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.
Fabulous narration by Simon Vance. I've heard the whole series. Was worried this book would be too depressing. Not so. Liked it more than expected. Profound at times, as Laurence deals with ostracism from folks he'd once called friend — or family. But despite the deep injustice and sadness, I often felt good while reading this one. It's heartwarming and mildly amusing in several scenes, offset by desperate bloody battle.
"Colonel Temeraire" of the 81st division steals the show, along with Perscitia the brainiac beast (a mathematically inclined female dragon who plans transportation and battle strategies, despite her personal aversion to warfare). Loved the idea of all these dragons — considered useless — leaving the breeding grounds (old folks home) to serve under Temeraire's command.
I liked the scenes with Lady Allendale and was pleased to see Gong Su again. The fat Lords of the Admiralty were as obtuse and hateful as ever, especially Mulgrave. Wellesley / Wellington seemed fairly realistic. Admiral Jane Roland was in high form throughout the book, too. Her teenage daughter Emily -- always a favorite of mine -- did not disappoint, nor did young Demane and Sipho. Granby and his fire-breathing dragon Iskierka play key roles, as does Tenzin Tharkay. Hoorah for Tharkay!
There are a few battle scenes, most notably the final confrontation with Napoleon, who managed to invade England (a departure from history). The battle formations (squares) felt authentic, despite the surprise (!) in the center, and Wellington's precise timing did not fail. Admiral Lord Nelson plays a key role in the battle, too.
I could have done without the chapter involving Edith and her husband.
The ending is poignant, set during the voyage to New South Wales. Laurence finds peace of mind about his just act of treason and feels nearly overcome with emotion in finding himself surrounded by a few true-blue friends.
This book reminds me of Lord Thomas Cochrane, the historic figure in naval history. The whole series does, in fact.
Now, we wait for the final book. Book 9. League of Dragons, or bust!
I recommend this book to anyone who likes Dragons, or has studied the Napolenic wars. They are exciting, interesting, and surprisingly accurate in the wars's history. A geographical knowledge of England would help make good sense of this book.
Laurence will never get over his "luck" in impressing a baby dragon, but he carries on anyway.
Temeraire's commission and pay arguments
Too long for that, but I finished it as quickly as I could
It is hard to wait for book #9 and see how this saga ends.
University administrator. Commuter cyclist. Dad, husband. Loves books of course. Aspiring Jedi Knight and Warder.
Am really enjoying this series. Novik is an exceptional writer and develops many wonderful characters. Regarding this particular installment, there was lots of aerial action, new interesting characters were added in, there was a compelling storyline and I really like how she treated Captain Lawrence in the story. It deepened this character another degree, which serves to strengthen the overall series.
Everything about this series is very cool - the historical aspect, the intelligent dragons, the human characters, the storyline, the writing and the narration. It's top notch in everyway and this particular story was my fav thus far. Highly recommended.
I loved the first few books, but the British government and people in this book are so backward and hidebound that I had no sympathy for them. The French treated the dragons better and although Captain Lawrence is a honor dulled person he really needs to get a life. I am considering whether I will keep reading this series or not.
i already am
TEMERAIRE LEADING THE BAND OF DRAGONS
HE BRINGS THE BOOK ALIVE
there were several. when temeraire threaten the general---when Lawarence found out from the admiral that he would not needed to be a traitor an the dragons would have been saved . his brother would not let him in house. an there was about 10 more.... an for those who have not read book remember about the "wedding ring".
I love Temeraie and am addicted to the characters that Simon Vance and Noami Novik bring to life. I wish I could fly and fight with them! Every Temeraie book I read is like going home to your family after being away for college. It???s really great when you get home and see all those you love and have missed but really quickly it gets redundant. I hope the feeling of adventure, intrigue and the nail biting uncertainty comes back with the next book...and maybe a less predictable end that sways from the formula of the first novels.
I've enjoyed all of the other books in the series and I enjoyed this one. The story was very unique and imaginative. If you have enjoyed the other books in the series you will not be disappointed. My only complaint was with the narrator. He does a great job, and has done so throughout the series, but it drove me a little crazy when he would try to make new characters have their own voice but it sounded exactly like older established characters. A good listen, could have been longer, I'm loooking forward to the next book.
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