Anyone who loves stories with dragons should read this!
The storyline is basically about a naval commander who comes into ownership of a dragon egg and, when it hatches, the dragon chooses him as his rider. They join the aviator army.
What I loved most about this was the relationship of Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire. It developed fast, sometimes feeling a bit too quick, but it brought the story along at a nice pace. Temeraire is a character in and of himself. Though the story follows Laurence’s PoV solely—which I must say was a great choice by Novik—the dragon still shined in its own way. However, I was caught up most in Laurence’s story.
The world is set in the Napoleonic Wars but with dragons. Brilliantly done. I’m not a history buff, but I never felt bored or bogged down by military tactics or lines upon lines of history. Instead, it just moved along and I felt as comfortable as if the setting were entirely imaginary. This makes me believe that both those interested in this particular part of history and those not will enjoy it equally.
With that said, Laurence is a man born of station and thus under ridicule for his choices by the society he kept. His proper manners and how he carries himself in his new station—which was way less formal—were handled incredibly well. I felt for him and his struggles, and Novik, in my mind, did a brilliant job conveying it all.
The action scenes were great, the pacing wonderful. The plot isn’t complicated but is far from boring. I will say it took me a bit to adjust to Novik’s writing style. It felt a bit choppy with an excessive use of colons and semicolons. Not that I felt they were used improperly, but I’ve never read a book that favored them so. Also, for those visual folks like me, take a look in the back of the book before you start. Novak has a few diagrams that help show us rigging and compares some dragon sizes. I wish I would have seen it at the beginning.
Overall, this is a great fantasy and an incredible book for those who love dragons. I highly recommend it.