When the HMS Reliant captures a French ship and seizes the unhatched dragon egg that is its cargo, Captain Will Laurence's life changes forever. When the dragon hatches, it chooses Laurence as his rider.

Temeraire is an extraordinarily intelligent and inquisitive dragon and just what England needs in her fight against Napoleon. Laurence and Temeraire learn aerial combat to repel Napoleon's forces.

The relationship between Laurence and Temeraire is truly one of equals. The characters are beautifully and realistically realized, and the plot is suspenseful and exciting. Novik's use of dragons as an air force isn't original, but the execution is superb and the descriptions of air maneuvers fantastic. The plot cracks along, with few pauses, leading to a denouement that leaves a few tantalizing morsels for the next volume. (Apr., 384 pp., $7.50)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs