/ Lead title An historical fantasy with bite. This deliciously addictive debut novel from Naomi Novik captures the Napoleonic period perfectly and skillfully layers history with imagination by adding a Dragon Air Force to the battle for England. / Astoundingly addictive debut novel / Special introductory price to tempt readers / Brilliant reading for fans of Robin Hobb.
An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular fascination with the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O'Brian and Jane Austen. She began writing as a guilty pleasure while studying for her Master's degree in Computer Science at Columbia. She found an opportunity to combine her passions by developing computer games, starting with a multi-player online science fiction game she created in college that has now been in continuous operation for almost a decade. She is also the founder and organizer of Vividcon, the annual convention for digital video enthusiasts who create music videos and other short films based on their favorite television shows and movies, and of the Commonverse, a project dedicated to applying the "open source" approach for software development to the writing of shared-universe fiction. She lives with her husband in New York City.
Imagine that you are a British navy captain in the Napoleonic Wars. The last thing you want is to ruin your career and marital prospects by joining the Aerial Corps, a rather uncouth and secretive branch of the service, but duty calls, and the dragon egg you captured from aboard a French ship is about to hatch. Yes, a dragon egg-in this first of a trilogy, the British sea story is given a new twist: instead of tall ships, we have enormous flying dragons that make up an aerial combat force. Each dragon is paired at hatching with a captain, and the two form a close bond that gives an emotional center to what might otherwise have been just another alternate history. Novik's engaging debut is a perfect blend of the familiar and the fantastical, with both exciting air battles and the natural history of dragons described in what would be well-researched detail if it didn't happen to originate in the author's imagination. Fans of historical fantasies like Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell may enjoy. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [The second volume in this "Temeraire" series, Throne of Jade, will be published on April 25; the third and final, Black Powder War, on May 30.-Ed.]-Jenne Bergstrom, San Diego Cty. Lib. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
'I took a jaundiced view of dragon books until Novik won me over
with her first novel. the combination of military history,
sympathetic characters, and engaging style makes this series great,
`Plenty of intrigue, swordplay, exotic locations, plausible
invention. In short a treat.'
`These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original
and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real
`Novik has stirred the passions with a genre-busting historical
fantasy of the first order.'
'In the best tradition of fantasy, historical fiction and
In this delightful first novel, the opening salvo of a trilogy, Novik seamlessly blends fantasy into the history of the Napoleonic wars. Here be dragons, beasts that can speak and reason, bred for strength and speed and used for aerial support in battle. Each nation has its own breeds, but none are so jealously guarded as the mysterious dragons of China. Veteran Capt. Will Laurence of the British Navy is therefore taken aback after his crew captures an egg from a French ship and it hatches a Chinese dragon, which Laurence names Temeraire. When Temeraire bonds with the captain, the two leave the navy to sign on with His Majesty's sadly understaffed Aerial Corps, which takes on the French in sprawling, detailed battles that Novik renders with admirable attention to 19th-century military tactics. Though the dragons they encounter are often more fully fleshed-out than the stereotypical human characters, the author's palpable love for her subject and a story rich with international, interpersonal and internal struggles more than compensate. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.