REVIEWS+

The Last Tsar's Dragons

Tachyon. Jun. 2019. 192p. ISBN 9781616962876. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616962883. FANTASY
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The mother-and-son writing team (The Last Changeling) here collaborate on another work of fantastical fiction, this time based on the Russian Revolution. Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra have much to disagree about: treatment for their ailing son, her reliance on the mystical monk Rasputin, and the barn outside the palace full of imperial dragons. The tsar considers the dragons his children, useful for terrorizing peasants and keeping order. The tsarina respects their power but is easily misled into thinking the tsar's dragons killed her most-trusted adviser. Neither monarch is aware that rebel forces have raised dragons of their own and are ready to change the balance of power forever. Told from the viewpoints of characters both fictional and historical, the story easily conveys how well-known figures, including revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, would respond to a fantastical crisis.
VERDICT This brief, inventive genre crossover is recommended for fans of Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" series and those who enjoy dragons in their world history.

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