Skip to main content

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik.

I don't normally read fantasy. It's quite funny though when my friends come up to me and ask what's my favourite fantasy book or when they hear I'm writing fiction, they automatically assume I'm writing fantasy. Let me come clean. The only fantasy books I have read are the Chronicles of Narnia (read them when I was 7ish), The Faraway Tree collection (12ish) and the Lord of the Rings (read them right before the first movie came out). Oh, and Harry Potter. And perhaps a little Pratchett now and again.

So you can't really say I'm a huge fantasy fan. I know friends who devour much more fantasy than me. They're the real fantasy fans. Not me. One thing that always turns me off is how fantasy novels always comes in series and almost never stand-alone. No way I'm going to sell my soul to the likes of Robert Jordan.

But! I am willing to commit myself to fantasy series if the setting is a unique take on things. Take Naomi Novik's Temeraire Series. An English captain, during Napoleonic times, finds a Chinese dragon egg on a captured French ship. I was sold when I read that premise.

Blogcritics has a review of the first book in the trilogy:
The book is a rousing and entertaining fusion of historical realities with one of the most enduring mythic images. The interjection of dragons and aerial combat into the Napoleonic Wars is just bizarre enough that it works; Novik's deft development of her characters, especially that of Laurence himself, is largely responsible for this. In many respects the book seems historically accurate, and in keeping with the tradition of writers such as Patrick O'Brian. The fantasy aspects of the story are handled responsibly, and developed with a similar sense of authenticity.
Oh dear! More books to add to the shel... erm... floor. I have no shelf space left.

Additional reading:


  1. But Ted, you submitted to a Sci Fi and Fantasy magazine! You've got to like to read some fantasy!

    I'm a big fantasy reader. Try Hyperion by Dan Simmons. It's part sci fi, part fantasy. And the W'tch War saga (5 books).

  2. Haha... yeah, I know! It's a little ironic huh? Actually, I think I probably read a lot of fantasy, but since my peers are light-years ahead of me on the fantasy-reading scale, and next to them what I've read seems so miniscule.

    I think I most likely operate on a different reading scale than the casual reader.

    Casual Reader (reads a lot of books) > Me (reads a lot of books, some fantasy) > My hardcore peers (reads a LOT of fantasy)

    Anyways, my story's not really fantasy in the traditional sense. It's not sci-fi either... and I hesitate to call it a space-opera. In fact, I think the closest genre I can shoehorn it into is Humour! :D

    Thanks for the recommendations! I'll be sure to check them out.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

HOWTO: Get Rid of Silverfish

The bane of every book collecting person: the Silverfish. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! How to get rid of them? If one book has been infected, place it inside an air-tight plastic bag along with some silica gel desiccant. The silica gel is important to get rid of moisture, because you will now place the sealed plastic bag with the book in it inside the freezer. Leave it in there for a couple of days so that those bugs catch their death of cold. If you're feeling particularly paranoid, (like I usually am) feel free to leave the plastic bag in there for a week. If they're not dead, then you might likely have an infestation of zombie silverfish , which is out of the scope of this blogpost. But what if a whole colony of silverfish decided to invade your whole bookcase? Then you have to make sure you're ready for war. Place a generous amount of silica gel (or if you can find it, diatomaceous earth) behind your books at the back of the shelves so that moisture levels remain low.

Hitting 1000.

Last night Sharon quoted Raman of having said to writers when they bring him their manuscripts for publishing, "How many books have you read? Have you read a thousand books? If not, get out and go read a thousand books, then come back with your manuscript." His point being, you've got to have read a lot if you want to be a writer. And I thought to myself, a thousand books isn't so bad. I've probably read more. Er...Wrong. After some quick calculations, we determined that if a person read a book per week, it would take around 20 years to reach a thousand. I'm a slow reader. I'm only 25. There's no way I've read 1000 books my whole life! When I got home I counted the books in my house. I estimate I own around 300 books, probably another 300 left at my parents's house. That's only around 600 books that I own... and a lot less that I've read! So with that number in mind, I have resolved to start keeping track of my book reading. I ne

REVIEW: Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami.

UPDATE: My Wind/Pinball review can be found here . ISBN: n/a Publisher: n/a Paperback: 160 pages In Murakami fan circles, simply owning a copy of Pinball, 1973 is a mark of hardcore-ness. Like Hear the Wind Sing before it, Haruki Murakami does not allow English translations of Pinball, 1973 to be published outside of Japan. Back in the 80s, Alfred Birnbaum translated it into English and Kodansha published it as a novel for Japanese students who wanted to improve their English. While the English edition of Hear the Wind Sing continues to be reprinted and sold in Japan (and available for a moderate sum via eBay, see my review ), Kodansha stopped its reprint runs of the English edition of Pinball, 1973 and has now become a collector's item, fetching vast amounts of money on auction sites and reseller stores. Last time I checked, the cheapest copy went for USD$2500. Of course, Murakami addicts or the curious can always download a less than legal PDF of the book, painst