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League of Dragons by Naomi Novik

League of Dragons (2016)

by Naomi Novik

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This was the perfect ending for a beloved and long-running series. I put it off for as long as I could because I didn't want the story to be over, but it did not disappoint. I love Temeraire, and without giving away any spoilers, I'd say that I'm perfectly happy with how his story ended.

Like I've said many times before: go read His Majesties Dragon. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  VLarkinAnderson | Sep 24, 2018 |
This is the last book in the Temeraire series, which is set in the Napoleonic era and imagines that the nations of the world have an airforce... of dragons. The whole series is a delight, a perfect mash-up of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin novels with a touch of Jane Austen and a whole lot of dragons and their affiliated fantasy trope. Though the series as a whole is a little uneven, it holds up to rereading very well, which I can attest to since I keep rereading it every year. Yeah, it's a favorite.

I've read this last installment twice now and I find it to be a satisfying end to the series, though of course I wish we could spend more time and more books with these delightful characters. Those who were perhaps put off with the priggishness of our main character, William Laurence, in the first book or so would hardly recognize him by this last volume; one of the joys of the series has been to see our POV characters evolve. Novik does a wonderful job showing how the forces of the fantasy elements she has added would shape not just the world but the people (and dragons) within it, and here we see the culmination of that character development as the partnership between Laurence and Temeraire has reached its maturity, following the logic of the world but also the individual loyalty and intelligence that Novik brought forward consistently since book one. It's nice to see such steady, well-rounded character development in books that are situated in the context of war.

Speaking of war, this book still features its fair share of aerial combat and dragon-back warfare, action sequences which fire the imagination and propel the reader through sometimes-dense prose (though I enjoy Novik's writing style, not everyone does). It also showcases, more than ever, the social implications surrounding dragons as a part of global society. I love seeing the dragons put themselves forward and Temeraire and his friends are, as always, both charming and compelling. Overall, a worthy close to a series that no fan ever wanted to end. ( )
  beserene | Jul 9, 2018 |
Rather on the light side, Wm. Lawrence makes his way to Admiral by being in the Tsar’s favor and due to no treachery of his own captures Napoleon after being captured by him. Ning hatches as a seasoned and cynical creature - how was and is Temeraire so simple? Sort of rushed through with too much told from after the incidents with incursions as if whenever NN hit a narrative difficulty she just jumped past it and rear view mirrored it. This is the last one and though I often found WL & T tiresome, I shall miss them. ( )
  quondame | Dec 28, 2017 |
Back in Europe for the final showdown against Napoleon, Laurence and Temeraire have another set of exciting and inspiring adventures and have some time to work for bettering the condition of dragons all over. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Aug 18, 2017 |
Well, that’s it. The last book in the Temeraire series! I thought the ending was satisfying. It wasn’t particularly surprising, maybe, but I was happy with how things ended up and I enjoyed the last book as much as I had enjoyed the previous books. The rest of this review consists of general, spoiler-free comments on the series as a whole.

I really enjoyed the whole series even though, in retrospect, it lacked some of the things that are most likely to earn my enthusiasm for a book. In particular, Novik used a straight-forward and consistent story-telling style. There were surprises here and there, but this isn’t a twisty story with an intricate plot that keeps you confused and anxious to learn what the heck is going on. I do normally prefer a twistier story, but it held my interest well anyway. I would be surprised though if somebody who isn’t crazy for the books from the beginning were to change their mind if they tried to keep reading. The things that made the series enjoyable for me from the start are mostly the same things that sustained my interest through to the end.

Novik writes action scenes well, and she also does very well with making characters likeable and sympathetic. She writes the interactions between characters well too. I was happy that there wasn’t much romance in the series; I think that would have taken away from the more interesting relationships and been more a source of annoyance than anything. There isn’t anything too deep here, but I liked the theme of duty versus morality that showed up throughout the series, forcing our characters to decide which should take precedence when those two things were in conflict and to deal with the consequences of their choices. Even though the series is set during a war, it has a fairly light tone. Bad and discouraging things happen, but there’s also a decent amount of humor and optimism.

I plan to keep an eye out for future books the author publishes, and I’ll read the new anthology (Golden Age and Other Stories) sooner or later. Right now I only see a $25 hardcover available for pre-order so I’ll either borrow it from the library if it’s available, or I’ll purchase it when there’s a reasonably-priced Kindle edition available. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Jul 23, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345522923, Hardcover)

Naomi Novik delivers the final adventure in a New York Times bestselling series that has won fans of Napoleonic-era military history, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels, and Patrick O’Brian’s seafaring adventures. Since His Majesty’s Dragon, Capt. William Laurence and his fearless dragon, Temeraire, have been battling Napoleon and his armies . . . and now the time has come to stop him for good.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:57:59 -0400)

"The final adventure in the New York Times bestselling Temeraire series. The deadly campaign in Russia has cost both Napoleon and those allied against him. Napoleon has been denied his victory...but at a terrible price. Lawrence and the dragon Temeraire pursue the fleeing French army back west, but are demoralized when Napoleon makes it back to Paris unscathed. Worse, they soon learn that the French have stolen Termeraire and Iskierka's egg. Now, it is do or die, as our heroes not only need to save Temeraire's offspring but also to stop Napoleon for good!"--… (more)

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Average: (3.92)
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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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