I read the first book of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series last spring, and as I noted in my very brief review it was a lot of fun. As regular readers of this site will know, I have soft spots for both fantasy and Napoleonic-era British historical fiction, so the combination of the two would be right up my alley--indeed, I can only think of one other book that falls into both categories, and I gave it a positive review, too. In any event, I'd been meaning to return to Novik's series, so after Christmas when I had some spare cash, I picked up the second and third books. I liked those so much that I went ahead and bought the remaining four, and tore through all six in just over three weeks.

The series imagines an alternate version of the Napoleonic Wars in which dragons are real, and the major world powers all have aerial corps made up of dragons and their aviator crews. It is, I suppose, sort of a silly concept, but it's an extraordinarily entertaining one, too. Over the course of the seven books, we follow the adventures of Captain William Laurence and his dragon companion, Temeraire, through war, diplomacy, intrigue, and exploration across five continents and even more cultures. There's action, of course, and the old-fashioned style was spot-on for me. But more than that, I found myself quite drawn in by the ways in which Novik explored the different facets of how life and history would be different if there were a second sentient species, and I found her alternate universe to be interesting and well-realized.

It's not serious or weighty "literature," but I found the Temeraire series thoroughly enjoyable, and if a light, fantastic adventure is your idea of a good time, I recommend it.

(Series comprises His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, and Crucible of Gold. Read 1/8/13 - 2/1/13.)