I haven’t felt this way since I was a kid gobbling up the Anne McCaffrey books, but Naomi Novik’s Temeraire (His Majesty’s Dragon in North America) has led to a desperate longing for my very own dragon. It doesn’t even have to be a Chinese one. Honest. But I want one! Now!
I’ve been stuttering around, unable to settle on any particular book for a while, and those I have finished lately, I haven’t much cared for. Though it could well be me and not the book, cause the last such book is acclaimed up hill and down dale and those in the know say it’s a likely Printz award shortlister. Left me cold. Worse than cold: I was bored. And the ending made me want to throw the book across the room. Bleach! I’ve been trying to get purchase with Tale of Genji and keep failing miserably. I haven’t even been able to finish the Gideon Haigh I started and I know I like his books.
So it was with great relief that I started Temeraire and found myself immediately sucked into the story. The first time I looked up I was more than a hundred pages in. It’s a cracker. Rips along. It has battles and honour and (discreet) sex and dragons! Lots and lots of dragons! It’s set during the Napoleonic wars and it’s fabulous. The protag, Laurence, is the best stick-up-his bum hero ever. And I won’t tell you anything more, except to say that you should really, really, really not read the cover copy because it gave away a couple of key plot points I’d’ve been much happier not knowing. It’s the first in the series, but who knows when the next two books are going to be published here (her website doesn’t say) and there’s no way I can be expected to wait. I want more. Now!