Vici is a short story that serves as a prequel to the Temeraire series. It can be read for free here. In the beginning, we meet a man named Antony who is being sentenced for his crimes. He’s given the option to have an honorable death by trying, and surely failing, to kill a dangerous dragon in the area.
It was a pretty cute story, and it made me laugh in several places. Since this is my first exposure to the Temeraire series, I don’t know if any of the characters in this story are in the main series. My guess, based on what very little I know about the series, is that this story takes place quite a bit before the main story and is meant more as an explanation for how things came to be the way they are. Either way, I’ll find out very soon since I hope to start the first book later today.