1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Who would have thought dragons and ships would be such a good fit?,
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This review is from: Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] (Paperback)
Temeraire takes an unusual combination and makes it work surprisingly well. The setting is our world during the Napoleonic Wars, a little before the Battle of Trafalgar, but both sides maintain fleets of dragons as well as wooden-sided ships. This delightful version of the classic "what if" tactic of good SF produces something akin to alternative history fiction. In fact, the only major weakness is that she's very carefully balanced the abilities of dragons to make sure they haven't radically changed history.
Novik does a surprisingly good job of portraying the period and drawing authentic characters for the time. The main character, Will Laurence, is a touchy and proud Royal Navy captain who is thrown into the wilder world of Britain's dragon forces, and this outsider's perspective cleverly introduces them to us. The dragons come with differing abilities and sizes, and their place in military tactics is presented realistically.
Laurence is an engaging character, and his partnership with his new dragon Temeraire is well drawn. There's a modicum of romance, and although the focus is on the dragons and action, there's enough of a sense of a wider world. I'm definitely going to follow the later instalments with interest.