Monster and Book Guest Post ~ Dragons with Lark

Posted October 22, 2015 by Michelle in And A Book / 30 Comments

A Monster and Book

I had an idea of doing a guest post during the month of October so I asked a few of my friends from COYER what is their favorite Monster is (some are not so scary) and what book they read that they loved that associated with the Monster they picked. The answers are great and the recommendation are even better! Enjoy!

Dragon

The Monster & The Book

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I’m not sure when I first became interested in dragons. It might have been when I read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Eustace is turned into a dragon, and it changes him for the better. It might have been when my uncle read The Hobbit to us, and I first encountered Smaug. But I can tell you the instant I fell in love with dragons: it was the very first time I read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonquest. McCaffrey’s dragons were different. They weren’t monsters, and they weren’t evil; they were partners. I longed for something like the bond between dragon and dragonrider.

The dragons of Pern are still dear to me (along with their tiny cousins, fire lizards), but lately they have a rival for my affections in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. In Novik’s books, dragons are sentient, and they bond to their rider emotionally, but not psychically as the Pernese dragons do. Novik’s dragons are bound in service to the Aerial Corps, serving the crown as the British air force in the Napoleonic Wars. Temeraire himself is something of a fluke: when his egg is captured along with a French ship, he hatches aboard the victorious British vessel and bonds to her captain, William Laurence. Laurence becomes more and more attached to Temeraire, who refuses to consider any of the Aerial Corps candidates. Eventually Laurence gives up his Navy commission and joins the Aerial Corps, a less socially-acceptable service, in order to stay with Temeraire.

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Because Laurence hasn’t been trained in the Aerial Corps’ culture, he educates Temeraire and allows him to think for himself. This freedom of thought and eventual exposure to other cultures, particularly China (where dragons are considered full members of society) leads Temeraire to see the European treatment of dragons as slavery. He begins to challenge many of the assumptions and traditions the British hold dear. But even when he and Laurence disagree, they remain deeply attached to each other, and Laurence’s growth and development are largely due to Temeraire’s presence and influence in his life.

One of the best things about the series (besides the dragons, and Laurence and Temeraire’s relationship) is that the duo aren’t confined to Britain. Over the course of the series, they travel to China, make their way cross-country from there to Constantinople, continue on across war-torn Europe, spend time in Africa seeking a cure for a devastating dragon disease, are sent to the Australian penal colony, find themselves in South America, and travel from there to Japan and then Russia before chasing Napoleon back to Paris in the ninth (and final) book.

These books are really amazing. They’re extremely well-written, from social interchanges to aerial battles, and the dialog and narration have a decidedly early-19th-century flavor without being dry or stilted. Imagine a cross between Jane Austen, Patrick O’Brian (Master and Commander), and Anne McCaffrey, and you’ll have some idea of how awesome these books are.

By the way, if you like audiobooks, the narrator, Simon Vance, is extremely good, and I highly recommend them.

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About the Guest

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Lark is a Blogger at The Bookwyrm’s Hoard
Avid reader, book blogger, singer & director, knitter. Book loves include fantasy, mystery, romance!

The Bookwyrm’s Hoard
Twitter @BookwyrmsHoard

Lark is a lover of  genre fiction – fantasy and science fiction, mystery, and romance – with a smattering of historical fiction and literary fiction thrown in for variety. She write fantastic reviews, stop by her blog and say hello.

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Thanks for stopping by to check out A Monster and A Book!

Have a fantastic day!

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About Michelle

I am a mom to two pretty amazing kids, three pretty cute fluffy children and a wife to one adorable husband. I am a gamer, reader and a graphic designer with 20 years experience. I recently started my own business "Limabean Designs" to help other bloggers, authors and anyone else create amazing things that they would be proud to show off. I have been reading since forever and started blogging because I love sharing all the awesome books this world has to offer. I am also the co-host for the COYER Challenge, Reading Assignment Challenge, Author Luv, Bloggiesta and the Bookish Resolutions Challenge. I try to create a warm welcoming environment on my blog where authors, readers, and bloggers will have a great time. Let’s chat books, games, blogging, recipes, design, or family over a cup of coffee and a glass of wine!

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30 responses to “Monster and Book Guest Post ~ Dragons with Lark

  1. Wow, good guest post review, Lark! I know you have a fondness for dragons, and I do too… if they aren’t like Smaug 🙂 I’ve read two books in a series a few years ago with a dragon shapeshifter that were actually romances, but dang if I can’t remember the titles now (they weren’t that popular in their time).

    I’ve thought of reading the McCaffrey series before. This series sounds so complex and cool (and I love her covers). I only hesitate because of the main plot being of historical military action. I’m not a fan of military/war tales, but maybe I can look for a sneak preview on Amazon and read the first chapter and see how it goes. Thank you for pointing these out!
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    • Thank you, Rita. Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series aren’t military fiction at all — they’re straight up SF that feels like fantasy because of the low-tech society with a bit of a Renaissance feel. (But avoid the books by Todd McCaffrey unless you fall in love with the series, because for some reason, they just don’t have the same appeal, at least for me.)

      Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series do have a military-history component, particularly the first book, but it’s less prominent in a number of the later books. What she excels at, besides the military stuff, is exploring the interaction of individuals, the effects of society on individuals, and differences of culture. More importantly, she has fantastic characters — well drawn, complex, flawed, and utterly real.

      I hope that helps as you think about whether to try one of these series!
      Lark recently posted…In the Dragon’s Eye: Stars of FortuneMy Profile

  2. I’m not familiar with these dragons and I’m a huge audiobook fan. I’m going to have to check them out. I haven’t read enough books with dragons in them. Mostly, I’ve read G.A. Aiken, who I love. Eileen Wilks has dragons in her books, but they are mostly werewolf books. Thanks for the recommendation.
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  3. I really enjoy dragons too, but somehow, I haven’t read either of the series you recommend, Lark… I have read several others with dragons, though, and I love it when an author is able to make the dragons a little different – changing things up, while still staying somewhat true to mythology is awesome!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Lexxie recently posted…Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts #38 – Rock Chick RescueMy Profile

    • If you’re a fan of dragons, you should try both these and the Pern books. They’re both wonderful series, although very different in tone and setting. The Pern books read more like traditional fantasy, although there’s no magic and the dragons are actually bioengineered, so McCaffrey always insisted the books were science fiction. The Temeraire series reads (at times) more like British military fiction like Patrick O’Brian’s “Master and Commander” series or the Sharpe series , but the presence of dragons and their use as an aerial force changes both the tactics and the events of the Napoleonic wars.
      Lark recently posted…Monster and Book: Dragons & Temeraire — guest postMy Profile

  4. I’ve been hooked on Temeraire ever since the first book came out, and am now eagerly awaiting the final book in the series. I love how Novik brings one of my favorite literary periods to life with a twist, and does so while exploring global politics and ethics as well.
    Lory recently posted…Witch Week is coming!My Profile

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  5. Bea

    I haven’t read the Temeraire books but maybe I should. I’ve loved dragons for as long as I can recall. Like you, the Pernese dragons were my first dragon loves and they were so complex and had such personalities. I don’t care for Todd’s books so I’ve stopped reading the series but I think I need to reread the originals.