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Search tags: Naomi-Novik
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text 2020-05-13 21:23
Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 353 pages.
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

It's been almost two weeks since I started the book, and only managed to get through one chapter, so let's just start it over again.


It's been a tiring few days, so I haven't been able to concentrate on reading as much as I would have wanted to. I still have a few thoughts about "Cat among the pigeons", but I'll have to leave them to another time, when I'll be able to concentrate better.

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text 2020-05-03 10:46
Snakes and Ladders 2020 - V
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

Picking another book while I'm still reading the fourth, Unbranded parent-child stories. The book turned out to be a bore; I'm not going to drop it because I need to practice my Japanese, but I'll get another book to read along with it.






Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.


1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.


2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org. This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.


All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 


You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.





When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.


With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.


For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.



Further personal rules:


- Don't read two books in the same language in a row.


- I can drop a book and pick a different one how many times I want, if I find that a certain book is too difficult for my language level. Books I dropped earlier can be picked up later in the challenge.


For the dice roll, I'll be using Random Dice Roller.





Start: 1. Author is a woman - The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler - Finished on April, 5th. Worth two rolls:



8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H / In a language other than English - Cherokee by Jean Echenoz - Finished on April, 10th. Worth two rolls:



14. Author is dead / In a language other than French - Legends of the Condor Heroes: A hero born by Jin Yong - Finished on April, 23rd. Worth two rolls:



22. Set in Asia / In a language other than English - 無印親子物語 (Unlabelled parent-and-child stories) by Youko Mure. Worth two rolls:




26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long / In a language other than Japanese - His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik.


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review 2020-04-30 13:54
Golden Age and Other Stories
Golden Age and Other Stories - Naomi Novik

by Naomi Novik


I wanted to read something by Naomi Novik, but didn't realise this collection of short stories was fan fiction related to the Temeraire series, which I haven't read. Never mind, it's a good test of a story collection like this to see if it can stand on its own.


The first story, Volley's Cow, did leave me a little bewildered. I think there was an assumption of familiarity with the characters, both human and dragon, as well as adventures they had been through in the series. The second story, Planting Season, was more self-contained and stood on its own well.


This was followed by Dawn of Battle, which I think probably reflected the sort of military battle atmosphere of the series and gave me a taste of the dragons and how they work in this world.


Then there is the title story, Golden Age. This one is longer than the others and rather good. My impression was that it was an alternative history using the characters from the first book of the series and focused very much on the nature of the dragons.


The next story, Succession, takes place in China and tells about how the French came to have a Celestial egg. This is followed by Dragons and Decorum, about a young woman being recruited into the air Corp, because female dragons will only have female handlers. Although I haven't yet read Pride and Prejudice, the use of the names Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy suggest there might be a nod to that book in this story.


The book wraps up with a section of Drabbles, 100 word stories. These were amusing and gave me some snippets of the world in which this series manifests. thought it was a nice way to finish up the collection. The artwork alone is worthwhile.


Over all an enjoyable read that I'm sure will be indispensable to readers of the Temeraire series.

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review 2020-04-30 10:29
Spinning Silver
Spinning Silver - Naomi Novik

I finished a whole book! Woo! Take that, pandemic anxiety brain! But I don’t feel capable of properly reviewing it, so I’ll just say a thing or two and then do a victory lap of my little dining table or something.


Thing one: I’m not a huge fan of the multiple points of view. Nearly every single POV change derailed my concentration to the point that it was sometimes several paragraphs before I figured out whose POV I was reading. I can at least partially blame this on the whole pandemic brain phenomenon (Focus? LOL! What’s that?), but some of the POVs felt so similar that they really threw me. I had an especially hard time telling Miryem and Irina apart at first. (Irina’s first POV section threw me SO HARD.)


Thing two: The book in general was about a three-star read until the last 120 pages or so when all the threads finally came together. Once they did, HOLY WOW. Some parts of those last 120 pages were so good that I read them over and over again, and NOT because I was having trouble focusing. If Naomi Novik wants to keep writing fairy tale inspired awesomeness, I will happily keep throwing money at her.

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review 2020-02-20 00:09
At War with the Trees
Uprooted - Naomi Novik

A young woman named Agnieszka grows up in the village of Dvernik in the kingdom of Polnya. Her village is on the edge of a corrupted forest full of tree creatures that kidnap people and turn them into monsters. The valley is protected by a wizard called The Dragon, who once every 10 years selects a 17 year old girl and carries her back to his tower. Agnieszka has always assumed that when the time came her beautiful best friend Kasia would be chosen. She is of course wrong.


Uprooted belongs to the tradition of sorcerer's apprentice stories. If you are one of those people who was upset by how fast Rey went from zero to Jedi Master, you will be equally bothered by how fast Agnieszka becomes an extremely powerful witch. Like many similar stories, the pupil has no aptitude for formal magic until she discovers her own way of doing magic and quickly surpasses her shocked and stuck-up teachers. The author has some fun with the country girl in the big city trope, but the plot moves quickly enough to get past the worst of that.


One of the most unique elements of the story is how the force of evil in this world is the forest. Modern fiction takes it as a given that the wilderness is pure and healthy, while civilization is corrupt and sickening. In old fables the wilderness is full of darkness and supernatural danger. Novik makes the surprising choice to embrace that old tradition, although all corruption has a cause and can be cleansed with the right kind of magic.

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