Review: Blood of Tyrants

Blood of Tyrants
Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was generously donated by Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra for review.

This book begins with Laurence and Temeraire having separate adventures in Japan. This is because prior to the beginning of this book, Laurence has been shipwrecked and separated from his friends. After some misadventures, Laurence and Temeraire finally rediscover one another; however, Laurence has lost his memory of his time as an aviator and does not know who Temeraire is. This memory loss causes Laurence to learn about all of his difficulties over the years all at one and then to have a conversation with Temeraire about his role in these misdeeds.

This book was like a breath of fresh air into the Temeraire series. Unlike most of the previous books that had dragon culture be at the forefront of each book and adventure/Napoleonic Wars just kind of happened, the adventure and Napoleonic Wars were the focus of the book. Although I find how difference cultures view dragons, this series is about the Napoleonic Wars, so I was excited for Temeraire and company to fight the French.

I must admit that I really like the interactions between Laurence with no memory with the other characters. I especially liked seeing how Laurence felt about all of his misadventures over the last several years without the influence of Temeraire's opinions (I feel like Laurence indulged Temeraire a bit much at times). I also enjoyed watching Laurence squirm when he thought a certain midshipman was related to him.

My one critique of the book was regarding how the book was put together. At times the book felt a bit choppy and seemed to jump quickly from one scene to another. I read an ARC; however, so this may have been cleaned up in the final edition. Also, the last 1/3-1/4 of the book felt like it should have been a separate book altogether. The book didn't end with its typical big battle scene and Laurence and the gang take off for a completely different locale. I wonder if Novik was told to finish up the series, and therefore was forced to condense an entire book into 100 pages.

Overall, this was a fun book. I cannot wait for the final installment of the Temeraire series.

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