schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
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They finally had "Blood of Tyrants" at a public library (on the shelf, I was too lazy to pre-order), so I took the opportunity to catch up on the Temeraire series. In the process I got way too little sleep, and tonight is a game so not ideal. But. Books.
I've read a few Temeraire fics recently, but it's been a while since I've read the books. At some points I wished I could go back and reread some earlier parts (the early parts with Granby and Tharkay, for example), maybe I'll do that later.

Tongues of Serpents: The pacing was a mess. I need to have a reason to care about what happens in this book, and for the longest time there wasn't. I wanted Demane and Kulingile to do well, but other than that it was only when they arrived at the Chinese trading outpost that things got interesting. Lo and behold, there the British are, being dicks again. I did like Temeraire & Laurence & Iskierka thinking differently about interfering, but fortunately the Chinese and Aborigines did just fine on their own.

Crucible of Gold: Things happen! Poor Granby almost gets married to the Sapa Inca, hah. I really liked him coming out to Laurence. I loved that he finally stands up to Iskierka and says no to her treating him like a puppet when she tries to get him a golden hook with diamonds, that was long coming.
I thought the take on the Inca empire was interesting, as was the compromise they came up with in Brazil. Poor Hammond, heh.
I liked Laurence feeling bad about Ferris and Forthing, and I liked, in the next book, that Ferris said what he disliked most was that Laurence and Temeraire didn't include him in their treason plans. I'll have to pay attention to Ferris if I reread the series.
How old is Emily Roland? It seems strange that Laurence is suddenly so much more concerned with getting her a proper chaperone, maybe if she just started puberty that makes more sense.
Of course Gong Su is a "spy" from the Imperial Court, that's great.

Blood of Tyrants: Amnesia! Yay fun tropes. Junichiro and Kaneko were excellent and that in very few pages, and then Junichiro's decision at the end of the book has very intriguing potential.
In general the amnesia part of it was nice, though not as fun as in fic, where tropes can work a bit differently. Laurence did get most of his memories back when faced with a tortured Tharkay, tropes teach me that Tharkay is either his love interest or his soulmate and possibly both. Yay Tharkay! He got to play a Chinese prince too.
I liked the Chinese politics – poor crown prince Mianning, losing his dragon, and they're afraid of Celestials dying out. A Celestial-Kazilik egg promises to be fearsome, but it's not pure Celestial. Hopefully either Temeraire comes back or they can revive the line some other way.
I also like Mrs. Pemberton, little as she appears; Emily's "chaperone" that she herself recognizes isn't really needed. I also liked Emily's thoughts on a possible relationship with Demane, i.e. unlikely because of circumstances, but still I hope Demane and Kulingile manage to impress Jane and Excidium.
Then, Russia! No surprise that Napoleon managed to turn the poor abused Russian dragons against the Russians, the dragons don't know or probably care about some nebulous promise to treat them better eventually once they've figured out how. I liked Murat and his defense of the dragons, but yeah he did use them as weapons as Laurence pointed out. I like how to Laurence and Temeraire the only reason why they're trying to stop Napoleon, even though he's doing a lot of good things for dragons in particular, is because he doesn't stop conquering.
I liked General Chu, and him trying to teach Temeraire how to be a general. Temeraire is a leader, not just a soldier, and it's time he learned that; until then he was always a large part of the main fighting force and thus didn't really have an opportunity to learn how to delegate.

It looks like the last book is coming out in about two weeks, I'm looking forward to it.

Other than "dragons!" (I have a great dragon bookmark that I could use for these books btw) I'm not having a good day for some reason. So, while I'm maybe even less optimistic than last time, a win tonight would be nice. Also some chocolate, I need to go shopping.
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