If I had to describe this book to someone familiar with the Temeraire series, I’d describe it as “A lot more of the stuff you like.” Usually these books are just fun fun fun from beginning to end, but this is the first one that started to feel like it was going on too long. A lot of things happen: there’s a duel, a missing egg, political upheaval between humans and dragons, and lots and lots of battle scenes. What was missing was an overarching plot (beyond Napoleon) to draw it together. There is a plot (the dragon concord) but it’s not introduced until much later.
There are so many of these books that I searched for a while to try to figure out which one was the next in the series. Alas, I started to listen to this without having realized I’d skipped one until nearly halfway through (when they re-met a character from the book I was unfamiliar with). Most of the novels in this series have a period of time elapse between the previous book and the start of the next one, so I wasn’t thrown off by that. But the book was so long that events that happened in the beginning, when they were referenced again, felt as though they’d happened in previous books.
The good news is, a lot of stuff happens and this is a long book so if you really love the dragon stuff, you’re going to get your money’s worth buying this. The bad news is, a lot of stuff happens so it’s hard to keep it all straight and by the end you might feel like you’ve had enough of the dragon stuff. So for that reason, it’s a great end to the series. I enjoyed it, and it was fun, but I could see the first glimmerings of a series that was starting to get old, so I’m glad it ends here.