Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

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tooth and claw waltonThis novel features Earth reimagined. Here, society is strictly stratified; workers know their place, and politicians, rulers, and priests reserve the right to control the lives of those below them.

Patriarch Bon Agornin had risen from a low position in society to one of wide respect. He strove all his life to earn enough to keep him and his family happy, and now he has passed away. His sons, Avan and Penn, and his daughters, Berend, Selandra, and Haner, now gather to mourn, to divide his wealth, and of course, to consume his corpse.

Wait, what?

Oh, I forgot to mention that all the characters are dragons, and, naturally, when dragons consume dragon flesh, they magically grow in size.

Everything is going according to Bon’s will, until Berend’s husband, Daverak, takes more than his share. Due to a vaguely worded will, Daverak’s lofty social status, and delicate unspoken laws of etiquette, Avan and his sisters are powerless to do anything about it. Unfortunately, Daverak’s slight is just one of the problems that face the newly father-less dragons as they make their way through this complex and restrained Draconian society.

This novel has been described as a Victorian Romance but with dragons, and I cannot disagree. It is most often compared to the novel Framley Parsonage, but I can see various plot points borrowed from multiple novels all weaved together to create a beautiful reptilian re-design of the classic novel genre. Tooth and Claw is not a book I would normally pick up. I don’t normally go in for books featuring legal battles, forbidden love, long lost children, and fancy ballroom dancing, but since every character is a giant dragon, I fell in love with this book almost immediately. I would highly recommend it to those who love classic novels, and to those who love fantasy, Tooth and Claw is a true genre bridger.

Check the PPLC Catalog for Tooth and Claw.

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