I think it's an amazing read. Wonderfully written, amazingly balanced, fantastically paced, and lovingly worded. It's probably the best modern fantasy...moreI think it's an amazing read. Wonderfully written, amazingly balanced, fantastically paced, and lovingly worded. It's probably the best modern fantasy that I've come across - twisting the Disney and Grimm Brothers in such a way that make it feel like something unique and familiar at the same time. Needless to say, I love this book. The ending was the ending that I think epitomizes a fairy tale: bittersweet. One half Narnia, one half reality, spiced with just enough hope to give it sweetness without sappiness. Wonderful, wonderful book.(less)
One quote from the book that I particularly cared for: “I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable t...moreRating: 4 paws
One quote from the book that I particularly cared for: “I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable to sleep on.”
Summary of the book in one sentence: Capt. Will Laurence unexpectedly becomes the partner of a particularly intelligent dragon, and the training of both of them into the strange new world of the dragon corp. ————– First paw consists of the writing style - this is the technical aspect of the book. I’ll admit, it took me a bit of an adjustment period to get used to Novik’s writing style. While it isn’t as lyrical/poetical as some that I’ve come across, she’s certainly the kind who’s painting a word picture instead of being succinct and “just” telling a story, and I really have to be in the mood for that kind of thing. However, once I got in to her style, I found myself spell-bound and really enjoyed myself. The entire story seemed to flow, and nothing rocked me out of the world that she created. The writing was beautifully crafted.
The second paw is “emotional connection” – basically, was I *interested* in what I was reading? I have to be honest, I don’t normally go for historical fiction. Had a friend of mine not suggested that I read this, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. So, I wasn’t expecting to have quite as much connection that I did have to it. However, I was drawn in to this world, and made to care about even the tertiary characters. It was definitely the kind of world that I want to spend many many more hours in. And, fortunately, I can.
Third paw is plot – akin to writing style, but purely about The Story. While I probably would have liked it more, had I a firmer grasp on what actually happened in the Napoleonic wars/period, it’s really not necessary for the audience. Novik manages to create a world that and story that makes sense without knowing what historically happened, and makes that world come alive. While I don’t remember being thrown by any of the plot twists (okay, so, I don’t remember any plot twists at all,) I do remember that I was never bored with the book.
The last paw is “Other Stuff,” which is pretty much anything that doesn’t go into another category but is still note-worthy. Historical fiction that has DRAGONS in it. Do I really have to say anything else? Yes? Okay, how about: Historical fiction that has dragons as a realistic part of history and is a series of awesome books.(less)
I'd read this book as a teen, and remember liking it. I read it again these past two days, and I realize just how many "small things" I overlooked/did...moreI'd read this book as a teen, and remember liking it. I read it again these past two days, and I realize just how many "small things" I overlooked/didn't notice as that teenager.
Things that I noticed were the narrator's attitude toward rape - how male rape seemed to be so cavalierly rejected/made fun of. I realize that this is an old book, and at the time of it being written, the attitude toward the subject was probably "male rape doesn't happen," but still, reading it from my perspective now, it was slightly disturbing.
Another disturbing part of the narrative were all of the casual racial statements - which was odd, as the book was attempting to underline the idea of different people coming together and forming as close to a utopia as possible. Again, I realize that the way it was written then, and what's considered to be PC now is different, but from a perspective of this time period, it's a disturbing factor.
Lastly, something that I really noticed this time around was the formation of the governing body - it could easily be considered a dictatorship, and there was no missing the fact that the one governing was holding back information as he wanted. Yes, what he's forming is a utopia (hey, it's a fantasy world, utopias can happen) but it's still a dictatorship with the governing body withholding information. Something that I've been conditioned to see as "wrong."
Definitely interesting to see how my perspective has changed over the years.(less)