Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Redemption is out of the question for Temeraire and Laurence on the heels of their treason, and now they are separated - the dragon at a breeding ground, and his disgraced captain on a prison ship. Temeraire is not one to sit and wait quietly: his ideas about dragon rights may help turn the tide when Napoleon comes to invade England (with the help of the crafty white dragon Tien) - if those ideas don't get Laurence executed first.
This book deepens the Temeraire/Laurence relationship; Temeraire begins to throw his considerable weight around while Laurence suffers ostracism, shame, and imprisonment. I love the dragon revolutionary plotline for Temeraire, since for the first time he is forced to test his own intelligence and leadership without Laurence's advice.
Laurence is still hide-bound by his ideals of honor and loyalty, though his actions in Empire of Ivory have frayed his self-image and brought him further from his old Naval self than even joining the Aerial Corps did. He is forced to confront the fact that his only remaining use is to manipulate Temeraire for the benefit of the British government - a job his conscience will not allow him to do.
P.S. How great is Iskierka? I love her bloodthirsty, anarchic nature, which never fails to ruffle Temeraire's frill and brings out his petty side, disrupting his attempts to live up to his noble lineage as a Chinese Celestial (and exposing how young and inexperienced he really is, in spite of his power). She's a great foil, and a fun character.
View all my reviews