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Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, Book 5) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 8, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews
Book 5 of 8 in the Temeraire Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Naomi Novik continues her alternate history of the Napoleonic wars in this fifth adventure featuring British Capt. William Laurence and his faithful celestial dragon, Temeraire. Picking up after Empire of Ivory, a disgraced Laurence has been convicted of treason, sentenced to a prison ship and is only one step away from the hangman's noose. Temeraire is relegated to a breeding area in Wales along with other dragons viewed as past their prime. When Bonaparte invades England, Laurence and Temeraire are soon free to fly and fight for king and country. Vance fully inhabits Novik's vividly realized fantasy world. His battle scenes are exciting as he describes all the intricate fighting tactics without sacrificing the thrills. With keen vocal characterizations, he portrays a wide variety of individuals, both human and nonhuman, with the dialogue between Temeraire and some snobbish, older dragons singularly entertaining. A Del Rey hardcover (Reviews, May 19). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.



“A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”
–The New York Times

“These are beautifully written novels: not only fresh, original, and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart.”
–Peter Jackson

His Majesty’s Dragon

“Enthralling reading–it’s like Jane Austen playing Dungeons & Dragons with Eragon’s Christopher Paolini.”

“A gripping adventure full of rich detail and the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy.”
–Entertainment Weekly

“A thrilling fantasy . . . All hail Naomi Novik.”
–The Washington Post Book World

Empire of Ivory

“Novik’s influences run the gamut from Jane Austen to Patrick O’Brian, with a side trip through Anne McCaffrey. Her books are completely involving and probably addictive, their central conceit explored in clever detail with a great deal of wit and historical insight.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“So realistic that it drowns disbelief . . . first-class in every respect.”
–Booklist (starred review)

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1 edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345496884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345496881
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rebecca Huston on July 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best historical fantasy series to show up in recent years has been Naomi Novik's Temeraire. Full of historical details in a world that is very close to our own, set in a world where dragons are quite real, and captained by crews of humans, serve as part of aerial corps, fighting in wars.

The setting is unusual as well -- the Napoleonic Wars, and with the fifth novel and its ominous title, Victory of Eagles things are not looking too good for the British. In an appalling display of stupidity by the Admiralty, Temeraire and Laurence, his captain, have been separated after the events of the previous novel. Laurence is aboard a ship, locked up in a brig, and the threat of execution follows him everywhere. He knows that if he cooperates, that Temeraire will not be harmed, and so does his best.

And his beloved Temeraire? The Celestial dragon is off in the remote mountains of Wales, condemned to the breeding grounds while a perfectly good war is raging on. Instead he's stuck in a remote valley, with nothing but a pokey cave to live in, no books, and even though there's plenty to eat, all that there is to do is sleep and ahem, make an egg with a willing dragon.

Needless to say, Temeraire is less than pleased about the situation. And his new neighbors are not that interesting either, especially a Regal Copper that has decided that Temeraire's cave would make a very nice home for himself. And there's Gentius an ancient Longwing who is pleased to talk to Temeraire. Most of all, there are Temeraire's own thoughts, and a chance to look at the world through the dragon's eyes.

When word comes that Laurence's ship has been sunk by the French, Temeraire decides that the time has come to break free of all of the stuffy rules.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came late to the Temeraire series, downloading the free - Her Majesty's Dragon a little over a week ago and reading the entire series as if one big book in the last 7 days.

First the positive: I love most of the ideals of the series, freedom, respect, self determination, honor dignity, responsibility and loyalty regardless of race, creed, color or in this case species. I actually cried when Levitas looked up at his captain the heartless Rankin and said with his dying breath, "you came". I tear up thinking about that moment, as I write this review. I love the different perspective the series presents again and again, seeing issues from the "other side" forces me to think outside my own paradigms. I enjoy that rather than a stereotypic presentation of Napoleon, the author instead chooses to focus on his need to influence, strategic decision making and subtle stabs ie: knowing that by sparing Lord Allendale's home he pushes Laurence further away from the Lordship and military leaders of England. I enjoyed the introduction of Percitia who refused to fight and instead used her intellect despite the fear of being labeled a coward. I enjoyed the idea that the Dragons would finally recognize their right to free will.

Now to what ultimately left me unfulfilled.

1. As amazed as I am to say this, I'm getting tired, no bored of William Laurence. Laurence takes great pride in his honor and resulting self sacrifice, but again and again is willing to potentially put Temeraire in a position of a century(s) of misery only to serve his now ridiculous sense of honor (there is no honor or duty in genocide).
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Format: Hardcover
First, and out of kindness to Ms. Novik, I am a great fan of this series, in particular books one and two. She has successfully married "Master and Commander" to "Dragonriders of Pern", an act that must have taken considerable courage. And in the main has produced an enjoyable read.

Unfortunately, that read is not to be found in this fifth installment in the series. After settling in comfortably with Captain Laurence and his dear Temeraire, it dawned on me that nothing, nothing at all, was really happening in this book. Laurence broods throughout the novel, embracing his identity as a convicted traitor doomed to hang. Temeraire begins sowing socialist, or are those capitalist?, notions amongst his fellow exiles on the dragon breeding grounds. And then Napoleon invades England, requiring the nation to reunite our two heroes and unleash their considerable military prowess.

Novik is kind enough to reintroduce many of our favourite characters, but with the exception of Laurence's mother, Lady Allendale, they fail to rise above cookie-cutterdom. I became downright annoyed at her portrait of the testy and impatient Duke of Wellington, whose constant sneering made me wonder....how could this man ever have inspired a nation?

With the thinnest of plots, a minimum of character development, and a large quotient of deus ex machina thundering in the background, it strikes me that Ms. Novik is rushing her deadlines and coasting on her laurels, perhaps indulged by her publishers and the moonstruck fan quotient as well. The book chugs along comfortably enjoying its own formula. Not good enough, Naomi, not good enough by half.
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