browsing, and I was attracted by the covers (and by the fact that the first three books in the series came out in the same year, so there wasn't much of a wait between volumes). 

I've read some historical novels set in the Napoleonic War period; one summer twenty years ago I went through all the Sharpe novels Bernard Cornwell had written so far at the rate of one a week. But I've never managed to get through any of the Aubrey and Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brian (not even using my good friend Ronda's recommendation to skip the first three chapters of each book and just start when they go to sea), and while I did enjoy the Horatio Hornblower TV movies with Ioan Gruffudd, the novels by C.S. Forester don't do much for me.

However, this treatment of what the Napoleonic Wars might have been like if both sides had had an aerial corps of dragons is rollicking fun. I'm catching up with the rest of the series now, in preparation for this penultimate volume coming out. (I'm also inclined towards a good bit of fangirl squee over the fact that Peter Jackson has optioned the series. I'd love to see what he makes of it!)

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