Its hard to imagine how you can write a fantasy about dragons which still has something different to say. Well Naomi Novik's Temeraire sequence does just that. Some of the personality/friendship themes are no different from what Anne MacCaffrey used to write when her books were worth reading, But Novik's unique stroke is to place her books not in a repetitive sword and sorcery saga, but in an alternate historical fiction set in Britain in the time of the Napoleonic wars. Brilliant stuff beautifully written. Nice to give kids (the target is teenagers but works for everyone) a taste for history as well as adventure. This is the 5th book but she can go on forever for me.
I'm glad the warfare has come to an end - for now I assume - to allow the rich development of Temeraire's character as a champion for dragon's rights in 19th century England (no really!). Not the place to start, go back to "Temeraire" (imaginatively called "His Majesty's Dragon" in the US edition)and settle down for a treat