Book Review: Victory Of Eagles (Temeraire #5), by Naomi Novik
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Date Published: January 2008
Publisher: Del Rey
# Of Pages/Listening Time: 352 pages/10 hours and 29 minutes
Goodreads | Audible
Synopsis: Naomi Novik's triumphant debut, His Majesty's Dragon, introduced a dynamic new pair of heroes to the annals of fantasy fiction: the noble fighting dragon Temeraire and his master and commander, Capt. Will Laurence. Now in the latest novel, they soar to new heights of breathtaking action and brilliant imagination.
It is a grim time for the dragon Temeraire. On the heels of his mission to Africa, seeking the cure for a deadly contagion, he has been removed from military service - and his captain, Will Laurence, has been condemned to death for treason. For Britain, conditions are grimmer still: Napoleon's resurgent forces have breached the Channel and successfully invaded English soil. Napoleon's prime objective: the occupation of London.
Separated by their own government and threatened at every turn by Napoleon's forces, Laurence and Temeraire must struggle to find each other amid the turmoil of war and to aid the resistance against the invasion before Napoleon's foothold on England's shores can become a stranglehold.
If only they can be reunited, master and dragon might rally Britain's scattered forces and take the fight to the enemy as never before - for king and country, and for their own liberty. But can the French aggressors be well and truly routed, or will a treacherous alliance deliver Britain into the hands of her would-be conquerors?
.....For being thoroughly entertaining
I think this is one my favorite books in this series.
Once again you've just gotta love Temeraire; he's such a great protagonist whose opinions make you laugh without him intending to be funny. And now you finally get to read the story from his point of view. For the first time in the series, Naomi Novik splits the narration between Laurence and Temeraire, rather than just Laurence. And personally, I prefer Temeraire's POV. He's considerably more open-minded, while Laurence has too much a sense of duty to his country.
The plot is more fun in this novel as well. Previous installments involved a lot of travelling to distant countries, which sometimes slowed the plot down. This time, however, Temeraire and Laurence are staying quite firmly in England while Napoleon takes over London (pretty sure this never actually happened in our real history, but hey! Things change when you get dragons involved). There's a lot more action, and a lot more politics, which kept my interest for the entire novel.
I also loved Temeraire's triumphs in this book. He's finally able to make progress on establishing more rights for his fellow dragons, going so far as to create an army of unharnessed dragons to help defeat Napoleon. I think that's why I really like this book: after watching both Laurence and Temeraire lose so much, it was nice to see a bit of a win for a change.
Overall, this one was fun to read, albeit a little sad at times (I blame Laurence for that). But still a good read. Still think this is a great series, so if you haven't read it yet, go back to the first book ([book:His Majesty's Dragon|28876]) and check it out!