I used to be quite the fantasy reader, but it's been a long time since I've felt compelled to seek out a new series. It just seemed like every book I picked up was a rehash of the same tired old themes. However, when bookshelves of doom highlighted (ok, gushed about) Naomi Novik's new Temeraire series and mentioned that Peter Jackson liked these books so much that he bought the film rights, I knew I needed to check this series out.
If His Majesty's Dragon is anything to judge by, this is a series to get even the most jaded former fantasy reader back into the genre. Set in an alternate Napoleonic era in which British and French forces vie for supremacy of the skies as well as the sea, complete with a separate branch of the military for dragons and their riders, the books focus on navy captain Will Laurence and his dragon partner, Temeraire. It's sort of a cross between the Dragonriders of Pern series and books like Master and Commander. Novik pulls off the addition of dragons to this universe very well - Temeraire and his counterparts are believable and appealing creatures. Laurence himself, with his affection for his dragon and his strong sense of honour and duty, oozes sex appeal in a Mr. Darcy sort of way. Together, they must defend Britain from the French forces determined to conquer their island neighbour.
Watch this space for my thoughts on the sequels, Throne of Jade and Black Powder War!