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Book Title: Drakon|
The author of the book: A.M. Tuomala
Edition: Candlemark & Gleam
Date of issue: December 12th 2016
ISBN 13: 9781936460694
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2872 times
Reader ratings: 3.6
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.99 MB
Read full description of the books:
I usually don't write reviews, but I usually don't buy books without any reviews either, so I feel obliged to write one in honor of whatever alternate universe where I'm too cautious and miss out on this book.
Drakon works because of both what it is and what it isn't. It takes place in an alternate history 18th century Russia, and it successfully dodges a lot of problems inherent to that kind of genre. You get a real sense of historical atmosphere, but without getting bogged down in a high school history course's worth of names and dates. It's probably one of the only books I've read that has a linguistics subplot that didn't bore me to tears.
The reason Drakon succeeds is largely due to its characters. So many otherwise interesting ideas, especially in historical settings, are ruined because they're populated with blocks of wood. The Tarasovs are a very real family and real conflicts that are not only central to the story, but just as interesting as the grander events woven in between them. When people die, you care. More than you want to care by the end, because damn a lot of people die.
Also rare for historical settings, LGBT rep! Even rarer, to the point where I'm not sure if I've ever seen it, is that Old Timey Homophobia is not a factor ever, at all. When the characters have conflicts, it's because of who they are and their places in society, a.k.a the kind of plot lines straight romances get just kind of like, automatically. It's no grand, sweeping romance, because a lot more important things are happening, but it's refreshing.
And the dragons! Similar to those in Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, but also entirely differently. Really unique physiology and relationship with history/humanity, but their culture is what's most interesting. A lot of things tend to paint dragons as either morally superior to humans or amoral, but Tuomala's dragons are very specifically just as horrible and amazing as humans are, with their own culture and history. They don't show up until halfway through the book, but they're worth it.
Honestly, I spent most of this book watching the 'percentage left' climb higher and trying to simultaneously read on and try to avoid reaching the end. It's that kind of book.
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