Review: Victory of Eagles (Temeraire Book 5 of 9)

Victory of Eagles: A Novel of Temeraire - Naomi Novik

Victory of Eagles is the fifth book in the Temeraire series.  I really enjoyed this one, at least as much as the first book.  Unlike the fourth book, there weren’t any niggling annoyances to distract me from a story that I had been otherwise enjoying.  There was a small change in the storytelling format that I particularly loved. 


I’m going to put the rest of my review within spoiler tags so I can freely discuss some things in more detail.



About half of the book is written from Temeraire’s perspective.  This was the aforementioned storytelling format change that I loved so much.  The previous books have all been from Laurence’s perspective, only allowing us to see what Temeraire thinks and feels by observing and listening to him through Laurence’s eyes and ears, and relying on Laurence’s interpretations.  That always niggled at me a little bit, because it's unrealistic for Laurence, who had never been around dragons until recently, to perfectly interpret Temeraire’s every thought and mood, and yet we’re given little reason to believe his interpretations aren’t always 100% accurate, and they have to be if the author wants us to know what Temeraire’s thinking because we have no other way to learn it.  By allowing us to read from both perspectives, Novik opened up her options.  We could see some of the private thoughts of each of them that the other was unaware of or didn’t fully understand. 


The parts near the beginning where Temeraire roused his fellow dragons in the breeding grounds to get organized and go join the war effort were awesome – my favorite parts of the book.  I actually wouldn’t have minded pushing off the reunion between Temeraire and Laurence a little longer, just to have gotten more of that.  In any case, I really hope Novik keeps letting us alternate between the two characters’ points of view in the rest of the books.  The series is called Temeraire, after all! 


I really liked the brainy dragon Temeraire met at the breeding grounds, Perscitia.  She was a great character.  She sort of reminded me of Hermione from the Harry Potter books, if Hermione had been a dragon. :)  I was disappointed that it doesn’t look like we’ll see her in the next book since Laurence and Temeraire are headed to Australia and it doesn’t seem like she’ll be going. 


Iskierka on the other hand… Ugh!  She is starting to drive me crazy.  When she was first introduced, she was funny.  Since then, she has steadily gotten more annoying to me.  I meant to mention her annoyance factor when I reviewed the last book, but I forgot.  This time she was so annoying that I didn’t forget. :)  When they were sailing away to Australia and she wasn’t with them, I was feeling relief that maybe we’d finally be rid of her, at least for a while.  And then guess who shows up?  I like Granby, but not enough that I want to endure more Iskierka.  I’m worried that she’ll have a larger role in the next book, with apparently much fewer dragons, so I hope Novik manages to make her a little more appealing.

(show spoiler)



Next Book

Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik, the sixth book in the Temeraire series.