Ahoy there me mateys! I received this historical fantasy novella eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
the last tsar’s dragons (Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple)
Title: the last tsar’s dragons
Authors: Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: TODAY!! (e-book) & 6/19/19 (paperback)
I have recently been reading and loving many of Jane Yolen’s short stories. So when I saw this novella involving dragons and Russian history, I said “Aye!, Arrrrr!” I was lucky to get an eArc of this historical fantasy retelling. And I loved it!
This tale involves the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution. Tsar Nicholas II is fighting wars and continuing to lose. One of his weapons to fight his enemies, the Bolsheviks and the Jews, are his stable of fighting dragons. The problem is that these dragons are equally likely to destroy non-enemy property and persons. This story tells of the days leading up to the Revolution and what really happened to the Romanov family.
In this ye get perspectives from the tsar himself, Rasputin, the tsarina Alexandra, Leon Trotsky, and a nameless bureaucrat. Other folk like Lenin and the tsar’s children appear as side characters. The dragons are not shown as characters and really are treated as tactical weapons. But having dragons is cool regardless.
As always I found the writing to be superb and was captivated by this version of the Romanov family history. Like other offerings by this publisher there is also a very nice authors’ note at the end discussing the writing process and evolution of this particular story. There also brief but lovely historical notes as well. I very much enjoyed this historical fiction with dragons and feel that every Jane Yolen fan should too.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Tachyon Publications!
PS Did ye know that in 1981 the Romanovs were made saints by the Russian Orthodox Church? In 2000 they were canonized as passion bearers by the Church. Learning new things every day. Arrrr!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the book:
It is the waning days of the Russian monarchy. A reckless man rules the land and his dragons rule the sky. Although the Tsar continues to send his reign of fire to scorch his enemies—Jews and Bolsheviks—instead he lays waste to his entire country.
Even dragons are cannot quell the conspiracies arising around the Tsar, from the ranks of the oppressed, political operatives, and one nameless functionary watching power slip away. Even the Tsar’s foreign-born wife believes that his tactics are tantamount to evil. But revolution is in the air—and the Red Army is hatching its own weapons.
Discover the crux of Russian history as it is radically and entertainingly re-imagined by dynamic writing team Jane Yolen (The Emerald Circus) and Adam Stemple.
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