beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Naomi Novik, League of Dragons

Thrilling battles, intricate politics, crucial dinner parties, and layer after layer of emotional payoff. I like this book very well. Makes a great conclusion to the series.

I also like that Temeraire and Lawrence are clearly the crucial protagonists in all this, the key cause of change, and yet Britain is nothing so simple as Team Good Guy. I mean, I've met us, our history has been... difficult. You end up cheering the heroes without necessarily cheering the flags, governments, or monarchies. Nicely balanced, I felt.

Also the crucial difference between what Napoleon offered and what Britain delivered was all set out in speeches, before parliament, by a dragon MP. Democracy beats tyranny, is the pitch. And it isn't the European powers deciding things among themselves, it's them tripping up and realising they've pissed off several other continents and having to deal with consequences of colonialism, because dragons.

I like how unexpected Ning was, and how much Temeraire and Iskierka deserve her. She is quite the logical consequence.

All that bit with dragon shareholders is delightful too, because you can see the ramifications rolling on long after the last page. And the part where the bank enquired after dragon capital, pay rates, and lifespan... I was rofl delighted. Now that's someone doing the maths. And you can see how the russian dragons will come around to it quick sharp, because it's treasure that someone else guards for you and grows. And they've already has the example of the gun as things that are theirs while others use them.

And looked at the other way up, dragons make a delightful new angle on the development of human business and political practices, and all the ways the different societies interact with them show a lot of relations of power, and then the end suggests democracy is going to win everywhere because all the dragons will talk to each other. And a capitalist future is very dragony.

I just love how all the angles get explored.

But the emotional payoff I liked best was Tenzing coming back to take them home with them. He gets a fortune and his first thought is to use it to go get Lawrence and Temeraire. Now that's happily ever after.

Very satisfying ending, proper happy with it.

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