I just finished re-reading the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik, a.k.a., this is your Napoleonic Wars on dragons. The series is part Patrick O'Brian, part Jane Austen, part Anne McCaffrey, and entirely a good time. Beginning with His Majesty’s Dragon, the series spans nine books, seven seas, and six continents. Despite its size, the series is a quick, breezy read which I can not recommend highly enough.

Reasons to read:

  • Dragons
  • Will Laurence. This sea captain turned aviator is very much a gentleman of his age, with all that entails. His main character arc consists of confronting his unconscious biases and privileges and learning to become a better man.
  • Temeraire. This giant, flying math-nerd can sink a ship with a single roar. He loves Laurence and shiny things and is here for the dragon revolution.
  • Kick-ass lady characters and, equally important, well-rounded female characters who don’t swing a sword but are none-the-less awesome in their own right.
  • Dragons. They have human-level intelligence, but with a distinctly in-human flair. Half of the humor of the series comes from the dragon’s inability to grasp certain human concepts like modesty and the art of whispering.
  • The portrayal of characters of color and non-European powers. Colonialism gets its ass kicked.
  • Gay people.
  • Tight, well written action and fight sequences. 
  • Dragons

Reasons not to read:

  • You don’t like dragons
  • You hate fun

‘mica learns how to use clip studio paint’ prompts 5/?: @thefullmoonchronicle asked for Temeraire and Laurence going for a swim, so pls enjoy my lazy half-assed water. I think this’ll be the last of these for today, but I still have more prompts in my inbox, and more to learn about this program, so stay tuned. :) 

William Laurence, stricken with Amnesia in a Strange and Foreign Land: I’m sure I must, even with eight years lost to me, remain a loyal officer and subject of the King, happy to do my duty to England and subordinate my personal feelings to the same.

meanwhile, the rest of his company:

Guys, I know this isn’t the Law you’ve been expecting, but I’ve been guzzling down Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series at the rate of a book a day this week, and I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely love William “Honor” Lawrence. 

I did this quickie in about 3 hours. I should really remember to record myself drawing one of these days - but then you guys would be able to see that I traced all of those ships off assassin’s creed screenshots. 

remember that old tumblr post that still comes around sometimes that’s like “any story is better if you add dragons?” I’m pretty sure Naomi Novik just saw that one day and said “hold my beer” and that’s how we got Temeraire.

Laurence vs happiness

Recently, I was re-reading His Majesty’s Dragon right after Blood of Tyrants and I was struck by how much Laurence smiles in the first book. So, being me, and having shiny new digital searchable copies of the series, I did some checking.

I searched for the word strings ‘smile’, ‘laugh’, and ‘grin’ (which included any variations thereof) in relation to Laurence and got a generally accurate idea of his mood throughout the series:

  • His Majesty’s Dragon: smiles 14, grins 2, laughs 6
  • Throne of Jade: smiles 5, grins 1, laughs 3
  • Black Powder War: smiles 1, grins 1, laughs 0
  • Empire of Ivory: smiles 0, grins 0, laughs 0
  • Victory of Eagles: smiles 0, grins 0, laughs 0
  • Tongues of Serpents: smiles 0, grins 0, laughs 0
  • Crucible of Gold: smiles 0, grins 0, laughs 0
  • Blood of Tyrants: smiles 0, grins 0, laughs 0.5
  • League of Dragons: 1.5 smiles , 0 grins, 1.5 laughs 
    • (.5 = when Laurence ‘almost’ does the thing)

This makes Temeraire’s surprise at Laurence laughing “quite out loud” in LOD that one time EXTRA HEARTBREAKING, GOOD WORK NAOMI NOVIK.

  • William Laurence: I accidentally adopted the rarest, most powerful dragon in the known world, and I love him more than anyone, and he basically tries to rip the head off anyone who insults me which is kind of nice I guess, but he sure has caused me a lot of trouble.
  • Hiccup Haddock: ....dude, tell me about it.

II. Throne of Jade
~by Naomi Novik~

“I do not care if they do not like me,” he said. “Maybe then they will let me alone, and I will not have to stay in China.” The thought visibly struck him, and his head came up with sudden enthusiasm. “If I were very offensive, do you suppose they would go away now?” he asked. “Laurence, what would be particularly insulting”

Hammond looked like Pandora, the box open and horrors loose upon the world. Laurence was inclined to laugh, but he stifled it out of sympathy.