Temaraire #1. Author: Naomi Novik.
Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire. (Goodreads summary.)
I definitely enjoyed this alternate-history. It has a steady, calm pace and is told in the historical-novel writing style. Napoleonic war + dragons = awesome.
Sexual content: Passing mention of harbor prostitutes, and the fact that training men may go to them on their nights off. Dragon comes into his first ‘season’. A dragon-rider with a daughter mentions she is not married; this turns out to be common among dragon riders due to their lifestyle. These dragonriders want children to pass the long lived dragon, but rarely marry. One kiss.
Language: 20 d***, 2 hell
Violence: Aerial fighting between dragons and ships – some dragons are wounded.