Author : Naomi Novik
Date of Publication : May 19, 2009
Publisher : Del Rey
No. of pages : 384
The Review :
This is a darker piece, with Laurence and Temeraire forced to make difficult decisions on their own. Both go through a character building process, while trying to defend England from France’s invasion.
Temeraire is forced to deal with the complexity and irrationality that often plague human psychology as he learns human politics and negotiation. With straightforward and simplified draconic ways of thought, Temeraire is often frustrated at how difficult humans can make life be when things seem to be plain as day.
On the other hand, Laurence must temper his ideals and his inherent insistence on righteousness, sometimes misplaced, which earns him more harm than good. He is faced with the need to reassess his values when they prove to be impractical nor right anymore. For instance, Laurence is challenged with situations where authority isn’t always right and can be in serious conflict with his personal sense of right and wrong.
The action does not let up in this one as well. Novik perhaps intends to let her duo travel the world as the next destination for them is Australia. Books two to four see them through China, the Middle East, Germany, Russia, and Africa.
I can’t wait for the sixth book, Tongues of Serpents due in the middle of this year. One caveat though: if you plan to read the Temeraire series, you must start with Her Majesty’s Dragon (Book One). You would not appreciate this series should your first book be other than the first. Novik hardly takes the meticulous pain of backtracking and if she does, it is rather cursory as this is the type of series that must be read chronologically.
My Mark : Outstanding!