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Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik
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Blood of Tyrants

by Naomi Novik

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This is the eighth book in a fantasy series featuring Captain William Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire. We first meet them in [b:His Majesty's Dragon|28876|His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)|Naomi Novik|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1376392909s/28876.jpg|726205] which begins during the Napoleonic Wars where Laurence captures a French ship with a valuable dragon’s egg. When a dragon’s egg hatches, the young dragon needs to imprint on an aviator who then becomes responsible for his new charge.

In this book Laurence and his companions have been shipwrecked in Japan. Laurence is presumed dead by everyone except Temeraire. Eventually they are reunited but Laurence has amnesia and can't remember a thing from the last eight years which includes his time with Temeraire. The book then takes to China and Russia, where the team continues their quest for social justice.

As usual, Naomi Novik does a fantastic job of making the dragons incredibly three dimensional. The battle scenes are thrilling and you'll want your own dragon after meeting Temeraire. This series can be hit or miss and, in my opinion, the last couple have been "miss". This book was a solid hit for me and sets up the ninth and final volume of the saga, [b:League of Dragons|20404555|League of Dragons (Temeraire, #9)|Naomi Novik|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1438976920s/20404555.jpg|28914655]. I hope I don't need Kleenex. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
Blood of Tyrants is the eighth and penultimate book in the Temeraire series. I enjoyed it equally as much as the previous books, although a little more unevenly. I was fully engrossed for the first 75% or so, but I occasionally felt restless toward the end.

Some of the early events, though occasionally frustrating, really highlighted Laurence’s character growth throughout the series, and Temeraire’s too. I was also happy to see my favorite secondary character show back up.

This book doesn’t exactly end on a cliff hanger, but it did feel a little less wrapped-up than the previous books, setting the stage for the final events coming up next. I look forward to finding out how the series ends. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Jul 22, 2017 |
Part II and III excellent; Part I can be skipped (angst-y wandering around with amnesia in Japan without seemingly to fit into storyline at all unless the next book in series makes some unlikely use of it). ( )
  Spurts | May 24, 2017 |
I love this alternative history fantasy series and I am rather sad that I have only one more book to go. This is a great series to listen to as audiobooks because Simon Vance is the narrator and he is extraordinary.

When we last heard from Temeraire and Captain Laurence, in The Crucible of Gold, they were in South America. This outing starts off in Japan, then moves to China and then to Russia. In Japan the dragon transport ship foundered on some rocks during a storm and Captain Laurence was swept overboard. Temeraire was distraught to find Laurence missing from the ship but it was thought inadvisable for the dragon to go searching for him since Japan at that time was not open to Europeans. Instead he and the other dragons were put to work leveraging the ship off the rocks. During this exercise Temeraire was severely injured and the ship moved off to the port of Nagasaki which was the only place Europeans were allowed to land. Meanwhile Laurence has been found and sheltered by a Japanese magistrate but because it is against the law to have Europeans in that part of Japan his host is in deep trouble. Laurence leaves in the company of one of the magistrate's retainer, Junchiro, and makes his way across the island to Nagasaki. After a near miss Laurence and Temeraire are reunited and Temeraire is able to show Laurence the egg that Iskierka has produced which resulted from Temeraire mating with her. Laurence has a very hard time coping with this reunion because he has lost his memory of the last 8 years since he found Temeraire's egg. The ship then moves on to China where Laurence is reintroduced to the royal court. He manages to foil an assassination of the Crown Prince which was hatched by some disgruntled court officials. The attempt has been made to look as though it was a British plot. Laurence and the rest of the English with the dragons are requested to ascertain if the British are smuggling opium into China. After uncovering another plot to discredit the British Laurence is reunited with Tenzing Tharkay who brought news of Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Laurence is in good standing with the Chinese so they allow him to take 300 Chinese dragons to Russia to aid in the fight against Napoleon.

Just one more book to go! ( )
  gypsysmom | Apr 27, 2017 |
Kicking off with a trope I hate (amnesia: the best way to spin out a story that has run out of steam, yes?), Tyrants pushes on with the latter-series focus of going Around the World in 80 Dragons.

At least half the novel feels like filler, rather than a meaningful contribution to plot and/or character arcs. It also reminds me of my core concern when I first started reading Temeraire: I don't remotely like military novels of any persuasion. The final act (the Russian campaign against Napoleon) was hard going, and leaves me awfully close to cheering for Napoleon as I honestly can't see much to celebrate about any of his opponents. Frankly, I don't care HOW hard Murat considered his actions at the end there; I'd give him a medal.

For what it's worth, I enjoyed the interlude in China - if that had been expanded to fill the whole book, I'd have been mostly happy. Instead, I was mostly bored, which isn't a great recommendation. Although I guess at least this one didn't make me furious, so that's a thing.

Full review ( )
  imyril | Apr 15, 2017 |
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To Cynthia Manson, my amazing agent and friend,
with much love and gratitude.
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Water lapping salt at his cheek roused him, a fresh cold trickle finding its way into the hollow of sand where his face rested.
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Shipwrecked and cast ashore in Japan with no memory of Temeraire or his own experiences as an English aviator, Capt. William 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.… (more)

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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