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(Havemercy #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,664 ratings  ·  237 reviews
This stunning epic fantasy debut introduces two exciting new authors—and a world brimming with natural and man-made wonders, extraordinary events, and a crisis that will test the mettle of men, the boundaries of magic, and the heart and soul of a kingdom.

Thanks to its elite Dragon Corps, the capital city of Volstov has all but won the hundred years’ war with its neighborin
Mass Market Paperback, 431 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,664 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is an unholy cross between Sorcery and Cecilia and The Mirador, with little of the charm of either. The metal dragons of Volstov are on the cusp of victory in the generations long battle against the Ke-Han. During a lull in the war, the magician Royston is exciled to his family's country estates, where he falls in love with the young tutor there. Their slow building romance was quite sweet, and I actually cared about it. Not so with the relationship between Rook, a dragon jockey, and (view ...more
Clay Kallam
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
“Havemercy” (Bantam Spectra, $22, 388 pages) is puzzling from the title to the conclusion – so puzzling, in fact, that I had trouble deciding if I liked it. On reflection, I didn’t, because in the end co-authors Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett spent too much time on one problematic, improbable relationship that they resolve with a deus ex machina.

The setup is interesting: It’s an unnamed world populated by humans living along what is pretty recognizably the border between Russia and China. Russ
While it was not quite the book I was expecting, I enjoyed it a lot, maybe more than if it were a standard human/dragon book. Despite being a 400 page book, it's a very fast read and I almost did not put it down.

This book is much closer to Sarah Monette's Mirador series, though it's not as dark and explicit, and there are four main characters, rather than two, but there are similar kind of emotional undercurrents, and ultimately this is where the book succeeds very well - in the relationships be
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, queer, steampunk
‘Havemercy’ is the first novel by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett. I had little idea of the story when I picked up the book, I’ll admit I was attracted by the mechanical dragon on the cover. Though the dragon depicted (the book’s namesake, Havemercy) features within, it’s not her story.

It’s hard to tell whose story it is, really, as it’s deftly told by four very different men. The first you meet is the Margrave, Royston. A Margrave is a magician and each has a specific talent they use in servi
Jet Silver
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this book, and it really irritated me. I'm going to air my grievances first, as they are the sort of thing that may or may not apply to you, and you can decide weather or not to discount them.

First: The most important plot-role played by a woman in this book is when one is slapped on the ass and called a whore, and a diplomatic incident is instigated. The incident in question is related, and the woman does not appear. Other women do appear in order to be, variously, someone's ha
Lauren James
A fantasy world of mechanic dragons and their hyper-masculine riders, and the gay magicians they team up with. Delicious indulgent fun.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a delighted 4.5 review. I was wholly sucked into this world of mechanical-magical dragons and the compelling madmen who ride them. Lovely characterisation and a slow, churning build-up to a climactic payoff. I can't wait for the next one. The small criticisms are so minor as to be overlookable. It's wonderful to discover that the authors of my Favourite Thing Ever are just as capable and brilliant in their own original world-building as they were with Shoebox Project.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Two and a half stars.
Jan 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, fantasy, lgbt
Decent fantasy story with mecha dragons, which should have been a winning formula in my book, but the writing is sub-standard and there are too many characters with far too little characterization. I saw the twist at the end coming from a mile away, and the rest of the book lacked suspense. The gay characters seemed very seme/uke to me, and not engaging at all.

Furthermore I was incensed at the portrayal of female characters. Once again you get this bizarre apologist internalized misogyny from fe
Sep 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, fantasy, dropped
I love fantasy. I love queer fantasy even more and I really tried to like this book, but in the end it was a task destined to fail. I almost never leave books unfinished since it feels like giving up, but after slogging through 30% of this book and finding zero reasons to continue I'm just going to move on to bigger and better things.

I wish I had something nice to say about it yet all I have is complaints. The story isn't engaging, the characters are either boring or annoying, there is info dump

The action was absorbing, but there wasn't a single female character (however, there was plenty of misogynistic remarks and references to them. It didn't make for a comfortable or pleasant experience.)

Some of the characters were more fascinating than others. In particular, I found Thom and Rook to be a more interesting set than Royston and Hal. The tension between the characters was better played out, as well as their individual quirks and weaknesses; they were less saintly and felt more r
Erin (PT)
I really had such high hopes for this book. I know so many people who really loved it. But after getting through more than a third of the book and finding no plot in particular and not even the foreshadowing of a plot on the way, my desire to read on has become equally evanescent. I liked the May-December romance that seemed to be budding, but it was given thin page space between all the stuff with the Dragon Corps, which was, frankly boring. How do you make dragons boring? Probably by not invol ...more
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt, magic, airships
Well-written, unusual, and entertaining, with a really well-fleshed out world and some really neat POVs and writing styles. On occasion the writing style sort of ran away with itseld, but overall this was really well done.

I have an issue the lack of female characters, and I found the big gap between the two main storylines kind of perplexing. They just seemed really disconnected, and never quite meshed the way I thought they should.
I came here for the steampunk dragons, but the human interpersonal drama took all the page space. 100% more steampunk dragons 2k15!!!!
Feb 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was going to be yet another book I loved that the majority on goodreads were eh about. I was a quarter way through, absolutely loving it, and wondering what the malfunction was with all those people who gave it like two stars. Turns out Havemercy was the real malfunction all along.

It started out so well though! The richly descriptive prose grabbed me immediately, and I like that there was four first person POVs, not something you see often and I really enjoyed the approach. Each w
Michelle Webber
Aug 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: steampunk/fantasy lovers, gay romance, dragon enthusiasts
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly Jo
Feb 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What impressed me the most was Jaida and Danielle's ability to move flawlessly between characters. Each personality was beautifully developed. Watching the subtle similarities between the character pairs develop added so much to the plot and story development. I will forever be in love with Royston and Hal, and wishing for more of their relationship. Thom's anguish over the situation with Rook broke my heart every time.

My one criticism is that I was about halfway through the book before I felt l
Althea Ann
The latest I've read in The Series I've Been Reading Mostly Backwards, for Unknown Reasons.
After reading #4, and then #3, I suspected that I really should have read #1 first, in order to be properly introduced to the characters.
After reading it, I was correct.
Many vaguenesses are now explained. I do feel much more familiar with the characters.
However, while the book was entertaining and fun, it still wasn't great. Perhaps as a result of having two separate authors, I felt this was really two sep
Sadie Forsythe
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 *possibly spoilerish*
Magical clockwork dragons, ya'll! Magical clockwork dragons. There was no way I could pass this up once I'd discovered its existence and on the whole I really quite enjoyed it. I liked the writing style. I liked the characters...mostly. I liked the dragons. I actually liked that it had a rather slow start. On the surface, I even liked the ending.

What I didn't like was the ambiguity around aspects of the book that I would have really liked if I had just been sure of them
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an exceptional book, if in a very boring sort of way. It stands out among its peers for the quality of its writing and the creativity of its conception. In an age when plot twists and narrative blindsides have become de rigueur, the novel's plot reads as particularly linear. Nevertheless, it is peopled with fantastically rich characters, each articulated in superb prose.
harlequin {Stephanie}
70 pages in. No more for me. This was far from what I was hoping for, maybe I didn't read far enough to get to the delicious cream filling.

I will leave that up to far better men /women than I. happy hunting. Just don't search for dragons in these here parts.<\i>
By rights, I really think two stars or less would be more accurate for this book. As it stands, I really wanted to like it and the aspects I enjoyed were almost great but never really got there.

The plot took a back burner in Havemercy. If there hadn't been a reveal in the second half of the book, I would have thought this was just a romance novel with a fantasy backdrop. The plot finds itself in the last 100 pages or so of a 400 page book. The first part establishes the cast of characters, only
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book RUINED me. 10/10 would read again.
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, steampunk, lgbtq
Rating: 4.5 points, actually

I don’t really know what to write for this review but I guess the fact that I decided to type it in MS Word at 0.34 am right after finishing the novel says something: that I could not sleep after finishing a book that had elicited so many emotions from me.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Shoebox project (those who know about it, know that Jaida Jones is one of the writer’s there) and this book was recommended to me with the words: “well, there are steampunk dragons in it a
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me talk to you about one of my favorite books: Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett.

First thing's first: Steampunk dragons. I's right there on the cover. Steampunk dragons. If that's not enough to entice you, how about magic? How about a range of fascinating characters? How about canon same-sex relationships between characters whose sexuality is just one of a long list of their traits? Is this starting to sound like fun yet?

Havemercy takes place in the country of Volstov,
Feb 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
penny shima glanz
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up more because Jones is a Barnard Alumna ('08) than for any other reason.

I enjoy dragon stories, but the mechanical yet magical-ness of the dragons did not catch and hold me to this story, and thus it fails to earn it's fifth star.

It does earn four however for the following reasons:
the pace, the language, and the relationships of the story, while not perfect, kept and held me until I had devoured this book. I thought about the world in which it was set and contemplated the
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Jaida Jones is a graduate of Barnard College, where they wrote their thesis on monsters in Japanese literature and film. A poet and native New Yorker, they had their first collection of poetry, Cinquefoil published by New Babel Books in 2006. They also co-wrote the Shoebox Project - a Harry Potter fan website with more than five thousand subscribed members. They currently live in Brooklyn with the ...more

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Havemercy (4 books)
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