“Just when you think you’ve seen every variation possible on the dragon story, along comes Naomi Novik. . . . Her wonderful Temeraire is a dragon for the ages.”—Terry Brooks
Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.
When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future–and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.
“Terrifically entertaining.”—Stephen King
This engaging debut from newcomer Novik takes the swashbuckling nautical adventure of Horatio Hornblower and adds dragons to the mix, resulting in an enchanting medley of history and fantasy. During the height of the Napoleonic Wars, Capt. Will Laurence of His Majesty's Navy captures a French man-o'-war-an already valuable prize made invaluable when the crew discovers an unhatched dragon egg aboard. Laurence finds himself taking up the duty of being the dragon's captain, forcing him to leave his beloved navy and enter into the unknown world of Britain's dragon-riding Aerial Corp. Thorn accurately captures the sound of 19th-century British dialects, and he varies his voice considerably (occasionally going too far) to differentiate between characters. One odd choice of Thorn's was his decision to give all dragons in the book a rather high, somewhat stilted voice-at odds with the booming speech one would expect from a creature of that gargantuan size. This quibble aside, Thorn does an excellent job of transporting the listener to the historical setting of the novel and brings Novik's richly imagined world vividly to life. A Del Rey paperback (Reviews, Jan. 23, 2006).