Friday, March 26, 2010

What Would You Recommend? - Naomi Novik

 This is a question I get asked all the time working in the bookstore: "What would you recommend for somebody who loved "_________"? (fill in the blank)" Usually I can come up with something, but that something can be a bit of a wild guess if it's not a book or genre I normally read. This is where you helpful people come in. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

This week I'm asking about the books by Naomi Novik. I've read the first three in the Temeraire series: His Majesty's Dragon,The Black Powder War and Throne Of Jade and loved them, but I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with recommendations for other books people who liked this world might like. I've heard the books being described simply as "Napoleonic Wars with dragons" and Naomi Novik has made a very different world here, using her dragons in a manner I've never seen before. The books aren't quite pure fantasy, being set in our world, but neither are they fully urban fantasy, being set in so much of an earlier time.

Too often though because it's not quite one thing or the other, it's made it difficult to make other suggestions. I've had enough people say they liked these, but they don't like fantasy or something similar. What would you suggest?


Allie said...

I love this series. I just suggested them to a friend to read and she's said she's never seen anything like them.
If someone is looking for something similar-with intelligent dragons-I would suggest any of Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels. While it is more fantasy like rather than based in history, the dragons are intelligent like those in Novik's work.

Unknown said...

I've enjoyed the Pern books too, although more the early ones than the ones being written now.

Jodie said...

Have you thought about recommending Patrick O'Brian? He's the author Novik is most consistantly compared too and great for people who say they don't like fantasy. Also the Hrnblower series might work. I agree about Pern, I think the dragon world is so wonderful in that book it can hook anybody in.

Unknown said...

Honestly, Jodie, I have trouble recommending the Patrick O'Brien books to anyone. I've heard them called the best historical fiction around. They're certainly very detailed and thorough and a lot of people love them. On the other hand, I tried to read one once, and I couldn't get through it. I kept losing the story in the nautical jargon and I felt like I needed a specialized dictionary to understand the characters. But, yes, I can see the comparison, and I think I've made it myself.

Thanks for the suggestions.


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