Will Laurence is the captain of a British Navy war ship while Napoleon is trying to take over Europe. He captures a French frigate and discovers what he least expected a dragon egg on board. To make matter worse his ship surgeon declares that the dragon will hatch in less than a week. The crew draws lots to see, who will “harness” it, or bond with the dragon so that it stays tame, but the hatching goes awry and the dragon takes a liking to Captain Laurence. Now, the captain must care for the little creature and leave the Naval life to join the king’s aerial combat corps. The dragon, Temeraire, and Laurence must begin a new life together fighting against French dragon forces before Napoleon scores a victory.
I really enjoyed this book. The story grabbed my attention from the beginning and I adored the interaction and character development of both Laurence and his dragon Temeraire. The prose is written in time-period style, which makes it a little harder to read, but most definitely fun. The only problem I had with this book is that I think the author doesn’t write battles as well as she does her characterization, but they were still interesting to read. I don’t know if they market this fantasy series as an alternative history, but it is, being set during the Napoleonic Era, and specifically mentions battles that really happened and recounts the outcomes. Though, if you don’t know much about the history you probably won’t be able to tell. I highly recommend this series because I had so much fun reading it.
There has been some talk of Peter Jackson making the book into a movie, but I’m not sure if that has officially gone through or if a release date has been set.
There is more information at Naomi Novik’s website: http://www.temeraire.org/