Book Review: Victory of Eagles (Temeraire #5) by Naomi Novik

18 Apr

victoryofeaglesIt’s looking pretty grim. Laurence is in prison, waiting to be hanged for treason. Temeraire has been confined to the breeding grounds in Wales. And–Napoleon has landed in Britain and is now settled in London. French soldiers are everywhere, stealing from honest citizens and setting fire to villages. When Temeraire hears news that Laurence is dead, he sets out to avenge his captain and save his country, but little can repair the damage that has been done, and it looks like Napoleon may be here to stay.

This was another good book in an excellently well-written and engaging series. However, I only gave it three stars because I didn’t like it quite as much as the last few. I’d say #4 was my favourite so far (though the next is set in Australia, so we’ll see if that will win me over!) so it’s tough to follow that one.

Basically, I didn’t like that Laurence and Temeraire were separated. Obviously they HAD to be, for the sake of plot, I know–but I enjoy the interaction between the two so much that this was a bit disappointing to me. When they finally got back together, things had changed (again, it wouldn’t have been realistic if they hadn’t!); not only was their position in the eyes of their countrymen lowered, but now Temeraire was a captain of his own forces, and Laurence was dealing with regret and loss of rank and capital. He was gloomy. Down in the dumps. And none too pleasant to read about.

The writing style was a bit different this time too; Temeraire and Laurence were getting different sections, and sometimes something would happen in, say, Temeraire’s section but we wouldn’t get the whole story, only to be told about it in Laurence’s section a few pages later. Some of the placement was a bit odd to me.

Nonetheless, this was a thoroughly engaging read and definitely a novel with some marked character development. I can’t wait to move on to the next book to see where Temeraire is going to take me next!


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