Eighth and penultimate book in the Temeraire series, which began with His Majesty’s Dragon. It’s a delightful take on the Napoleonic wars with intelligent dragons.
The book opens with William Laurence awaking shipwrecked and amnesiac on the shores of Japan, where European foreigners are strictly forbidden. His dragon Temeraire frantically seeks him, while the rest of the crew think him dead. After being reunited in Nagasaki, they travel on to the Chinese court in Peking and enlist the help of the emperor’s dragons in fighting Napoleon, who has marched into Russia with his own dragons and troops.
I enjoyed the book, although I didn’t care for the plot device of amnesia. Temeraire, who is still a very young dragon and not very wise for all of his intelligence, matures a little as he begins to realize consequences of his impetuosity. The series has gone on a little too long and I’m glad that the next book is supposed to bring everything to a close.