LEAGUE OF DRAGONS by Naomi Novik
Kirkus Star

LEAGUE OF DRAGONS

From the "Temeraire" series, volume 9
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Ninth, and last, of the Temeraire historical fantasy series (Blood of Tyrants, 2013, etc.), reimagining the Napoleonic Wars in a world where humans coexist with intelligent dragons.

Napoleon’s invasion of Russia has been foiled. Following his adventures in the Far East, Capt. William Laurence and his dragon partner, Temeraire, assist the Russian forces to harry the retreating French—but Napoleon escapes to Paris, where he plots a counterstroke. While raising new human armies, he promulgates a remarkable political document granting any dragons that will fight for him—including the ferals who owe allegiance to no government—autonomous territories and humane treatment. This offer proves a powerful enticement, especially to dragons from Russia (historically treated with great cruelty) and Britain (where attitudes range from callous indifference to outright hostility). Even worse, from Laurence’s viewpoint, Napoleon has stolen the egg of Temeraire (whose weapon is the Divine Wind, a rock-shattering roar) and Iskierka, his fire-breathing mate, knowing that the egg is enormously precious to them and that they will go to any lengths to recover it. So it should be a simple matter to lure Laurence and the dragons into a trap. One of the great pleasures of this long, sometimes uneven, but always fascinating series is the way Novik meticulously and patiently accumulates details of the various types of dragon, each having its particular aspect, talents, and behaviors, and the spectrum of attitudes humans hold toward them. Though employing a modern vocabulary, the early-19th-century writing style precisely captures the rhythms, manners, and sensibilities of the period. The action prose is vivid and immediate, especially when adopting a dragon’s perspective. You feel that, given the existence of dragons, the alternate history the author envisions might well have come to pass.

Not the finest entry in the sequence, being slow to gather momentum and somewhat patchy, but overall a satisfying conclusion to a remarkable series.

Pub Date: June 14th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0345522924
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016




MORE BY NAOMI NOVIK

Sci-FiBLOOD OF TYRANTS by Naomi Novik
by Naomi Novik
Sci-FiCRUCIBLE OF GOLD by Naomi Novik
by Naomi Novik
Sci-FiTONGUES OF SERPENTS by Naomi Novik
by Naomi Novik

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

Sci-FiSORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho
by Zen Cho
ChildrenTHE RITHMATIST by Brandon Sanderson
by Brandon Sanderson
Sci-FiA NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS by Marie Brennan
by Marie Brennan