Been meaning to read this for ages. Turns out I was a complete idiot for leaving it this long. Temeraire is amazing. I am ashamed and saddened for not getting here sooner. Foolish girl. But I’m there now, and by god I shall be reading the sequels as soon as I can afford them.
Basically, if you’ve not come across them before, take the Napoleonic War. Add dragons. The result? Excellence. That is basically it. You follow the story of a navy captain who is unexpectedly chosen by a dragon hatchling to be its rider and must thus leave naval life and his ship to join the British aerial corps in the fight against the French. It is thus a ripping yarn full of people using old timey ways of saying things are good or bad (my particular favourite is “famous” and then once “infamous”) and lots of thoughts of duty and stuff. It appeals an awful lot to a lot of things I like… though I probably shouldn’t start talking like any of the characters, much as I’d like to.
It’s a short book, but a lot gets packed in in that space. Character development! Plot! References to the Napoleonic Wars that I didn’t get! Dragons! Tension! Drama! Nineteenth century etiquette and understated conflict! Whoring! Explaining whoring to a dragon! It’s a fairly fast-paced thing, so it feels like more than its tiny length.
I’m not going to say anything about the actual plot, because I’ve said enough already that should lure someone into reading it, other than that it is Good. There is nothing I can criticise, really. Everything I care about in a book, sorted. Ok, maybe the conflict characters are a bit one-dimensional, let’s say that. But the goodies are nice and fleshed out and have some grey areas, which sort of makes up for it. If that’s all I can find to criticise, though…
Just go read it, ok?
In other news, today I acquired eight David Eddings books for the princely sum of £3 (and they’re all in perfect condition), because working in a charity shop has its perks. They’ve been watching me for days. I’ve meant to read Eddings since I was at school, and this seemed a sign from the gods to get a move on with it. Not sure where they’ll come in the order of reading, as I still have a pile of birthday-money books to get through, but they’ll be coming up.
What’s actually next is The Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. It has elements of Cloud Atlasesqueness to it. I shall have a lot to say. I’ll probably finish it by the weekend.