The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik

My sister got me onto the Temeraire series. I believe she first got onto it because of the pretty covers. While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I must say that I am more inclined to pick up a new book if the cover is attractive. And I will be looking out for the pretty covers when I go to buy the books.

Anyway, this series is about the Napolionic Wars. Except that there are dragons. Massive dragons that host entire crews of aviators (which sadly, I can’t quite visualise). Intelligent dragons who aren’t treated as well as they should be.

There will eventually be nine books in the series. Currently, there are six – Temeraire (also known as His Majesty’s Dragons), Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, and Tongues of Serpents. I haven’t read the latest one yet but I’m very keen to, especially since it’s based in Australia.

The story begins with a naval officer (Laurence), who captures a dragon egg from a French vessel and finds himself the aviator captian of said dragon (Temeraire). Bit of a life-style change.

Amongst the dragons and the fighting are the themes of gender roles and social classes, as well as the issue of slavery (both human and dragon). There’s also the bonus of Laurance and Temeraire travelling to foreign countries, and we get to see how dragons are treated in the different places.

Victory of Eagles is slightly different from the previous novels in that part of the story is told through Temeraire, the dragon. It really helps the reader to better understand the way that the dragons think, and how they try to conform to human society, which they don’t even understand. The sweet innocence and personalities of the dragons provide a nice contrast to Laurence’s story, which at this point isn’t all too happy.

These books are just fantastic. I can’t believe Temeraire/His Majesty’s Dragon is Novik’s first novel.

EDIT: Wasn’t thrilled by Tongues of Serpents but I loved Crucible of Gold.


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