28. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books · Tags: , ,

Dragon Champion Bk 1 in the Age of Fire series. by E. E. Knight, 371 pages, read by Kira, on 11/27/2014

632579In this first book of the series, we get the viewpoint of AuRon, the clutchwinner (male dragon hatchling who wins the fight after the male eggs hatch).  AuRon is a grey dragon, and unusual because he lacks scales.  This is his tale from the eggshelf, the death of his parents, his capture by humans, dwarves, elves, his escape, then journey across the mountains, his tenure/apprenticeship with NooMoahk one of oldest surviving dragons, and AuRon’s revenge on the human’s who are enslaving dragons and wiping out the other species of hominids.  This is a fast moving tale with adventure, battles, skirmishes, and an extended apprenticeship with the great black Dragon NooMoahk (I find I usually really enjoy these periods of scholarship in fantasy books).  I enjoyed learning more background about this dragon family.  I also really liked how the author depicted weaknesses that could be turned into strengths (AuRon’s lack of scales).  I also enjoyed being introduced to character’s early on in the book, and then meeting them in their changed (mostly for the better) adult forms later on.  index2LineoftheSiblings2

01. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags: ,

Dragon Avenger: Book Two of the Age of Fire by E.E. Knight, 400 pages, read by Kira, on 08/31/2014

index wistala_by_3l3ctr0head-d46r954 51pxnUyqBPL._ In this 2nd book, we hear the story of the dragon sibling Wistala, the female clutchling who survives the attack of the nest.  She attempts to rescue her father whom she finds near death on an outcropping.  She has an adventure with a cat, and eventually takes up  residence with a wise old elf named Rainfall, from whom she learns great wisdom and a gentleness of spirit.  She spends some time in a traveling circus learning to tell individual’s fortunes. Eventually she is able to manipulate the downfall of her parent’s and sister’s murder by gaining the trust of her enemy and setting him up for a fall.

01. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Science Fiction · Tags:

Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik, 323 pages, read by Kira, on 08/31/2014

Dragon, Temeraire and Capt Lawrence are asked to return to the British Air Force (where dragons serve as airships), after having been dishonorably discharged.  Temeraire is delighted, Capt Lawrence is less thrilled.   Iskierka and her Capt Granby and Kulingile with his Capt Demane.  After several day and nights of storming, the drunken sailors catch the transport ship on fire, and sink the transport ship. More mishaps occur, but eventually they persevere.  I love these characters, and the way they play off each other, though there are so many of them, that it can get confusing.  Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Temeraire_characters is a list of characters in case you need some refreshing, though it seems to be slanted toward the middle of the series.  I also really enjoyed the humor, arising from the clash of duty/protocol and doing the right thing; the humor arising from the clash between Temeraire and Izkierka.  Novik has developed these wonderful characters.  There are also some realistic losses experienced by these military engagements.
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13. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books · Tags:

Dragon Outcast - Age of Fire Bk 3 by E.E. Knight., 400 pages, read by Kira, on 08/12/2014

dragon 550px-LineoftheSiblings2drgsn  This was an enjoyable read.  Rugard, the protagonist, loses the clutch-war, which occurs between all the males as soon as they hatch.  He is crippled and survives just barely.  After a long journey aided by bats to the Lavadome, he finds a haven of sorts.  Here the danger lurks in the form of political alliances and deception.

This is a fast-paced engaging, hard-to-put-down, story.  It tackles a variety of themes from family relationships to slavery,and racism.  I look forward to the other titles in the series.  I had no trouble starting with book 3, the author has done a good job, of making them accessible as “stand-alones”.

07. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Kira, Science Fiction · Tags:

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik, 431 pages, read by Kira, on 10/06/2013

Another Grand Adventure in the Temeraire series.

The action starts in Japan, as Captain William Lawrence finds himself shipwrecked and has lost his memories of the last 8 years.  Eventually Temeraire and the others find the Captain and they head off to China to enlist the help of the Chinese in the Brits fight against Napoleon.  Then its off to Russia to help the Russians against Napoleon’s invasion.  Unfortunately, the book ends on a cliffhanger, so hold on for the next volume in this wonderful series.

Iskierka is on hand to provide some of the levity.temeraireTemeraire_and_gang_VS_kraken_by_sandaraToddLockwood-temeraire  These books are fun, engaging and sprinkled with humor. novik-blood temeraireTEMERAIRE2

30. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags: , ,

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman., 465 pages, read by Kira, on 08/30/2013

seraphnaseraphinacover serrafinasrafinaserafina This is a delightful tale set in a world, where both Dragons and Humans are chaffing under the peace treaty they signed 40 years ago.  Before that, they were at war fighting over the dragons’ hunting grounds.

Seraphina is born into this conflicted empire trying to make her way.

 

Fast paced and great atmosphere!  I really enjoyed this book.

01. October 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, 214 pages, read by Tammy, on 09/20/2012

First let me say that this is not like the movie. Some of the characters are the same, but some are the same in name only. Still it was a fun story of how one young viking starts out as the village joke and becomes a hero and becomes known as “the Dragon Whisperer”. Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. To become a member of the tribe each young boy must capture a dragon and on Thor’s Day show that he has trained his dragon or face exile from the tribe and their island.

19. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags: ,

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman, 531 pages, read by Angie, on 01/11/2012

Oh Eon, how you sucked me into your world of intrigue and danger. I have to admit that when I finished this book at 1:30 a.m. I was hugely disappointed that I couldn’t immediately start reading Eona. I had just spent the past 6 hours reading this book with very little interruption and I wanted more! I was sucked into this world and didn’t want to leave the characters I had come to love in such dire straights. Now I have to wait on the next book…ugh!

The world of Eon is intriguing. A lot of fantasy books are based on western culture, but this one takes a lot of its mythology from eastern cultures like Japan and China. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book; it added something different and somehow made the story more vibrant. I also enjoyed the fact that the dragons were not really physical dragons but more an energy that could connect with certain people. I think that was a nice change to dragon literature.

As for the characters…they were well-written and very fleshed out. I really felt like I got to know them throughout the book. When someone died it was sad, when they were in danger my heart started to race. It was very gripping. I liked the fact that gender was a big part of the plot…hiding who you are and being who you are meant to be. I find those kinds of plots interesting and think YA lit is the perfect place for them (teens just really don’t seem to care as much or get as hung up on it as a lot of adults do). I liked that there was a girl pretending to be a boy, eunuchs, and transgender characters. I think this made the book that much more relatable and interesting.

Eon is not really that easy of a character to like in the beginning but she really does grow on you. She finds herself more of a pawn during most of the book and it isn’t until the end that she really grows into her own story. She does things during the course of the book that you really want to slap her for because you know she is going about it the wrong way. She is a very real type of character; she is thrust into a difficult situation and it takes her a while to find her footing. I do like who she has become at the end of the book and I can’t wait to read more of her story.

As for the end of the book, I’m not going to spoil it, but I did think there was a bit of a copout there with another character. That was my big beef with it; other than that one instance at the end I really loved this book and can’t wait for Eona.