** spoiler alert ** Man, Novik’s really sticking it to British Empire. It’s beautiful to see.
The tone of this sixth novel is a little depressing, though, and the plot a little tedious, which has Laurence and Temeraire et al wandering around the Australian outback about as long as Harry and Hermione and Ron wandered around in the woods in the Deathly Hallows. Sydney is not a lovely place, yet, and the disgrace of treason weighs heavily on Laurence and perforce on Temeraire, suffusing the narrative with gloom and too much of Temeraire’s, I’m sorry to say, whiny interior dialogue. But the characters are as wonderful as ever (a new dragon called Caesar is a riot), and so is the writing, and there is a rousing battle scene toward the end, with sea serpents, that is terrific, and the bunyips are spooky as hell.
First Novik liberated Africa, now she’s in the process of liberating Australia. I think South America might be next, because I don’t think the British are going to be able to invade America in 1812, not when America is fielding their own dragons in the air in such numbers as to make the British officers spill food down their fronts. This series is fun for the revisionist history alone.
And coming on January 9, 2020, the 22nd Kate Shugak novel.
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