Summary

Naomi Novik's triumphant debut, His Majesty's Dragon, introduced a dynamic new pair of heroes to the annals of fantasy fiction: the noble fighting dragon Temeraire and his master and commander, Capt. Will Laurence. Now in the latest novel, they soar to new heights of breathtaking action and brilliant imagination. It is a grim time for the dragon Temeraire. On the heels of his mission to Africa, seeking the cure for a deadly contagion, he has been removed from military service - and his captain, Will Laurence, has been condemned to death for treason. For Britain, conditions are grimmer still: Napoleon's resurgent forces have breached the Channel and successfully invaded English soil. Napoleon's prime objective: the occupation of London.
Separated by their own government and threatened at every turn by Napoleon's forces, Laurence and Temeraire must struggle to find each other amid the turmoil of war and to aid the resistance against the invasion before Napoleon's foothold on England's shores can become a stranglehold.
If only they can be reunited, master and dragon might rally Britain's scattered forces and take the fight to the enemy as never before - for king and country, and for their own liberty. But can the French aggressors be well and truly routed, or will a treacherous alliance deliver Britain into the hands of her would-be conquerors?
Dragon tales: don't miss the rest of the Temeraire series.
©2008 Naomi Novik (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Karin W. on 27-02-09

Excellent story, but the audio files are truncated

Excellent installment in Novik's alterate-history account of the Napoleonic Wars if dragons had existed and been used by the European and British military forces, as well as a fascinating development of the dragon suffrage and abolitionist themes hinted at in earlier volumes.

The narration is very good, but the end of each audio part was slightly truncated, so that the last sentence was cut off. Luckily, I had a hard copy of the book, and could read the bits I missed, but the gaps were very disappointing in an audiobook.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ethan M. on 17-11-08

Good action, but the formula is starting to show

This book, the fifth of the series, marks an improvement over the rather confused action of the last novel. The story returns to Britain, and to a Napoleonic invasion that must be fought off with the help of the disgraced main character. Where it retains the "Patrick O'Brien meets Jane Austin meets Tolkein" style, this is a more conventional narrative focused much more on warfare, with only brief (and not too convincing) diversions on the politics of England and the nature of honor. Fortunately, the battle scenes are fascinating, and occasionally wrenching, and there is plenty of action to go around.

But even as the action swells, the main drivers of the series, the characters of Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, become less dynamic. Will, especially, spends much of the book moping over his "treason" of the previous novel, and generally being cut off from friends and compatriots that have driven the relationships in previous novels.

If you liked the previous novels, this one is also a good read. But, in the end, this book continues the strangely unsatisfying approach the author has adopted - it ends on a cliffhanger, with few of the major issues resolved, and the series promising that the next novel will again take us to another, seemingly randomly decided-upon, far away land in the alternate universe of Temeraire, and thus further from whatever resolution Ms. Novik eventually hopes to achieve.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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