The Prussian campaign was depressing! The author portrayed this dismal period so well that readers like me may well have felt that they, too, were fighting Lien and Napoleon Bonaparte, losing battle after battle. Now instead of continuing to fight, Laurence and Temeraire, receive orders telling them of the purchase of three valuable dragon eggs from the Ottoman Empire. They must cease fighting to escort the eggs to England before the hatching, not do easy task. Taken prisoner when they arrive, they eventually escape with the eggs. On the way home they once again are immersed in the war with Napoleon.
It's a long tale with many battles and considerable traveling. One comes away thinking that Laurence has begun to fit the stereotype of the stuffy and stoic Englishman while Temeraire represents a sulky teenager. Tharkay, an unpredictable, swaggering character chooses his own way yet comes through for the duo when he is most needed. Iskierka adds humor and life to the tale when she hatches, chooses her own name and always, yes always, wants to go into battle. Never mind that she must grow up first! Add Grandby, Laurence's second in command and the making of the adventure team is complete.
Great story. Complex plot. Wonderful characters. All combine with skill and love so readers can travel the world to enjoy. One can only hope that the next in the series is just as much fun.
A new take on dragon/ people bonding. Fun to read.
Considering the first two books of Novik's series were astoundingly amazing, this one falls a bit short. I read it quickly to fulfill me desire for plot continuity, but afterward I wasn't as satisfied as I had been with Jade Empire. It seemed to skip around with no defined course, but it was still worthwhile ^_^