Sunday, March 25, 2012

Victory of Eagles (Temeraire Series #5) by Naomi Novik

I give this book.... 5 stars out of 5! Well played, Ms. Novik. Well played.

From the hardcover edition:
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, who serves Britain’s peerless Aerial Corps in the thick of the raging Napoleonic Wars. Now, in the latest novel of this dazzling series, 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. 
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?

My thoughts:

I thought this was a very well written book, and I am so pleased that the monotony and predictability of the first few novels has all but vanished. Temeraire's perspective is finally introduced in this book, and it is very interesting to delve into the mind of a dragon, especially Temeraire. I can't even say how happy I was when he and Laurence were finally reunited, after having dealt with the captain's rumored demise aboard a sunk ship. Essentially, I was picturing a smarter, larger dog seeing his owner after a week's vacation. And that's quite a picture to paint.

This book was lacking in happy moments, which of course is to be expected. Laurence has been condemned to death for treason, and Temeraire is an unruly dragon who seeks to reroute the British military and government, asking for better treatment and (dare he ask it?) pay/commission. Shock! I'm on his side though, he's a soldier as much as Laurence or Granby, and the dragons do deserve to earn something from their work.

I'm looking forward to the next installment, Tongues of Serpents. This story started off strong, and only got better throughout. And I really do want a happy story for Laurence and Temeraire, they have been through so much and really do deserve better.

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