I have seen the light and it is good! I was blind but now I see!! I’m so glad that you recommended this series and even more so now that I’ve finally read it.
First and foremost, this is a dragon story and not just a story that happens to have dragons. It’s a full blown, 100% certified, praise-be-to-the-Dragon-Queen-may-she-reign-forever, sort of dragon story. It’s a dragon story with an 1800’s flavor to it and it is glorious. I keep thinking it’s this awesome cross between Dragon Jousters and Master and Commander with the dragons somewhere between Dragonriders of Pern and the Obsidian Trilogy.
I think that because it is such a dragon story I didn’t notice the historical elements. Some may find the historical nature as an added benefit. For me the alternate history just served to allow less exposition setting everything up. As of right now, Napoleon isn’t a draw for me. He’s just an antagonist. And while black powder is cool, it’s not a prominent feature.
Now the nautical and seafaring at the beginning got to me. I’ve always had this thing for mountains and oceans, maybe a romanticized image due all the stories from Grandpa but an image none the less.
Second, it’s very well paced. So smooth and natural, every twist and turn felt right. The plot was also exceptional. Everything had a purpose, no lingering on something inconsequential, but I was never beaten over the head either.
Captain Laurence made a great POV. He was balanced and I enjoyed his perspective on pretty much everything. His flaws only enhanced his strengths and added a charm that was highly endearing. He wasn’t purposefully stupid even when he was making mistakes.
If I’m talking about characters then Temeraire would have to be mentioned. He’s got quite the personality on him. When first hatched I loved his innocence and simple way of looking at things. As he grows and develops I find him thoughtful with a kindness that I can’t help but love. In the end he’s so much an individual entity it’s a little scary.
As you can tell, I loved pretty much everything about the book. I might have preferred it in a high fantasy setting with it’s own world and history, but I fully admit that getting all the established would have lengthened or cut too much of the book. It would been a fundamentally different book so I’m perfectly fine with its historical nature. Something that I did do was imagine the dragons speaking without physically articulating, so not telepathy but that the sound doesn’t really have a specific source either.
I’ll definitely be continuing this series, it will be a new favorite if the rest of the books can keep up with this one.