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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stereotyped and superficial, 17 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Black Powder War (The Temeraire Series, Book 3) (Paperback)
A mishap aboard the dragon transporter leads to an overland foray across the desert (i.e. oases, camels) into the Ottoman Empire to collect some valuable dragon eggs. Novik again resorts to stereotypes (to the point of caricature): the gold-hungry untrustworthy Turkish Sultanate and pedantic German Prussians with inflexible formation flying. A summary of the book would be: Trek across desert, attacked by baddies on horseback, Temeraire saves the day. Captured and imprisioned by greedy Sultan, plucky British raid on harem, Temeraire saves the day. Join beleaguered Prussian troops, attacked by French, Will & Temeraire correct Prussian aerial tactics. Meanwhile, Temeraire is proselytising draconic rights to various European dragons in a thinly disguised anti-slavery lecture.

In a formulaic 350 pages, a region of the world is reduced to a set of stereotypes while draconic rights becomes a slavery metaphor. After a promising first book, the subsequent volumes read like a standard quest story that reads like a dungeons/dragons game. Had this been written in the 1980s it would probably have been picked up by someone like TSR and aimed at young adult role play gamers.

Lightweight books for an undemanding audience. Stereotyped and superficial.
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