Blood Charged is the third installation in Lindsay Buroker's ongoing Dragon Blood saga of light steampunk novellas that increasingly turn into fullfleBlood Charged is the third installation in Lindsay Buroker's ongoing Dragon Blood saga of light steampunk novellas that increasingly turn into fullfledged - fullwinged? - novels. We meet again a gaggle of beloved characters from the previous two books, Balanced on the Blade's Edge and Deathmaker, as well as get introduced to three new characters(view spoiler)[, not all of which make it through to the end (hide spoiler)]. The book is fastpaced, albeit more action- than character driven this time, and combines elements of fantasy, steampunk, quest, and military scifi with a whiff of romance and Ms. Buroker's trademark brand of humor and technological quirks. It is a fast reading, entertaining book. However, also the first book in this series that clearly is part of a series, as in a lot of threads are left to continue and quite some events and characterization quirks esp. in the first half of the book have yet to be picked up and put to use. Or at least be explained somehow. (view spoiler)[I don't want to believe that Col. Thugly is that much of an unbalanced ass without a reason beyond that readers ought to dislike him soundly! (hide spoiler)] So, if you liked the previous books in this series: Go. Grab it. It'll be a nice way to spend a weekend. If you don't know the previous books: You'd like to start with them, otherwise you're going to have a lot more question marks in your head than needed to enjoy the story. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The title roughly translates as "Powers of Fire", but unfortunately there's no official English translation of the book that I'm aware of. Markus HeitzThe title roughly translates as "Powers of Fire", but unfortunately there's no official English translation of the book that I'm aware of. Markus Heitz is a rather popular German fantasy author with a clear writing style and a knack for underlying humor in his characters. He's wrote - among other things - books starring Ork soldiers as the heroes and a six novel high fantasy series about politically warring kingdoms in a magical world: "Ulldart" (which is actually also a good read, though not a breathtaking one). 8book: Die Mächte des Feuers] plays in an alternate 1925 with a lot of attention put into both the feeling and background of the time. For centuries the world was secretly ruled by powerful dragons, who catered to political conflicts, wars and rebellions to further their own purpose of "keeping control over their prey and slaves". But there are huge advances in technology at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century: early warplanes, zeppelins, telephones, cable wires are now all available in the fight of the officium of dragonkillers of the Catholic Church, in which the descendants of the more than 80 dragonkillers the Catholic Church recognizes as saints (fact!) are continuing the fight of their ancestors' against the dragons. The plot shows dragons as cold-hearted, conniving, highly intelligent and arrogant. Egotistical creatures of power who divided the world into personal districts and strife to maintain the status quo in a time when change was inevitable. The struggle of Saint George's last descendant, Silena, and a dragon who wants to take more than his share is highly entertaining and morbidly fascinating. I really hope Mr. Heitz continues this tale! It certainly has a unique setting, for once a tough heroine who still fits into "The Roaring Twenties" the story is supposed to play in, and a nicely alternative view of the Western dragons - away from the bloodthirsty beasts, who just sit around on their gold....more
Naomi Novik's books combine the style and charme of some of the best historical navy adventure series I've read -- like the Hornblower books - with thNaomi Novik's books combine the style and charme of some of the best historical navy adventure series I've read -- like the Hornblower books - with the idea of dragons being raised, used - and at least in the Western countries: exploited - for fast transport and warfare. Her tale begins in alternate 1806 when an English sea captain finds a dragon egg onboard of a raided French warship. The dragon soon afterwards hedges and forms a solid bond with him, effectively forcing him to leave behind the navy and enter the less-than-well-perceived Dragon Corps of his Majesty together with his new "partner": a dragon of an unidentified species, but with - compared to the average Western dragon - superior curiosity and intelligence. This book, together with its first sequel, actually gobbled up most of my last Friday and a good part of the night to Saturday, making me do my weekend grocery shopping in a state of near-sleepwalking, but the idea of putting it aside and continue the next day was just ridiculous, and I'm eagerly awaiting the third book in this series. It's German version is scheduled for October. I highly recommend them - especially if you have at least a day free. ;)...more
Rachel Hartman's Seraphina is one of those books that start slow and then increasingly worm their way (pardon the pun) into your mind with an utterlyRachel Hartman's Seraphina is one of those books that start slow and then increasingly worm their way (pardon the pun) into your mind with an utterly compelling, multi-layered, multi-faceted, and unique world building. The human society seems inspired by the Renaissance, but without taking any real world setting one on one. However, the world building doesn't end there, but also explores dragon society - or should I say dragon societies? - which not only is decidedly different but apparently in parts technologically more advanced. (view spoiler)[For example, the dragons possess technological communications gear with functions similar to mobile phones as wearables when in they're in human form. (hide spoiler)]. Forty years ago, Seraphina's country and the ardmagar of the dragons formed a peace treaty, allowing coexistence (including diplomatic hassles on all sides!) of dragons, dragons, and humans. Basically, everything happening now is based on this event and the wanted and unwanted opportunities it created, down to the heroine's very own life and talent. The story is one of music and talent, fear, shame, prejudice, courage, love, and finding one's way in a society that is changing a lot faster than its rulers understood it would based on their decisions. It is written in fluent, beautifully worded language that adds depth not only to the feeling and the setup of the story, but to the reading experience itself. So many books these days are written in simple prose, only retelling but not immersing into their tale. In that regard, Seraphina stands positively out. It is also one of the few examples of limited first person perspective being skillfully used to further the reading experience instead of escaping description. In all these aspects above, it is a straight out five star book, highly recommended to spend your time on! I most certainly hope for a continuation of the plot! I absolutely want to know how their tale continues!
That said, I have to explain the four (rather than a five) star rating given, unfortunately, this does not work spoilerfree, so decide yourself if you want to know more about dragon technology / philosophy or not prior your reading experience.
(view spoiler)[The dragons, when taking their human form and living in human cities, use sophisticated technology developed for the -compared to dragon bodies- limited human body. Technology forbidden to the less advanced humans around them. But when they are in their dragon form, they are described entirely in terms of the highly intelligent blundering beasts of lore, living in caves, hoarding gold, shitting -albeit fastidiously- in the woods.
The dragons developed their ability to take human form a long time ago to allow for research and the gathering of knowledge, resulting in their mastery of the intricate communication (and I assume other) devices helping them in human form. And in all that time they didn't think about adapting this technology for use with their dragon form? They don't take advantage of it in war, when they're attacked by what amounts to Medieval knights with flame throwers?
Fastidious and nitpicky as they're described they still just shit in a valley or pothole instead of devising a dragon-sized water closet? They limit themselves to technological marvel only useful in their human form, a shape the ardmagar, the very instigator of the peace treaty, didn't use for years!? No hoard with central heating, automatic cataloging of the content, electronic alarms against thieves, and properly sized amenities?
Once this occurred to me about halfway through the book, I hoped for an explanation - or at least a hint of that "logical crack" being acknowledged - maybe as part of the dragons' philosophy regarding staying close to their very nature or something like that, but it wasn't addressed at all, and given that we get glimpses of dragon society through dragon eyes (albeit in memory), there would have been ample opportunity to do so. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is the 3rd book of Thea Harrison's Elder Races series of books and I found it funny and enjoyable. Dragon Bound (book 1) and esp. Storm's Heart (This is the 3rd book of Thea Harrison's Elder Races series of books and I found it funny and enjoyable. Dragon Bound (book 1) and esp. Storm's Heart (book 2) feel a little more balanced, but given that gryphon's are creatures of the in between, even that might be acceptable. Besides, when was the last time you saw a Pomeranian pee on a gryphon's boot, eh? I'm definitely looking forward to book 4 and the fate of the Oracle (and a certain Djinn, hm?)...more
Stellen sie sich eine Liaison zwischen den zwei gegensätzlichsten mythischen Geschöpfen als Wer-wesen vor, einem Drachen und einem... (wird nicht verrStellen sie sich eine Liaison zwischen den zwei gegensätzlichsten mythischen Geschöpfen als Wer-wesen vor, einem Drachen und einem... (wird nicht verrraten, lesen sie selbst)!
Das Buch ist witzig und aktionreich vor einem überraschend detailliert und stimmig ausgearbeitetem Hintergrund.
Wer Mary Janice Davidson's Bücher mit etwas weniger Selbstanalyse (und mehr Aktion) mag, sollte von dieser Serie begeistert sein....more
The short story starts with an interesting idea and trope, namely the last descendant of St. George being chosen as sacrifical virgin for the dragon pThe short story starts with an interesting idea and trope, namely the last descendant of St. George being chosen as sacrifical virgin for the dragon protector of a village. Sadly, the story did use little of the potential for drama, humor, and chaos given in its initial setting and instead just drowned the last two chapters in sex. Nicely written sex, yes, but a more flesh-out version of plot would have served the idea better....more