The fifth instalment of the New York Times bestselling series, Temeraire. Laurence waits to be hanged as a traitor to the Crown, and Temeraire is confined to the breeding grounds as Napoleon invades Britain, and takes London. Laurence and Temeraire have betrayed the British. They have foiled their attempts to inflict death upon the French dragons ...
The fifth instalment of the New York Times bestselling series, Temeraire. Laurence waits to be hanged as a traitor to the Crown, and Temeraire is confined to the breeding grounds as Napoleon invades Britain, and takes London. Laurence and Temeraire have betrayed the British. They have foiled their attempts to inflict death upon the French dragons by sharing the cure they found in Africa with their enemy. But following their conscience has a price. Laurence feels he must return to face the consequences, and as soon as they land they are taken into custody. Laurence is condemned to the gallows and Temeraire faces a life of captivity in the breeding grounds. None of their friends or allies can come to their aid, for every hand is needed elsewhere. Britain is completely unprepared for Bonaparte invasion and the advanced tactics of his own celestial dragon - Temeraire's mortal enemy - Lien.
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With a bow towards the dragons of Anne MacCaffrey, as well as respectful homage towards Patrick O'brian's more modern revival of the Hornbloweresque naval genre, Ms. Novik has produced a marvelous body of work that is deeply satisfying for history buffs, and delightful for fans of dragondom. Can't wait for the next installment! As with Obrian's work, one marvels at the hardships endured by those who entered into such a 'hard service.' Fans will continue to hope and pray for success in Temeraire's efforts at social reform for dragons in the UK and elsewhere.
Oct 2, 2008
Wonderful and all sorts of Superlatives
I am still befuddled over how a first-time author managed to follow up a best-selling debut with four sequels that never dimmed in comparison to the first. In fact, "Victory of Eagles," the fifth book, is just as high in energy and creativity as the very first installment, even though the reader is by now quite accustomed to all of the characters and the world they inhabit. Novik tries something new here, which is to alternate between the points of view of Laurence and Temeraire. It was great fun to be let into Temeraire's head, and Novik pulled this absurdly brilliant yet child-like view off nimbly. It is a great credit to Novik that I have never tired of Temeraire's obstinacy or naivety; he is so wonderfully characterized that all those quirks of personality make sense rather than grate. I cannot give too in depth of a review without giving away some huge spoilers, so I'll just say that Napoleon has landed! The situation for Laurence and Temeraire, however, is even hairier than the mere occupation of their home by a tyrant. I do appreciate as well that Novik doesn't pull her punches. She is willing to do almost anything to her protagonists for the sake of a plot that is dynamic and unpredictable.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-05-19 In the thrilling fifth installment (the first in hardcover, following 2007's Empire of Ivory) of the bestselling Temeraire series, Novik returns to familiar themes of love, duty and liberty against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. When Napoleon's forces attack England, Temeraire, believing Laurence dead, decides to lead other uncaptained dragons to battle. When the two reunite, Temeraire uses his commander status to gain a voice in war counsels, demanding freedom and pay for dragons. Though the battles are impressive and the politics unsubtle but intriguing, the piece de resistance is the quiet moment when Laurence faces the mad king he betrayed. This accessible vision of an English Regency with an air force raises the stakes without straining credibility. Followers of Temeraire's travels will be richly rewarded by the satisfying conclusion of his return to home ground, but may wonder where Novik can go from here. (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-29 Naomi Novik continues her alternate history of the Napoleonic wars in this fifth adventure featuring British Capt. William Laurence and his faithful celestial dragon, Temeraire. Picking up after Empire of Ivory, a disgraced Laurence has been convicted of treason, sentenced to a prison ship and is only one step away from the hangman's noose. Temeraire is relegated to a breeding area in Wales along with other dragons viewed as past their prime. When Bonaparte invades England, Laurence and Temeraire are soon free to fly and fight for king and country. Vance fully inhabits Novik's vividly realized fantasy world. His battle scenes are exciting as he describes all the intricate fighting tactics without sacrificing the thrills. With keen vocal characterizations, he portrays a wide variety of individuals, both human and nonhuman, with the dialogue between Temeraire and some snobbish, older dragons singularly entertaining. A Del Rey hardcover (Reviews, May 19). (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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