Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of the Temeraire series: His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, Blood of Tyrants, and League of Dragons. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award and has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, as well as the Locus Award for Best New Writer and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of Uprooted and the graphic novel Will Supervillains Be on the Final? She lives in New York City with her husband Charles Ardai, the founder of Hard Case Crime, and their daughter, Evidence, surrounded by an excessive number of purring computers.
In this delightful first novel, the opening salvo of a trilogy, Novik seamlessly blends fantasy into the history of the Napoleonic wars. Here be dragons, beasts that can speak and reason, bred for strength and speed and used for aerial support in battle. Each nation has its own breeds, but none are so jealously guarded as the mysterious dragons of China. Veteran Capt. Will Laurence of the British Navy is therefore taken aback after his crew captures an egg from a French ship and it hatches a Chinese dragon, which Laurence names Temeraire. When Temeraire bonds with the captain, the two leave the navy to sign on with His Majesty's sadly understaffed Aerial Corps, which takes on the French in sprawling, detailed battles that Novik renders with admirable attention to 19th-century military tactics. Though the dragons they encounter are often more fully fleshed-out than the stereotypical human characters, the author's palpable love for her subject and a story rich with international, interpersonal and internal struggles more than compensate. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Imagine that you are a British navy captain in the Napoleonic Wars. The last thing you want is to ruin your career and marital prospects by joining the Aerial Corps, a rather uncouth and secretive branch of the service, but duty calls, and the dragon egg you captured from aboard a French ship is about to hatch. Yes, a dragon egg-in this first of a trilogy, the British sea story is given a new twist: instead of tall ships, we have enormous flying dragons that make up an aerial combat force. Each dragon is paired at hatching with a captain, and the two form a close bond that gives an emotional center to what might otherwise have been just another alternate history. Novik's engaging debut is a perfect blend of the familiar and the fantastical, with both exciting air battles and the natural history of dragons described in what would be well-researched detail if it didn't happen to originate in the author's imagination. Fans of historical fantasies like Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell may enjoy. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [The second volume in this "Temeraire" series, Throne of Jade, will be published on April 25; the third and final, Black Powder War, on May 30.-Ed.]-Jenne Bergstrom, San Diego Cty. Lib. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.