By: Naomi Novik
Published: March 28th, 2006
Publisher: Del Rey
When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire. (x)
· When I read this book I found that I had this nagging feeling that I had either read this book or something very like it. About halfway through realized that I had in fact, read it many years ago!
· I love books about dragons and have read so many of them that they do sometimes tend to blur together!
I I told my mom that this book reminded me a bit of The Dragonriders of Pern crossed with Leviathan both of which are some of my favourite books to read.
· I loved the characterization of the dragons, their intelligence and interest and real personalities were fun to read about and also helped make this book stand out from other books on dragon. I don't think that I have read very many books where the dragons actually speak out loud, or where they are capable of learning lots of different languages. Most of the time they seem to only speak directly to their rider's mind.
· Laurence’s journey was so fun to follow along with, we learned about the dragons and aviators at the same time he did which allowed for more explanation that fit well into the story line. Sometimes the downfall of fantasy can be the clunkyness that comes when authors try to fit too much detail and worldbuilding without anyway to smoothly incorporate it into the story line. But Novik handled that super well with the way she had Laurence learn along with the reader. This really helped the book to flow smoothly and made for lots of twists and turns as Laurence/the reader learned things along the way. At times Laurence was a bit annoying with all his honor and blah blah, loosen up man! Then again it did fit with his character, so it wasn't hugely out of place, it just ended up being a bit annoying.
· Plotwise it wasn't super thrilling, but there was a lot of worldbuildling and character relationships/development which I really enjoy so I didn’t mind. There wasn't a lot of constant tension and adventure but I’d imagine that the next few books have more moving/fast plot given that this book has established so much about the world