I only recently discovered this series, on the recommendation of a friend of my boyfriend, and I’m very much enjoying it. So far I’ve only read the first three books: ‘His Majesty’s Dragon’, ‘Throne of Jade’ and ‘Black Powder War’. I loved the first one, and the second two were just as good, so I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

The series is quite episodic, in that most of the problems that occur are wrapped up in one book, with a few themes linking the books together – notably the war with Napoleon, and Temeraire’s revolutionary bent. I’ll start by talking about the first book, ‘His Majesty’s Dragon’. Basically, it’s Earth, but with dragons. The detail of the different dragon species and how they’re used by the aviators was creative, fun and very absorbing. Novik developed enough detail about how they would fit into society, and how their companions would be treated, that it’s entirely seamless and plausible. Her writing is very easy to read, and I finished this first book in two days. I enjoyed it enough that I’ll probably re-read it again.

I feel that Novik’s writing, though excellent in the first book, improves in the second. There were some descriptions I just stopped and re-read, so I could properly admire them (but I tend to do that a lot). I also think the plots get a little more complicated, particularly in the third book, and there’s a bit more going on, which as far as I’m concerned, bodes well for the rest of the series.

The second book, ‘Throne of Jade’, continues on with some more excellent world-building in China, and Temeraires’ dissatisfaction with some elements of how dragon’s are treated is further expanded and carries on into the third book. This was a part of Temeraire’s personality I found most interesting from the first, and I’m pleased to see it going somewhere. The second book was very engaging, and I got caught up in Laurence’s concerns about Temeraire and what he would choose to do, which was quite a feat considering I’d already read the blurb for the third book so I kinda already knew… I felt the ease at which the adoption occurred was hard to believe (though perhaps it wasn’t easy, but happened in very few pages) but that’s a minor quibble with a book that overall, I enjoyed very much.

Moving onto the characters, there are a lot of supporting characters, none of which I care that much about, but the main cast are strong enough that that doesn’t really matter. The books frequently tell you what a great conversationalist Laurence is, which I find a bit difficult to believe. He always seems very stiff and formal, but perhaps that works in the Navy. Regardless, I still like him and get caught up in his problems, as I previously mentioned.

I very much enjoyed these first three books, and I’m looking forward to reading the next. Also, I just really enjoy saying the name ‘Temeraire’.

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