Posted By onefinemess on May 18, 2013
OHhhhh YOU wacky Napoleonic/Victorian dragon alt-history thing. I like you and hate you. Not quite love, because the annoying parts are really annoying (to me). The way people act drives me right fucking crazy. BUT I think it’s a setting thing, not a bad writing thing. This is pretty much the only exposure I have to the whole Victorian gentleman/woman thing, but I can already tell you that I hate it. Even dragons make it only barely tolerable. Because everyone acts like a goddam idiot.
Novak’s take on how dragons affected the cultural progress of the various countries and continents IS really fascinating and seems decently researched and thought out. I didn’t like her take on Australia (not many interesting local dragon species), but that’s a taste thing, not a quality thing.
So we started with the various European takes on dragons, then on to China, Africa and Australia and now we’re hitting South America. I would have expected North America next, but it looks like they’re heading back to China at the end of this one. With all the interminable bits of time these books spend on really slow boat travel and how terrible it was (really terrible) and how often things went wrong (always), you’d think she’d at least finish up the world tour while they were CLOSE to NA and not have to make the epic trek back later. Maybe they’ll get waylaid/derailed again…since that happens pretty much every book.
Hmm, also there are apparently only 2 more books, so I AM really curious how she’s going to work North America into this. I mean, why hit every continent but one?
I dunno. Final thoughts… a close to my ramblings? I enjoy the setting more than anything done within it, I guess. The progress of the war, the way the countries interact with each other, Novik’s take on a way to get at an earlier abolition that works within her world, the different ways in which each culture deals with its dragons (which feels convincing enough to me as a reader – although I have no idea how well they would hold up to a discerning reader with a relevant educational background), dragon breeds and interbreeds. All that stuff is great. But most of the time when someone opens their mouth …….. *shakes fist*
So, a very subjective
I think someone who likes all this Victorian bullshit would really dig these books.
Oh, and there is some off-camera dragon sex in here, followed by what really seemed to be some dragon morning sickness …