Nathan, what the hell are you doing now? I thought you were writing a review for The Waking Fire.
I was, but I got to looking into carnivore populations and I am pretty sure there is no way the dragons in this book could survive in the numbers they have been shown.
Oh geez, I thought you liked this book. Didn’t we already go over this with Novak’s dragon series?
Well, I thought about it, sure. But I never actually did any research. But this time I am sure of it; the numbers just don’t add up. The largest population of large carnivores I found was brown bears and they topped out at a hundred grand in Asia. The Greens in this book are at least twice that size AND THEY FLY! That has got to require a crazy metabolisms. And the greens are just one species of dragons! We see them in herds like buffalo; you never see carnivores in that large of a herd.
Ok, it is a fantasy book Nathan. Dragons have magic metabolisms, can we move on?
I…I guess. Magic metabolism, sure.
So, you didn’t like Blood Song but decided to give the author another chance. Outside of dragon population distributions did this one work better for you?
See? Who says I didn’t like Blood Song? I gave it a decent review, I just didn’t rave about it! Just because I don’t give five stars doesn’t mean I don’t like a book.
Oh, sorry. Yes, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It had three very distinct point of view characters with three very different paths. A spy, a mariner, and a criminal and all very enjoyable. It was like three separate stories that wove together very well (well, the sailor story kinda fell to the background but it was still entertaining). The young criminal roped into an inland expedition was my favorite; it read like an old timey adventure story. Lost civilizations, monstrous creatures, rival expeditions, it was all a lot of fun. It even had ‘savages’ that avoid being orcs; though it takes spoilers to explain why they differ from old representations of stereotypical natives.
Plus it had dragons! I know you like dragons.
I am a sucker for dragons. I am knocking a few points of for color coding them though. Blue for water dragons, green for forest dragons, it all feels a bit too Legend of Zelda and really out of place in an other wise well crafted book. Plus the extract made from their blood actually being the same color? Some weird mix between a video game and Mistborn.
Damn it Nathan, I thought we were done comparing things to other authors works!
Oh come on. People ingest different materials for different powers, the influence is pretty obvious.
Fine. What I really like about this book was the corporate run state aspect of it all. East India Company times ten; where there isn’t even a monarchy they pretend to report too. It was an interesting aspect and strangely enough one I have seen in several recent releases. It makes for interesting philosophical questions and allows different dynamics than other fantasy. Especially a company whose power is based on one limited resource that they may have tapped out. To be honest I would have loved to see more about the company itself.
And what you didn’t like?
It kind of dragged on and the pacing was pretty uneven. The third story line was lost for most of the book and the two story lines that were more interconnected was kind of stretch if I thought too hard about what the spy was doing for the adventurer. But most egregiously? This book had four or five Dues Ex Machina moments; timely interventions were commonplace. Messed with my belief once or twice.
Seriously. So…Much…Dues Ex Machina.
There you go Nathan, you have put together something resembling a review finally. Now wrap it up with a bow.
Ok, so one dragon is eating at least one cow sized creature every few days if he wants to fly…