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Publisher's Summary

A dazzling blend of military history, high-flying fantasy, and edge-of-your-seat adventure, Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels, set in an alternate Napoleonic era in which intelligent dragons have been harnessed as weapons of war, are more than just perennial bestsellers—they are a worldwide phenomenon. Now, in Tongues of Serpents, Naomi Novik is back, along with the dragon Temeraire and his rider and friend, Capt. Will Laurence.
Convicted of treason despite their heroic defense against Napoleon’s invasion of England, Temeraire and Laurence—stripped of rank and standing—have been transported to the prison colony at New South Wales in distant Australia, where, it is hoped, they cannot further corrupt the British Aerial Corps with their dangerous notions of liberty for dragons. Temeraire and Laurence carry with them three dragon eggs intended to help establish a covert in the colony and destined to be handed over to such second-rate, undesirable officers as have been willing to accept so remote an assignment—including one former acquaintance, Captain Rankin, whose cruelty once cost a dragon its life.
Nor is this the greatest difficulty that confronts the exiled dragon and rider: Instead of leaving behind all the political entanglements and corruptions of the war, Laurence and Temeraire have instead sailed into a hornet’s nest of fresh complications. For the colony at New South Wales has been thrown into turmoil after the overthrow of the military governor, one William Bligh—better known as Captain Bligh, late of HMS Bounty. Bligh wastes no time in attempting to enlist Temeraire and Laurence to restore him to office, while the upstart masters of the colony are equally determined that the new arrivals should not upset a balance of power precariously tipped in their favor.
Dragon tales: don't miss the rest of the Temeraire series.
©2010 Temeraire, LLC (P)2010 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"The characters are as riveting as ever, the setting is new but convincing, and the plot, with its first-class balancing of Laurence's and Temeraire's internal and external struggles, shows Novik's continued excellence as a novelist." ( Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Joel on 10-04-10


I've loved the series thus far, but this book just bored me to sleep. It's like getting your high school report card back..."So much potential, if he'd just use it". It's like during the planning out the book, they diagramed it, put in the "hooks," then handed it off to a ghost writer who wrote the bland "between the scenes" and never got around to actually doing anything with the hooks.

I'm hoping the next one restores my faith, because it really is a great series to this point.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Skipper on 09-18-14

Epic Egg Hunt, Outback Style

Besides the superb narration, the best thing about this book is Kulangili / Demane and Temeraire / Laurence. Also, an incredibly vivid lightning storm and the wildfire. And such gruesome sea serpents!

But too much bickering among the characters as they trekked across Australia. Traversing the Blue Mountains, the valleys, and the outback from Sydney to Ayers Rock and hence to the northern coast, humans and dragons grew so tiresomely nasty. Ugh. Caesar deserves Rankin. Even little Sipho was a jerk, and Emily Roland.

But I love the valiant, long-suffering Temeraire.

The pacing is slow. Meandering. Chasing smugglers and thieves across the outback. Easter egg hunt gone Aussie.

Also, too many scenes involved the bunyip, or kianpraty, a large man-eating creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. Cool tunnels and trap doors, though.

I wanted a better sense of Captain Laurence and Tem coming to terms with their exile. But there are some good conversations and thoughts about this watershed. I wanted more scenes at their new homestead, building a life together.

I chuckled when Caesar hatched. Great scene with Rankin!

I have a soft spot for Forthing; as a homeless orphan boy, he slept in the dragon coverts to keep warm.

Five stars for narration by Simon Vance.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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