Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik
I felt the series had been struggling slightly in its middle books. Like life they were beautiful, creative infants that progressed to gangly, awkward teens. Now that we are approaching the close of the series we have the majestic wisdom of an accomplished author. The last novel really had fallen off the pace for me. I was still happy to read it so I would not lose the overall arc of the story, but I was even happier when Blood of Tyrants succeeded so magnificently. Once again, I couldn't put the book down. We entered yet another new area of the globe in Napoleon's war. It truly makes the vastness of his campaign felt more than any history lesson I have ever had on the subject.
The writing was fluid and cohesive this time. We were taken through the landscape and met a whole new set of characters. No rushing pell mell through the story line. With every Temeraire saga we are in a new place with new faces, yet it all feels like a comfy old slipper. You just know the people and have bonded with their characters and progression. I respect that the people and places aren't getting worn out. There is an excellent blend with the new and the known, while at the same time, feeling seamless to be in amongst so much new story. The settings are fresh and independent but are necessary for the overall picture of Captain Will Laurence's life. I have not read many series that can boast the same skill.
I truly appreciated the opening twist to the story. I really felt the confusion of our protagonist stumbling to regain the story within myself. I have become very tied to Novik's creations. Her writing is lovely and reminiscent of Victorian era without needing a translator. I feel like there really could have been dragons fighting with the Navy. A beautiful cliffhanger ending that has certainly left me greatly anticipating the final novel.
I look forward to a lovely boxed set when the series is complete. It will be well worth the price tag they put on it if we get some maps and package it in a sea chest (hint, hint... as if the publishers read this). Excellent scores for the penultimate novel and high recommendations for everyone picking up the entire series if they have yet to experience this beauty.
Here is to a new series while I (try to) patiently wait for the next Temeraire!