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November 2, 2018

It’s hard to do better than Naomi Novik when you want a good historical fantasy.

Spinning Silver, her latest offering, is a riff on Rumpelstiltskin set in medieval Russia. Miryem, the daughter of a Jewish moneylender, takes up her father’s trade and finds she’s shrewd enough to turn pennies into silver and silver into gold. Her success attracts the attention of the Staryk King, the manifestation of Russian winter. He wants her to make gold for him, and eventually forces her into being...

August 17, 2016

What happens when you take Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey and grant his ship thoughts, wings, and the ability to breathe sonic waves? You get Naomi Novik’s excellent Temeraire series, one of my favorite historical fantasies.

In Novik’s version of the Napoleonic era, dragons are used as flying battleships, complete with crews that hang on by clipping carabiners to their giant steeds’ harnesses. Dragons can talk too, and often express personalities evocative of highly intelligent dogs.


June 29, 2015

Like her Temeraire series, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted starts with a dragon. But this creature of legend isn’t a wyrm: he’s a human wizard. And the protagonist isn’t a Napoleonic-era English naval captain: she’s a peasant girl.

Uprooted continues to set itself apart as the story progresses. While the Temeraire series is historical fantasy, Uprooted is closer to straight fantasy (despite being set in 16th century Poland). Instead of third person limited, Novik tells her new tale in first pe...

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I write mostly speculative fiction. Usually fantasy, with historical elements mixed in. Sometimes there's a bit of mystery too, or (shhh!) even a little romance.


But it's weird—it's always weird. Consider yourself warned.