Review of Tongues of Serpents, by Naomi Novik

Tongues of Serpents

by Naomi Novik
read by Simon Vance

Tantor Audio, 2010. 10 hours on 8 CDs.

The library finally got this book about Temeraire on CD! They had it in e-audiobook form, but I don’t have a way to listen to those in my car. So I listened to one more book about Temeraire, the celestial dragon.

Naomi Novik’s books are like the Master and Commander books, only with dragons. It’s an alternate world where nations use dragons in their Aerial Corps, with a full complement of deckhands and one captain who bonds with the dragon when it hatches. The books take place during the Napoleonic wars. You really should read them in order.

In the latest installment, Temeraire and Laurence are in Australia. (Besides England, they’ve been to China, Central Asia, Africa, and Europe. So why not Australia?) The book starts with some political posturing, but gets more interesting when they take a crew of convicts into the interior, and a dragon egg gets stolen. They encounter all kinds of new dangers in their journey to get the egg back.

The plot isn’t terribly gripping, but I could happily listen to Simon Vance read a phone book, and this is much more interesting than the phone book. His British accent is a delight to listen to, and I can recognize the voices he uses from the previous audiobooks, even though it’s been awhile since I heard the last one. He’s consistent with a different voice for each character, so they are recognizable, even in the next book.

I shouldn’t say too much about this installment, because if you’ve listened to the other books, nothing I can say would keep you from reading on. Yes, read this series. Or much better yet, listen to this series. Napoleonic Wars with dragons! A reader with a fabulous British accent! A great way to while away a commute.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

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