Friday, November 14, 2008

Fiction Friday: Temeraire

This is one of the best books I've read in ages, adult or YA. It had grazed my consciousness, sorta kinda, and then something brought it to my attention again. Hmmm. Think we do have a copy of that in the library. I fished it out a couple of weeks ago, and devoured it in short order, before promptly ordering the rest of the series for the school library. What's the gist? Historical fantasy: the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France, from the point of view of the British. Oh, and the military includes an aerial corps. With dragons. Excellent dragons.
It's terrific writing, great imagination, a sense of history, good storytelling. I put it in the hands of several of my keenest fantasy readers, and they've all read it fast, asked for more and are evangelising about it independently. One of them, who'd been at the top of the list, hopping from foot to foot for months waiting for Brisingr, and enjoyed that, said this was the best book he'd read in ages and ages (and where's the next one, miss?). Well done Naomi Novik.
Temeraire is the first book (also published as His Majesty's Dragon), and then follow Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles. The last only in hardback until February next year. Peter Jackson has the film rights (director of The Lord of the Rings series. Yes, him. Should be good! - but probably not for a couple of years). Naomi Novik's website is here .
The cover on the copy I had in the library is a more painterly thing, less graphic - I like these striking covers, and the kids do too. As you would have gathered, we have a building list of reservations, and they're turning over fast.
The object lesson for me - and I've made a conscious effort to read more of the YA fiction this year than last - I've always read it, of course, but this year even more - is that a) I'll make happy discoveries for myself and b) never underestimate a good book, well-recommended. I know my enthusiasm meant more than if I'd just said, what about this? without having read it myself.
Oh, and will I admit to adding these to my personal library at home?
Image source: The Book Depository .

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