Black Powder War - Naomi Novik I'm still enjoying this series, but I think the spark, that initial sense of magic and wonderment I first felt when I read His Majesty's Dragon, has faded.

I believe the ongoing war against Napoleon and the action-filled aerial dragon battles are meant to be the focus and highlight of these books, and that unique premise certainly sets this series apart from much of the other fantasy offerings out there. But if I'm to be completely honest, while reading this third book, I found myself constantly fighting the urge to skim over the fight scenes.

It's not that I don't find them well-written or interesting; but for me the best part has always been the forming and strengthening of the bond between Lawrence and Temeraire. That was what made His Majesty's Dragon a five star read for me, but it was even obvious by the end of that first book in the series that the captain and his dragon would be loyal to the death to each other and inseparable.

There's nowhere else for that relationship to go, and so we are left with their debates regarding the treatment and rights of dragons as the only source of tension between them, if that could even count as a conflict. I'm looking forward to see where this thread will take us as I continue with the series, but it still pales in comparison to that fascinating dynamic they had in the first book.