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Tooth and Claw [Kindle Edition]

Jo Walton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

A family of dragons gathers on the occasion of the death of their father, the elder Bon Agornin. As is custom, they must eat the body. But even as Bon's last remains are polished off, his sons and daughters must all jostle for a position in the new hierarchy. While the youngest son seeks greedy remuneration through the courts of law, the eldest son - a dragon of the cloth - agonises over his father's deathbed confession. While one daughter is caught between loyalty to her family by blood and her family by marriage, another daughter follows her heart - only to discover the great cost of true love...

Here is a Victorian story of political intrigue, family ties and political intrigue, set in a world of dragons - a world, quite literally, red in tooth and claw. Full of fiery wit, this is a novel unlike any other.

Product Description


The Pride and Prejudice of the dragon world... I love this sly, witty, fast-paced, brilliant little book. (Jane Yolen )

Walton writes with an authenticity that never loses heart. (Robin Hobb )

Utterly sui generis . . . It's rare a book that leaves me wishing it were twice as long, but Tooth and Claw is one such. (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction )

Book Description

A tale of love, money and family conflict - and everyone in the tale is a dragon, red in tooth and claw.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 715 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (21 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AN2KHX0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jo Walton writes science fiction and fantasy novels and reads a lot and eats great food. It worries her slightly that this is so exactly what she always wanted to do when she grew up. She comes from Wales, but lives in Montreal.


The King's Peace (Tor 2000)
The King's Name (Tor 2001)
The Prize in the Game (Tor 2002)
Tooth and Claw (Tor 2003, reprinted Orb 2009)
Farthing (Tor 2006)
Ha'Penny (Tor 2007)
Half a Crown (Tor 2008)
Lifelode (NESFA 2009)
Among Others (Tor 2011)

Poetry Collections

Muses and Lurkers (Rune Press 2001)
Sibyls and Spaceships (NESFA 2009)
The River and the Road (forthcoming from Aqueduct in 2013)


Copper Cylinder Award (Among Others 2012)

Hugo: (Among Others 2012)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 2002

Mythopoeic Award (for Lifelode, 2010)

Nebula Award (for Among Others, 2012)

Prometheus Award (for Ha'Penny) 2008

Robert Holdstock Award (Among Others, 2012)

Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award (for Farthing) 2007
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award (for Half a Crown) 2009
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award (for Among Others 2012)

World Fantasy Award (for Tooth and Claw) 2004

Award Nominations

Indie Lit Awards: (Among Others 2012)
John W. Campbell Memorial (Farthing 2007)
Lambda (SF with gay/lesbian issues) (Ha'Penny 2008)
Locus (Farthing 2007, Among Others 2012)
Mythopoeic (Among Others 2012)
Nebula (Farthing 2007)
Prometheus (Libertarian) (Half a Crown 2009)
Quill (Farthing 2007)
Rhysling (SF poetry) (2007: "Candlemass Poem", in Lone Star Stories, Feb 2006)
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice (Ha'Penny 2008)
Seiun (Best work translated into Japanese) (Farthing, Ha'Penny, Half a Crown 2011)
Sidewise (Alternate History) (Farthing 2007, Ha'Penny 2008, Half a Crown 2009)
Sunburst (Canadian Literature of the Fantastic) (Half a Crown 2009)
Tiptree Honor (Lifelode 2010)
World Fantasy Award (Among Others 2012)

Her livejournal, with wordcount, poetry, recipes and occasional actual journalling, is at: She also blogs about old books at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read. 4 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Tooth and Claw is a Jane Austen-ish tale, of maidens with slightly compromised virtue, inheritances, betrothals, law suits... Except, all those involved? They're dragons. I really enjoyed how Jo Walton handled this aspect: she sets up a whole culture for the dragons, with plenty of history in the background -- not detailed so that it drags down the plot, which is very much about the present, but enough to feel real.

I have to confess, when I first started reading it, I didn't get into it very much. I picked it back up tonight, though, and read the last two thirds of it all in one go, giggling in the appropriate places and squirming on the edge of my seat, wondering how things could possibly turn out alright.

It's fun. It's inventive. It has characters you can get to care about -- I think my favourite is Sher: he seems so basically good, despite his flightiness initially, and he comes to care so much about Selendra.

My only quibble is in that something, whatever it was, in the first third that failed to catch my attention. And, I suppose, how much Jo Walton crammed in here that she didn't really get to examine in the detail I would have been interested in: the issues of the enslaved dragons, the foreign dragons, and the True Believers.

On further thought, that is just like Jane Austen, though, e.g. the light mention of the slave trade in Mansfield Park.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Some fantasy novels are epic, with rich plot lines, multiple characters on a quest to save the world from some hidden magic or powerful being. These books can be a lot of fun and very interesting, though often the plot overshadows the characters. Other fantasy novels are light and fluffy comedies where nothing much happens but they make you laugh your tail off.
Finally, there are those fantasy novels that really defy description. Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton. As the dust jacket says, this is a novel that is based on the Victorian novels of Anthony Trollope. Walton takes the Victorian setting, and gives it huge twist: all of the characters are dragons. Yes, that's right. Fire-breathing (though not all of them do) lizards that can fly (though not all of them can). And, most importantly, proper fire-breathing dragons who have formed a society based on class structure, money (especially gold and treasure) and arranged marriage. Walton takes this concept and writes an intriguing story of family honour and love. It's a real treat to read.
The plot description doesn't sound very interesting. I think that's because this sort of plot usually does nothing for me. It does sound rather dull, doesn't it? I would not have read this book if I hadn't both received this as a review copy and been a big fan of Jo Walton. However, I'm glad I did, because I think it transcends the genre and becomes a nifty little (256 pages) novel in its own right. When I say "transcends the genre," I'm speaking as somebody who has not read any Victorian fiction, so Walton may be way off in her homage. However, Walton is good enough that I trust she hit it pretty good.
The conceit that dragons are living in a Victorian-style society is simply a wonderful concept that Walton does a lot with.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Dragons 3 April 2013
By Jessie
As a big lover of, on the one hand, big Victorian novels about family and society (especial favourites: Trollope, Eliot, Gaskell) and, on the other, fantasy books, Tooth and Claw was really a wonderful find. It is, pretty much, Trollope with dragons. Trollope with dragons! And while Jo Walton has included all the love intrigues, and social climbing, and inheritance issues, and city/country animosity that any good 19th century novel should have, she also writes with the lighter touch of a modern author. Lovely stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragons in the parsonage 21 Mar. 2009
Definitely a keeper - this is going to have a permanent place on my bookshelves. I would not have thought that it was possible to convincingly imbue 30 or 40 foot long dragons with the sensibilities and attitudes of Austen or Trollope's characters. The infighting among the clergy and lawyers reminds me strongly of Trollope's Barsetshire novels
The idea of young maiden dragons blushing pink [permanently] if they get too closely acquainted to a male dragon is delicious. What would Georgette Heyer done with this plot device !

I bought this book having read Jo Waltons marvellous trilogy, Farthing, Ha'penny and Half a Crown. She is now most certainly on my watch list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Draconian society 19 Jun. 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This has to be one of the most unusual concepts I'd ever heard of when I first heard of this book, but it works suprisingly well. The book shows a rich and unique world of an advanced dragon society. It fully immerses you in a world of the great, and the infamous. Every dragon is an individual with a distinct outlook and goal in life. There's confrontation, dark secrets, starcrossed romance, all the classics you'd expect in the genera, but all with totally unexpected twists bought about by the nature of the characters. The enduring feeling I had when I finished it was wishing there were more stories in this Beautifully written world.
Anyone who wants an interesting and different book should enjoy this, anyone who likes dragons will LOVE it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I've never read a book like it!
I didn't know exactly what to expect from what little I knew, but this story is quite frankly amazing.

The characterization and plot development is paced so well. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Archmage Melek
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy & entertaining read!
I really enjoyed reading this book! I liked the Dragon world' the culture & the customs that the author has created.
Published 14 months ago by miss a Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Why bother with the Dragons?
Whilst in the end I did like the story throughout the text I found it hard to visualise Dragons, there was just too many human characteristics embedded in the dialogue. Read more
Published 18 months ago by R. Perpete
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsual
A unsual read for me but I did enjoy it. The characters were made very people like - as the quote on the front of the book says this is the pride and prejudice of the dragon... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lisa Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful idea to write from a dragon's viewpoint - loved it
An enjoyable book with characters that have substance and feelings. Whoever would have thought maiden dragons would blush pink when courted.
Published 20 months ago by Andrew Colley
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
unfortunately my title sums this up as it has the potential to be better but fails to ever get there.
Published 20 months ago by Rachie
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure escape
Thoroughly enjoyed this book could barely put it down. family feuds, romance, daring and excitement pure escapism
Just enjoy it
Published 21 months ago by space-revolver
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely weirdly brilliant.
Once you get past the fact that the book is set in a world of dragons, then this book is an excellent read. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mrs E M
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read
very different. i have never read anything from the Dragons point of view so it is a refreshing change. worth a read
Published 23 months ago by K E Devaney
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, good plot
Really enjoyed this book, but I thought there were enough ideas in here for a much longer story. A good read, hoping for a sequel.
Published 23 months ago by Hana Makin
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