Review: Golden Age and Other Stories

Golden Age and Other Stories by Naomi Novik

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A neat collection of short stories that take place in the world of the Temeriare series. Some of them are simultaneous with the series and some take place afterwards. It’s a fun little reunion with our friends from the last 9 books.

Volley’s Cow: Almost microfiction length short story in which we find out a bit more about how the draconic parliamentary participation is going.

Planting Season: A nice short story giving John Wampanoag’s backstory. I enjoyed the writing style. While it was nice to be with Temeriare and Laurence for the entire 9 book series, it was fun to have a narration considering the thoughts of a different protagonist. If Novik ever comes back to this world, it’d be a lot of fun to have a North American protagonist.

Dawn of Battle: Backstory for Jane Roland. It was very fun to see her in a key moment of growth in her post. I would certainly love for a series focused on her, even if it paralleled the events of the original 9 books.

Golden Age: We get to see a story from when Laurence was still in the Navy. I don’t remember enough from the first book to know if this is a retcon that makes some of the beginning of the first book a lie or if it was mentioned in the first book and I just forgot. Either way it’s a lot of fun and Laurence is still Laurence, even ignorant of dragons. (Which I guess was also proven during the Japanese book).

Succession: Another origin story. I don’t want to spoil it – I figured it out somewhere about halfway through the story. Provides a bit of interesting background to the state of things at the beginning of the first book.

Dragons and Decorum: A parody (or maybe pastiche is a better word?) of Jane Austen’s work, but set in the world of Temeriare. It takes place simultaneously with most of the books, making for a fun bit of background to the story.

Drabbles – almost a bit of Author-penned “fan fiction”:

– First one is a story in which, I guess Laurence is a surfer and the surfboard is Temeriare?
– A story in which we still have dragons once we’ve become space-faring
– A story that’s a kind of postscript to what happened in France after the series
– An alternate ending to the series
– Ha! Mulan
– What Temeriare thinks of Beowulf
– A steampunk alternate universe
– Around the world in 80 days
– More about Roland’s past
– Aztec world
– Another alternate world for Temeriare
– About Demane and Kulingile in Australia
– Another postscript
– About Jane and Laurence
– Iskierka tells Temeriare a story
– Dragon Encyclopedia
– Dragon Duel
– Alternate Magic World
– Imagining Marco Polo visiting China in Temeriare’s world
– An entry from an encyclopedia about America’s history in this world
– Kulingile’s perspective
– Maximus’ perspective
– A postscript a little further in the future
– Laurence intrudes on a private moment
– Mermaids
– Emily and Demane

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