I fell in love with the author's depiction of sentient dragons whose morality rivals those of men. The underlying themes of duty and obedience vs honesty and loyalty resonate with our world today. I only wish the author could continue this series! I look forward to more from Naomi Novik.
I've already listened to this book 5 times. It's a fun listen. I have recommended it to several friends as a great "serious enough to pay attention to, but fun enough to listen to in the car" book. Light on the silly supernatural (no sexy vampires here) and heavy on personal interaction and historical setting, the Temeraire series is a great way to enjoy an alternate universe of the Napoleonic Wars. Novik's books in this series explore many of the continents of the early 19th Century complete with dragons and foreign cultures that are well-researched and described.
Hard to compare... Master and Commander? ... but with dragons.
Vance's narration is wonderful. Covering accents from around the world and a great diversity of characters, he does an excellent job of giving a feel for the language and actions in the books.
This is the first book in a great series!! I highly recommend this book to readers who yearn for historical fiction mixed with fantasy. This is no witches, spells, sexy vampires fighting with musclebound werewolves for silly high school girls who only know the word "Beautiful" to describe things. This is much more a travelogue or war story set in the age of cannons and sails with real historical figures intermixed with aerial corps of dragons.
This series and Jack Campell's lost fleet series have a lot in common for me. Protagonists that are the model of perfection, couched in dilemma’s that really only need a strong decisive commander to overcome.
But like the lost fleet series, I'm not 'desperate' to find out what happens next. Perfect to read when I’m waiting, and solid entertainment whenever I have the time just not quite....gripping enough to be great.
Although I can't say this wasn't an enjoyable read/listen, I was disappointed that Novik didn't do more with a very interesting premise. Put simply, the dragons are just too easy to deal with. They roll out of the egg able to speak with those around them, in the King's English (even if sired in China and given to the French!). For all their bulk and the fear that the non-aviators have of them, the fact is my girlfriend's cats are more dangerous and unpredictable. Some seeds are sown for the idea that huge, sentient beasts maybe shouldn't be treated like cattle, but it doesn't go very far in this book.
I don't mean that in a bad way. I am a reader of many kinds of books. I tend towards 'lit-fiction,' science and history. Fantasy series are my guilty pleasure, and this is the fourth i've embarked on after Tolkien, Martin, and Joe Abercrombie. In some ways, this is the best series of the lot, in some ways the worst. THE GOOD: The world itself is very interesting, the presence of dragons being an entertaining twist on what otherwise is precisely the stuff of Horatio Hornblower or Master and Commander. High-seas, for-king-and-country, rule Britania, huzzah! Rousing and fun. The narrator sounds convincingly of-the-period. The thought into how Dragons have shaped the world is also admirable. The battles are unique and riveting. THE BAD: The characters are almost entirely flat, uncomplicated vessels for the plot. The dialogue isn't bad, but they don't have DEPTH. OVERALL: A rousing listen, but it won't stay with you!
College student, Mom and Grandma.
This is a twist of fate that you will never guess. It talks about true friendship and everlasting love. You will cry, you will laugh and you will get mad but you will stick with it to the end. Leaving you craving for more.
(I'm 57) I haven't finished the book and probably won't. They are reasonably well written, well-narrated and so forth, but as I was listening to the rather predictable "plot", I realized how much I would have enjoyed this at age 10....seriously, these are excellent children's books.
People have been telling me for years to read this. I was resistant. Glad I finally relented. Likable characters. Interesting dragons. The plot is alright. Good descriptions. An excellent narrator.
This book was a nice mix of Master and Commander and the Eragon series. I am not typically a fan of dragon focused fiction with the exception of the Paoloni series (but that is a whole other review). This book was entertaining and easy to listen to all the way through to the end….. However it was not riveting. The book had so much more potential to delve deeper into this world. I wanted more about the characters, the setting, and the dragons. While I try not to let details of the period distract me, I can’t help but notice them. Perhaps I have been spoiled too much from Bernard Cornwell’s books, but I enjoy books of this genre that can not only have a good story line, but also have great details of events, attire and equipment. While the author did a nice job of describing the dragons and their equipment, the same cannot be said about the military equipment, which at times was inaccurate. These are small and did not ruin the overall experience. I am troubled by the fact at the end of this book I was not compelled to get the next book in the series or even put it into my wish list. This is not the feeling I like to have when I start a new series, and therefore I doubt if I will continue to listen to these books. I would recommend this book if you are absolutely bored and want an easy to listen to book without much thinking required. I would rate it PG-13 as far as content and therefore could be a good listen for a family road trip if you are fine with your kids watching a movie of that rating.
yes. it was recommended to me by a friend. the story concept didnt seem that interesting, but as I read I found that the true enjoyment comes from the lead character and his dragon and their friendship, not some much the historical-fantasy setting.