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Minireview: Victory of Eagles, by Naomi Novik

In the fifth book in Novik’s “Temeraire” series, Victory of Eagles, lots of plot threads converge. In a way, this is the end of the series; if this was a TV series, this would be the finale of season one. Of course, since it’s not the end of the series, the TV series comparison is even more apt: season two is currently airing. In any case, the book (again) continues more or less directly from where the last book left off. Events have taken an even more grim turn, with Laurence imprisoned and due to be executed with charges of treason, and Temeraire confined elsewhere. Grim times for the British in general, with Napoleon finally making his push for the invasion of England, and London looking more and more like a lost cause.

It’s once again a great read. Laurence is an even more morose and grim character, but there are occasional flashes of levity here and there. Temeraire is becoming more and more radical (as far as the “traditional” thinking in English dragons goes), and begins to insert himself into politics with… interesting results. The depiction of the invasion is told in sweeping scale, with occasional snapshots of individual action as seen through the eyes of the protagonists. There’s a more final resolution to things here than we’ve gotten accustomed to in the previous books; as noted, this feels like a “series finale”. And it’s a good one.

It will be interesting to see where the (book) series goes to from here.

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