Book Title: Tooth and ClawWhat did I think?
Author: Jo Walton
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Own a Kindle copy
Goodreads, Amazon UK
Goodreads Summary: A family of dragons gathers on the occasion of the death of their father, the elder Bon Agornin. As is custom, they must eat the body. But even as Bon's last remains are polished off, his sons and daughters must all jostle for a position in the new hierarchy. While the youngest son seeks greedy remuneration through the courts of law, the eldest son - a dragon of the cloth - agonises over his father's deathbed confession. While one daughter is caught between loyalty to her family by blood and her family by marriage, another daughter follows her heart - only to discover the great cost of true love...
Here is a Victorian story of political intrigue, and family ties, set in a world of dragons - a world, quite literally, red in tooth and claw. Full of fiery wit, this is a novel unlike any other.
This is unlike anything I've ever read in fantasy.
If Jane Austen, or maybe Charles Dickens, felt the sudden urge to write a fantasy book about dragons, this is probably what they would have written.
It has everything: daughters who need to marry, a lost inheritance, romance, etiquette, a greedy family member, a confession, and charming characters. Only...they're all dragons. And they also eat each other.
If any of that sounds at all intriguing to you, please pick this up. It's short, charming, witty and heartwarming.
Jo Walton takes dragon lore and mythology and makes it work with the customs in Victorian society. The world building is delightful. The characters are charming. The society is, frankly, amusing. We've got lords and ladies, only they're all dragons (did I mention everyone in this book is a dragon? But they sit at tables, drink tea and travel in carriages. Just making sure, I definitely mentioned that.) and they all attempt to thrive in society either via their profession or the party they marry. They go to church, they have servants, oh and, they eat the weak and the ill to better their race. Dragon meat helps smaller dragons grow, only to eat, you must already be big and strong...and please don't forget to wear the proper hat.
I've enjoyed this read a lot and recommend it to fans of the Classics just as much as I recommend it to fantasy fans.