The Double Phoenix

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Temeraire (the trilogy) by Naomi Novik

Posted by spragujs on July 26, 2006


Compilation of the trilogy purchased in hardcover book club size from the Science Fiction Book Club (SFBC).

Author’s website:

Overall: Ok, I quite enjoyed these books! ‘Course I may be overly biased toward books that have dragons in them, and especially books where the dragons are intelligent and friendly toward humans. 😉 I’ve always wanted a dragon! From what I’ve heard, they’re fairly accurate accounts of some of the events of the Napoleonic wars, just with some aerial combat included with the aid of the dragons. (This may or may not have changed actual historical outcomes, but I wouldn’t know, ’cause I know little about history and pretty much nothing about the Napoleonic wars.) The speech patterns seem strange to me. I’m sure they’re supposed to be appropriate for the time period, but they felt more like a kid trying to write what would have been appropriate for the time. Maybe I’ve just watched too many movies/TV! 😉 In any case, it wasn’t distracting or anything, and probably for me made the books more endearing.

Ok, I thought I’d put the spoilered sections below, but find that the stuff I want to write about at the moment are only slightly spoilery (think, back of the book stuff), so I’m not going to bother more than with this statement.

His Majesty’s Dragon: This book was excellent! I had trouble putting it down. Obviously a very good start to Ms. Novik’s career! (Here’s to hoping I haven’t missed some other books that she’s already written!) Great set up for the story and also really fun characters.
Throne of Jade and Black Powder War: These two books weren’t “can’t put them down” books, but they were still quite good! I would find myself thinking about the story at random even if I hadn’t felt compelled to pick up the book each evening (or more often) to read.

Theoretically there will be more books from Ms. Novik in this universe, and I for one will definitely look forward to them! Also, she’s got a bit of a short story on her website that details an anecdote that occurs between His Majesty’s Dragon and Throne of Jade. It’s at:


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