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alt history

Crucible of Gold (or silver. Or bronze. Or even brass)

Book cover: Crucible of Gold - Naomi Novik (a black dragon emblem above a shipwreck in a mountainous bay)Will and Temeraire are roused from their Australian retirement with an offer they can’t refuse: full reinstatement in return for a voyage to Brazil to try and forge a peace between the Portuguese colonies and Napoleon’s imported Tswana shock troops. Can they redeem themselves in the eyes of England?

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Tongues of Serpents

Book cover: Tongues of Serpents - Naomi Novik (UK hardcover, stylised woodcut design - dragons, colonial buildings and gum trees)Will Laurence and Temeraire have been banished to Australia to establish new breeding grounds, convicts in all but name. But the colony is mutinous, its Governor in exile, and the continent hazardous, with no obvious opportunities for redemption…

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Gilded Cage: not all are created Equal

Book cover: Gilded Cage - Vic James (ironwork and the silhouette of a bird in flight)In a deeply different nearly now, Britain is ruled by the Equals – those with the Skill to assert their rights. UnSkilled commoners owe ten years of their lives in slave labour, with no protection under the law. As they begin their slavedays, the Hadley siblings find themselves at the heart of the fight for the future.

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Victory of Eagles

Book cover: Victory of Eagles - Naomi Novik (UK hardcover, stylised woodcut design of London and dragons)Captain Will Laurence has been sentenced to death for treason. He will continue to live only so long as Temeraire, banished to the Welsh breeding grounds, continues to cooperate. With British dragondom badly depleted by sickness, Napoleon seizes his chance to invade. Can our boys earn their freedom in defence of King and country?

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Empire of Ivory: doing the right things

Book cover: Empire of Ivory - Naomi Novik (UK hardcover, stylised woodcut design of dragons, jungle plants and African animals)Laurence and Temeraire return home to discover that British dragons are dying of a fatal illness. The Aerial Corps is grounded, leaving the country exposed to Napoleon and Lien. A belated insight dispatches the boys and their ailing friends to Africa in the hope of finding a cure – but nobody has ever returned from an expedition to the interior…

I WONDER WHY YOU OBNOXIOUS COLONIAL SLAVERS YOU

Black Powder War: the long way to a small angry dragon

Book cover: Black Powder War - Naomi Novik (a red dragon coiled about a glass bauble holding a field gun)Temeraire and Laurence are becalmed in Macau when new orders arrive, bidding them hasten to Istanbul to collect much-needed eggs. Our boys have a desperate choice: to dare the dangerous overland route or go by sea and risk arriving months too late for the hatching. Will they make it in time?

Vengeance, duty and flamboyant new friends

Throne of Jade: bromance under fire

Book cover: Throne of Jade - Naomi NovikRevealed as a Chinese Celestial, Temeraire has become an international incident: the Chinese have sent a delegation to bring him home, and the Admiralty are minded to agree in the interests of diplomatic relations. Will our boys be separated?

Did I mention it has dragons?

Throne of Jade: implications, truths and consequences (week 3)

Book cover: Throne of Jade - Naomi NovikThe second half of the voyage to Beijing is as eventful as the first, with sickness, sea serpents and suspected assassins to contend with. But no matter how hard Yongxing tries, there’s no separating our boys…

Civilisation calls

Throne of Jade: all at sea (week 2)

Book cover: Throne of Jade - Naomi NovikIt’s a long float to China, which provides ample opportunity for friction. As tempers fray, Yongxing steps up his campaign to win over Temeraire and Will finds himself on the back foot – and he is all too aware that the Prince will have the upper hand once they arrive in China…

Rather delayed week 2 thoughts

Temeraire: (not) His Majesty’s Dragon

Book cover: Temeraire by Naomi NovikI could dress this up ten ways from Sunday, but why bother: Temeraire is the Napoleonic War with added dragons, and if that doesn’t float your boat then I don’t know what to say. I fell head over heels with this historical bromance cum fantasy of manners, because it is glorious. And it has dragons.

Did I mention it has dragons?

Throne of Jade: how to make me cry from the start

Book cover: Throne of Jade - Naomi NovikIt’s been some months since the decisive victory in the Channel, but Captain Laurence and our favourite dragon have a new problem: a Chinese prince, who is insisting the stolen dragon be returned to the Emperor; and an Admiralty who are minded to give him what he wants…

Will the bromance be split up?

All the feels (Temeraire read-along week 4)

Book cover: Temeraire by Naomi NovikIt’s time to go to war: Laurence, Temeraire and the younger dragons are left to patrol the Channel as the British gather their forces to defeat Napoleon at Cadiz. But the French emperor has a trick or two up his sleeve…

Make the nasty little man FLY

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