Daring young adventurer to take on a challenging role, fighting old Boney. Must be willing to take risks, wish to visit exotic locales, show exceptional leadership, and be willing to be scorned by society. Females welcome......Navy types need not apply.
Or so might have read the advertisements looking for new members of the Royal Air Corps.
Captain William Laurence is a reluctant recruit to the Air Corps - he is after all a navy man through and through, captain of his own ship, and definitely on his way up! Captain Laurence and his shipmates engage with a fierce battle with a French navy ship which surprises him seeing as the enemy seems to be starved and there doesn't appear to be any treasure on board. At least, it seems that way until they find a dragon's egg, very close to hatching. Given the state of Britain's own dragon breeding program, and the value of any dragon's egg, this is a major find. When the dragon is hatched he is supposed to bond with his designated handler, a man who has "volunteered" to completely change his life and his career pate, but the dragon, who we come to know as Temeraire, has very different ideas, and bonds to an unwilling Laurence.
In the first book, which could be published under the title His Majesty's Dragon or Temeraire depending on where you live, we read the story of how Laurence and Temeraire come to be together, and how they learn all about being a member of the Air Corps together.
The second book which is called Throne of Jade, follows Laurence and Temeraire as they travel to China to find out about Temeraire's beginnings in a land where dragon's are very much part of every day life.
The third book, Black Powder War, starts in China, and is the story of the journey back to England, with various adventure's along the way, including some very dangerous times in Istanbul.
On the left is the US cover for the fourth book, Empire of Ivory, which will have some action at least set in India. Empire of Ivory is due out in September this year. (All the covers above are the US covers, whilst the ones below are the UK covers).
Naomi Novik posted on her blog last week that the fifth book in the series now has a name - it is going to be called Victory of Eagles and the book will be out in June 2008
Novik has done a fantastic job of taking known historical battles and events and then just tweaking the events by adding in the Air Corps, of which the various types of dragons are an integral part. The books are entertaining on many, many levels and well worth a read.
Interested in reading some reviews?
You can read Kailana's reviews at the following links:
His Majesty's Dragon
Throne of Jade (apparently I seemed to have skipped reviewing this book)
Black Powder War (review forth-coming)
and Marg's reviews:
Temeraire (His Majesty's Dragon)
Throne of Jade
Black Powder War