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His Majesty's Dragon and the Dragons of Pern
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 6666
Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:25 pm    Post subject: Throne of Jade Reply with quote

OK, so I said what little I thought about "His Majesty's Dragon" and stand by it. I did finish it, though, and found Naomi Novic made kind of short work of the final battle. But that's OK, at least she didn't make the French look too bad. Actually she made them look brave, though I don't think they would have retreated the way they did, but I understand she had to have the Brits win the battle. This is not a spoiler as any reader would know, the hero being English, the day had to go to the Brits. super grin

Oh, Laure, btw, we do find out that Temeraire is NOT a Chinese Imperial dragon after all. He's something slightly different, I'll let you find out when you get to it, if you haven't already.

So, all in all, it was with a bit of doubt that I started "Throne of Jade" and you know what, I was very pleasantly surprised. I got hooked and read 150 pages in one and a half days. The storyline is much better and, to my surprise, Ms. Novik at least knows how Chinese names are composed (last name first), so the Chinese names she has for Temeraire and his father are semantically correct. She even knows that "Lung" (it's spelled "Long" in Vietnamese) means "dragon". Wonders never cease.

Her writing style has improved a bit too, though it still reads like an American trying to write British English, but slipping up from time to time with spelling ("honor" or "honour") and grammar ("we should..." or "we would..."), etc. She got some British editors this time, but they didn't catch all the americanisms or anachronisms.

To be continued...
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: The Téméraire series Reply with quote

Laure, you never did tell me whether your book had pictures of dragons or not. In all 3 books I have, there's always an appendix with info on dragons, but pics in only the first one.

I finished the second one, "Throne of Jade", which I liked very much but shall not comment more at this time lest I be accused of giving you spoilers.

I have started the third one, "Black Powder War" - looks promising. The worst one is the first one, I'm glad I had ordered three at one go, or I wouldn't have persevered. But now I find it's good that I did.

I still maintain that Asian dragons shouldn't have wings. I have a mind to write Naomi Novik about it, but I don't really have time to waste over it. Though I'd be curious to see if she actually saw depictions of winged Asian dragons. Too bad our Dragon expert on CoS (apart from you Laure), V-8, never joined us. She has an impressive collection of dragon pictures in her Photobucket account. And, being Chinese, she would know if there is actually winged dragon breeds in China. I'm positive there are not in Vietnam.

I also still think Laurence is annoying as the doting "parent" and that Téméraire is a spoiled brat of a dragon. Laurence's prudishness, though, can sometimes be amusing. Granby is growing on me.
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Laurelluin



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: HIS Majesty's Dragon Reply with quote

Because I decided to stay out of this thread until I've finished the book, because spoilers. Yes, relating the scene about Captain Harcourt's concert experience is a spoiler. I've read it now, but I'm glad I didn't read your post about it until afters.

And now, since you're reading Throne of Jade and planning to read Black Powder War, I still can't read the thread because...spoilers. I just ain't reading as fast as Lady Dragon, and am still 20-30 pages from the end of the first book.

I agree that Laurance is sexist and classist, but if he weren't he'd be an anachronism himself. That's just the way 18th-19th century British noblemen were raised, and military men were probably the most sexist of all.

And yes, I found the pictures. very happy
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:46 pm    Post subject: The Téméraire series Reply with quote

I copied this here, it's a better place for the discussion than the "Books you've read lately" thread.

Quote:
Emmanuel wrote:
Laurelluin wrote:
*Is also reading Her Majesty's Dragon*

Most recent bit was where Laurence got lucky. Dze

Pardon me, but it's "His Majesty". I can't remember who was King of England when Napoleon was Emperor of France, but it wasn't Victoria yet, not by a long shot. super grin


My bad. I know this, but somehow I keep saying it this way. Maybe it's a subconscious attempt to subvert the rampant sexism in the book? Not a thing I can do about the classism, though.

Quote:
Laurence got lucky how? Judging by the emoticon use, maybe it was when he spent the night with Jane? Heheheh. super grin


Well, yes. I thought the horny old goat was a good one for that bleh

Yes, in Vietnamese, a womanizer is called a "goat", and when he's courting, "goat" becomes a verb, he "goats" the woman (women) he covets. That emoticon also was made by the Vietscape guy who made my dragon, and a number of other smilies we pre-empted, LOL.

ArryGrotter also pinched some of our smilies for his site, but that's OK, I pinched some of his too, except neither X or I can figure out how to make them into smilies on AV... We did that before, and now neither of us can manage it. Weird.

Anyway, back to the Téméraire series, I'm not going to say anything more, except that after the third book, I don't think I'll go on reading the series.

Laure, you're right about Laurence being sexist, a social snob and a prude is a reflection of the time he lives in. Once you've done reading the first 3 books, I'll tell you what my favourite scenes, those I find his prudishness the funniest, are.

I still don't like either him or Temeraire. I think my two favourite characters are Lt. John Granby and Emily Roland. She's a cute and spunky kid, and this is no spoiler because you already read about her. shameless grin

Glad you found the pictures. Very Happy
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:19 pm    Post subject: Captain Laurence's sexism Reply with quote

Is really annoying me!

Not only does he call his officers, male and female, "Gentlemen", but he also addresses the female runner, Emily, as "Mr. Roland". Drives me nuts!! very upset

Mind you, I think in Canada they do the same, or at least they did in that series, "Due South", about a Mountie, who addressed his woman superior officer as "Sir" instead of "Ma'am". That drove me nuts too! In the US militaary, female officers are addressed as "Ma'am".

In French we don't have the problem, since officers are addressed by rank, "Lieutenant", "Captain", "Colonel", etc.
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Wildflower



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:41 pm    Post subject: Another Alternate History series with Dragons Reply with quote

Browsing through Amazon in search of what to read next - I'd decided not to go on with the Téméraire series after the third book, though I may change my mind, more about that later - I discovered that Harry Turtledove, whose Guns of the South (alternate history where the South wins the US Civil War) I enjoyed tremendously, has also written another series called "World at War". It's an alternate history of WW2, with dragons fighting in it. This sounds promising.

Quite a change from the South winning the Civil War thanks to some South African time-travelers who supply the Confederacy with AK 47's (that's the premise of Guns of the South).

Like Naomi Novik with her Alternate Napoleonic Wars series, Turtledove's research is first-rate. All the characters, down to the last enlisted soldier in both armies, are based on real-life characters, black and white.

So now I think I may try this WW2 with dragons burning down cities next... Very Happy
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Last edited by Wildflower on Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: The Temeraire series Reply with quote

Laure, for your sake, I blanked out something that could be a spoiler. The rest is innocuous enough so you can read the post. super grin

I'm now 30 pages to the end of the third book. While both Laurence and Temeraire still annoy me no end, especially with some story-lines reminiscent of something Elf-related in the Harry Potter books, I couldn't help being impressed by the level of historical research that Naomi Novik went through to rewrite the Napoleonic campaigns of 1806 - the height of Napoleon's conquest of Europe.

Being French, and a Bonapartist to boot (despite Napoléon being one of the worst sexist legislators and womanizer of all times) I of course enjoyed it a lot, and it's obvious that Naomi Novik also admires Napoleon for his military genius. I looked up the real-life battles of Jena (Iéna in French) and Auerstadt and was struck by how close the author stuck to how it went in reality, and also, like Harry Turtledove, how she puts characters in who really existed - kings, queens, generals, marshalls, etc. Threw the dragons into the mix for great fun.

I also thought that if she was going to follow history, we'd come to Waterloo in less than a decade or a couple of books, and I don't really want to read that from an English point of view. We already had Trafalgar in the first book, and that was enough.

But a look on Amazon showed that actually the fourth book takes place in Africa, and one later book in Australia! She'll be tackling issues like slavery (which Turtledove also does) and colonialism, and that could be interesting.

So I'm still making up my mind whether I'm going to order the next books in the series or not.

Laure, have you finished the first book yet? IMO it's the least entertaining of the three I've read.
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Laurelluin



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: My library books are due next week! Reply with quote

Calamarilla,

I have finished the body of the first book, and read a little of Sir Edward's notes on dragon breeds. I am not currently seeking further books in this series, I've got other things I want to read right now already checked out from the library and not finding much time to read them! I have five books due next week, and I think I'm on about page 80 of the first one. shameless grin

So not looking for Throne of Jade, though I might read it someday if I remember. Reading the Tairen Soul series right now, then the third book of a trilogy by Storm Constantine. I'd read the first three books of Tairen Soul a few years back, before the fourth book was published, so am revisiting it.

I've never read any Turtledove, either, but WWII with dragons could be fun. I have read historical fiction on WWII, mostly about Christians helping Jews to escape the holocaust. Napoleon I know next to nothing about, and even Sage is very little help because he doesn't know much either. The two world wars of the twentieth century, and the Civil War of the US he has read stacks and stacks about and rarely finds a book with something he didn't already read about from several authors. But Napoleon, not so much. Maybe because he's mostly an American history buff, and the USA didn't get involved in Europe in that war.

I'm not even sure I'll read the appendices of His Majesty's Dragon, as it's rather dry reading! We'll see if I get back around to it before the due date.

Thank you for whiting out the spoiler from book three. Smile
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Lyanna



Joined: 12 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reading Reply with quote

Changing usernames here, to avoid having practically all of the page covered with Wildflower posts. super grin

Aah, too bad you have other books to read, Laure. I'd have liked to discuss the other two Téméraire books with you. They are really a lot better than the first one. But I'm going to give the series a rest (Téméraire's spoilt brat personality really does annoy me, and the other campaign he embarks on too. Laurence as the doting parent also gets on my nerves.)

I agree with you about the appendices, I skipped them all. In the third book, the appendix is an essay on Dragons and Mathematics, of all things... Rolling Eyes

Does Sage read science (or in this case political) fiction? If he does, I'm sure he'd enjoy Harry Turtledove's "alternate history" books. I've only read one, and I was very favourably impressed. I'm going to order more, trying to make up my mind whether to go with WW1 (where the USA allies with Germany while the Confederacy allies with France and Britain in this view of history) or with WW2 (where Chamberlain never signed the Munich treaty and Hitler went to war earlier than in the real history). Turtledove has written so many Alternate History books and series, there're too many of those to choose from.

Anyway, it's certainly a change from Harry Potter! Or Pern. The only common element being dragons... shameless grin
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Laurelluin



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Sage? Read alternate history? don't make me laugh... Reply with quote

Sage doesn't read fiction. Full stop.

He doesn't like non-fiction that reads like a story, even. He likes documentaries, pure factual accounts based off of journals, diaries, news reports etc.

He also reads tradesman magazines based off his hobbies and his career: racecar magazines, hunting and fishing magazines.

And he reads newspapers, and the Bible. I did manage to persuade him to read the Fellowship of the Ring once, but he never went on to read the Two Towers.

So. Sage reads non-fiction only, and usually only history. He likes WWII best; I think a big part of that is that his father was a fighter pilot flying air raids over Germany. But I don't know why he doesn't like stories. My daughter thinks he's lost his imagination. Sad
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In a ring of stone, on a plain of bone
The Oracular Stone
The never-empty cauldron
The Turning Tower
The three trials, The three Terrors
The Bard who plays the Night into Song
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