Blood of Tyrants : Temeraire

  • by Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: Temeraire
  • 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 21st-century classic. From the first volume, His Majesty's Dragon, listeners 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Setting Up for the Grand Finale

Bottom line: If you have come this far in the Temeraire series, you will definitely want to grab Blood of Tyrants and you will enjoy much of it. This series is one that must be read in order and if you haven't started it, I recommend it as wonderful alternate history fantasy - start with His Majesty's Dragon.

This is not the best book in the series - actually, I'd say it is the weakest. But if you have gotten to book 8, you have probably come to love these characters as I have and spending time with them again is enormous fun in spite of a rather frantic inconclusive plot line for this edition. Laurence's amnesia that begins the book is silly, but does serve as a reminder not only of past events in the series (catching us up for the home stretch I guess) as Laurence slowly recovers, but also calls up one of the central elements that makes this series truly grand. The walk down memory lane recalls the moral/ethical development of both Temeraire who started his life as a blank slate and Laurence who started the series with a moral code externally dictated by his station, government, and culture. Watching Temeraire and Laurence both grow in the development of personal conscience and understanding of the the other's perspective has been a delight and has made this series special in the world of fantasy. (In addition to having the best dragons since Pern!)

Novik takes her human/dragon duo to Japan, China, and Russia in this installment of the Napoleonic wars as fought with dragons. However, in spite of an inordinate number of skirmishes and all-out battles in this book, the over-arching plot line is little advanced, the Laurence/Temeraire relationship is only explored from the past (because of the hokey amnesia thing) with little opportunity for the two to grow as they have in previous episodes, and the book has a rather graceless ending with everything up in the air.

Although Blood of Tyrants seems to be mostly a set-up for the Grand Finale of the Temeraire series, I still really enjoyed it and recommend it to all Temeraire fans. A little time with not only our heroic duo, but also some fun moments with clever Emily, long-suffering Granby, and the hilarious, narcissistic Iskierka, in addition to the ever-so-fabulous voices of Simon Vance makes this a good listen. I think and hope Novik is prepping us for a really great conclusion.
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- Tango "Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres."

What on earth was she thinking?

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Amnesia? Really? I was ready to roll with it. But after a couple of chapters of it I was done with it. There is nothing new about the style of the amnesia and it feels like a device, almost from the outset, to create drama for drama's sake. It seemed awfully convenient that Lawrence just happened to forget everything just up to the time he met Temeraire and became an aviator. Poppycock, it was just too blaringly obvious. I found myself struggling through part 2 of the book.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final third of the book was by far the best

Was Blood of Tyrants worth the listening time?

Not on the whole, but I do love the last part.

Any additional comments?

Just stay away from Amnesia people. It's just so stale of a literary device and is dreadfully hard to pull off with any class. Naomi Novik, you're better than this.

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- ERICK "Hayden729"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-19-2013
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio