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Book Review - Temeraire

 Sunday, 10 April 2011

Disclaimer - I wrote this review early last week at a stupidly late hour so any incoherency is due to that fact.
I thought I should post something to bring some levity to the blog after my IMM post this morning.

Title: Temeraire
Author: Naomi Novik
Date: 21/3/2011 PM
Source: Bought
Description: Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.
When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. 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. (Description Taken from Goodreads)

My Review
I was intrigued enough by the mere premise of this series - dragons in the Napoleonic wars - to get the first book as soon as I could find a copy. As you start reading it you almost feel sad that it's historically-based fantasy and not purely historical fiction because heck knows *I* would have loved History lessons even more if it involved Dragons!

The whole mythology surrounding the origin and usage of dragons in warfare etc. is so well though out that it makes a hell of a lot of sense and fits really well with the time period. A century or so later and I reckon that even dragons would become outmoded and antiquated as the Industrial Revolution swept through Europe.

As far as characters are concerned there is a whole host of colourful persons in this book. I really liked Will Laurence for how well he stepped up to the task of handling a dragon despite having to give up his naval career. He's brave, smart and has an excellent moral compass especially when it comes to the treatment of dragons and not just his own. His sense of duty is strong enough that he'd risk offending his fellow aviators to ensure the well-being of the dragons he meets.

Speaking of dragons, Temeraire is possibly the most fascinating creature I've read about in a long time - he's fiercely intelligent, extremely quick at learning and far more articulate than any human can ever hope to be. I also believe that he has a pretty decent sense of humour as far as dragon humour must go :P. The mystery behind his origins was really intriguing and when all is revealed it's not wholly unexpected but still seriously cool nevertheless.

Overall it's a fabulous adventure and a most exciting start to what seems a very promising series and I can't wait to continue with it in the near future. I'm sure that warfare with dragons can only get more fascinating and Laurence and Temeraire still have lots to learn about being in the Corps with a long war ahead of them.

So if dragons are your thing or even just historical fiction then I really recommend giving this series a look-see as it's a fab mashup of two of my favourite genres.

My Rating: 4 out 5 Stars

I wouldn't usually post a review on a Sunday but I still am so backlogged with reviews and I'm not reading a whole lot at the moment (well I am but since I'm juggling several books I'm not finishing much) so I thought why not get this posted since I did technically write it on Tuesday or something but extenuating circumstances delayed my being able to type it up.

Has anyone else read this series? Let me know if you please...


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