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Blood of Tyrants
Cover of Blood of Tyrants
Blood of Tyrants
Temeraire Series, Book 8
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Naomi Novik's beloved Temeraire series, a brilliant combination of fantasy and history that reimagines the Napoleonic wars as fought with the aid of intelligent dragons, is a twenty-first-century...
Naomi Novik's beloved Temeraire series, a brilliant combination of fantasy and history that reimagines the Napoleonic wars as fought with the aid of intelligent dragons, is a twenty-first-century...
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Description-

  • Naomi Novik's beloved Temeraire series, a brilliant combination of fantasy and history that reimagines the Napoleonic wars as fought with the aid of intelligent dragons, is a twenty-first-century classic. From the first volume, His Majesty's Dragon, readers have been entranced by the globe-spanning adventures of the resolute Capt. William Laurence and his brave but impulsive dragon, Temeraire. Now, in Blood of Tyrants, the penultimate volume of the series, Novik is at the very height of her powers as she brings her story to its widest, most colorful canvas yet.
    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.
    BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Naomi Novik's Uprooted.
    Praise for Blood of Tyrants

    "A first-class entry in a remarkable and appealing series."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
    "Novik's plots and characterizations get more intricate and plausible with each novel. . . . Novik's re-creation of much of world history based on the existence of intelligent dragons has been so well crafted that all eight books in the series are highly recommended."Booklist (starred review)

    "Novik combines dragons . . . with period history to achieve a brilliantly realized re-creation of military history laced with the fantastic. . . . Well-crafted."Library Journal
    "If you've never read these novels, now is the time to start."—io9

    "A fun, action-packed read."—San Antonio Express-News
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Part IChapter 1

    Water lapping salt at his cheek roused him, a fresh cold trickle finding its way into the hollow of sand where his face rested. It spurred him: with an effort he pushed to hands and knees and then up, to stagger indecorously along the shore and fall again at the foot of several gnarled old pines clinging to the edge of the beach.

    His mouth was dry and cracked, his tongue swollen. His hands were clotted with sand. The wind bit sharply through the sodden wool of his coat, stained black with water, and he was barefoot. Slowly, he unfastened the remnants of a leather harness from around his waist: buckles and clasps of good steel, still bright, but heavily waterlogged; he let it fall to the sand. The sword-belt he kept. The blade when he drew it was bright Damascus steel, the hilt wrapped in black ray-skin, the collar the golden head of a dragon. He stared down at it, without recognition.

    He rested it across his knees and leaned back against the tree, half-drifting. The empty ocean stood before him: water cold dark blue, the sky a thin grey; dark clouds receded into the east. He might have emerged onto the sand new-born. He felt as empty as the shore: of strength, of history, of name.

    Thirst at last drove him onwards, when little else would have served to rouse him. The stand of trees gave onto a road, well-maintained and showing the signs of heavy use, recent tracks and disturbed dust. He walked slowly and mechanically until he found a narrow stream that crossed the road, traveling towards the sea, and he stopped and cupped water into his mouth urgently until the taste of salt had gone.

    He held himself braced on hands and knees, water dripping from his face into the stream. The bank had a little new grass, though the ground was still cold. There was a smell in the air of pine-needles, and the stream ran over the rocks in a steady gurgle, mingling with the more distant sound of the ocean, the scent of salt on the wind. He felt inwardly the sense of something urgent and forgotten like a weight on his back. But his trembling arms slowly gave way. He lay down on the grass of the riverbank where he had knelt to drink and fell again into a heavy torpor; his head ached dully.

    The sun climbed, warmed his coat. Travelers went past on the nearby road. He was distantly aware of the jingle of harness and slap of walking feet, the occasional creak of cart wheels, but none of them stopped to bother him or even halted by the stream. A small party of men went by singing off-key, loudly and cheerfully, not in any tongue he knew. At last a larger company came, accompanied by the familiar creaking of an old-fashioned sedan-chair. Some confused corner of his mind offered the image of an older woman, borne by porters through London streets, but even as it came he knew it wrong.

    The creaking stopped abruptly; a voice spoke from the chair: a clear tenor with the directness of authority. Prudence would have driven him to his feet, but he had no reserves of strength. In a moment, someone came to inspect him--a servant of some kind? He had some vague impression of a youth bending down over him, but not so low that the face came clear.

    The servant paused, and then withdrew quickly to his master and spoke urgently in a clear young voice. There was another pause, and then the master spoke again in yet another tongue, one which he could not put a name to and nevertheless somehow understood: a rising and falling speech, musical. "I will not evade the will of Heaven. Tell me."

    "He is Dutch," the servant answered in that same language, reluctance clear in every word.

    He might have raised his head to speak--he was not Dutch,...

About the Author-

  • Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, and Blood of Tyrants, the first eight volumes of the Temeraire series. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award and has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, as well as the Locus Award for Best New Writer and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of the graphic novel Will Supervillains Be on the Final?

    Fascinated with both history and legends, Novik is a first-generation American raised on Polish fairy tales and stories of Baba Yaga. Her own adventures include pillaging degrees in English literature and computer science from various ivory towers, designing computer games, and helping to build the Archive of Our Own for fanfiction and other fanworks. Novik is a co-founder of the Organization for Transformative Works.

    She lives in New York City with her husband, Charles Ardai, the founder of Hard Case Crime, and their daughter, Evidence, surrounded by an excessive number of purring computers.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 3, 2013
    Novik’s eighth and penultimate alternate history novel (after Crucible of Gold) opens with series hero Laurence shipwrecked and taken prisoner in Japan in an extended tribute to Shogun. His reunion with Temeraire, his dragon companion, is awkward, as Laurence has suffered a head injury and entirely forgotten the past several years. As Laurence struggles to regain his health and memories, they journey to Temeraire’s native China for some court intrigue, then fly to Russia to confront Napoleon’s invading army. While each episode works well on its own, the ties between them are tenuous, leading to a less satisfying whole. Surprisingly, the amnesia plot is the highlight of the book; Laurence reflects movingly on how very strange his life has become, while often-self-absorbed Temeraire is humbled by Laurence’s sacrifices on his behalf. Despite the fast pace, Novik does fit in some interesting scenery, with glimpses of a Japan ruled by dragons and Temeraire’s discovery that dragons can be as corrupt and oppressive as any man. Fans will mostly find their appetites whetted for the series conclusion. Agent: Cynthia Manson, Cynthia Manson Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from July 1, 2013
    Eighth and penultimate entry (Crucible of Gold, 2012, etc.) in Novik's historical fantasy series that presents the Napoleonic wars as a global conflict whose armed forces include intelligent dragons. Washed ashore alone in Japan, William Laurence finds he has no memory of the last eight years. He recalls captaining a royal navy vessel, but, puzzlingly, he wears an aviator's green jacket. As the guest, or prisoner, of a local lord who serves Lady Arikawa, he finds that he can speak Chinese--a fact that makes the isolationist Japanese all the more suspicious. Laurence escapes, but, oddly, Lady Arikawa--she turns out to be a powerful dragon--makes no great effort to recapture him. Assisted by Lady Kiyomizu, a boozy water-dragon with a taste for Shakespeare, Laurence makes his way to Nagasaki, the only Japanese city that permits foreigners, where he's reunited with his companions, including his dragon partner, Temeraire, but his memories still stubbornly refuse to return. Some officers of the Aerial Corps, an astonished Laurence discovers, are women; even more surprising, he learns that he's an adopted son of the Chinese emperor and that his mission is to persuade China to join an alliance against Napoleon. Unfortunately, the Chinese court is riddled with traitors, and the British are suspected of involvement in the opium trade. Meanwhile, backed by an alliance with the powerful Incan empire, Napoleon has invaded Russia. Novik has a firm grasp of 19th-century styles, sensibilities and manners. Her fantasy extrapolations of real history are both charming and realistic. She writes vivid action prose with a good feel for the fog of battle. Best of all, the dragons are characters as fully realized as the humans. A first-class entry in a remarkable and appealing series; this one's mostly independently intelligible, though newcomers will want to start from the beginning.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2013

    Washed up on the shores of Japan after a shipwreck, Capt. William Laurence has no memory of his mission nor does he remember his intelligent dragon mount Temeraire. Instead, he finds himself in a precarious position, especially as the Japanese desire to limit their contact with Europe. The penultimate novel in Novik's beloved series (His Majesty's Dragon) takes dragon and aviator to the brink of Napoleon's campaign into the Russian interior after an exploration of the mysterious lands of the Far East. VERDICT Novik combines dragons--a popular theme in fantasy--with period history to achieve a brilliantly realized re-creation of military history laced with the fantastic. Series fans as well as followers of the similarly timed Napoleonic sea novels of Patrick O'Brian should appreciate this well-crafted historical fantasy.

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A first-class entry in a remarkable and appealing series."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Novik's plots and characterizations get more intricate and plausible with each novel. . . . Novik's re-creation of much of world history based on the existence of intelligent dragons has been so well crafted that all eight books in the series are highly recommended."
  • Library Journal "Novik combines dragons . . . with period history to achieve a brilliantly realized re-creation of military history laced with the fantastic. . . . Well-crafted."
  • San Antonio Express-NewsPraise for Naomi Novik and her Novels of Temeraire "If you've never read these novels, now is the time to start."--io9 "A fun, action-packed read."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "Novik's influences run the gamut from Jane Austen to Patrick O'Brian, with a side trip through Anne McCaffrey. Her books are completely involving and probably addictive, their central conceit explored in clever detail with a great deal of wit and historical insight."
  • Peter Jackson "These are beautifully written novels: not only fresh, original, and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart."
  • Entertainment Weekly "A gripping adventure full of rich detail and the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy."
  • The New York Times "A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon."
  • SF Reviews "A glorious series whose future status as a genre classic is now assured."

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