Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik portrait image to appear alongside the Naomi Novik biography.

Naomi Novik was born in New York in 1973, a first-generation American, and raised on Polish fairy tales, Baba Yaga, and Tolkien. She studied English Literature at Brown University and did graduate work in Computer Science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn working on the game in Edmonton, Canada (accompanied by a truly alarming coat that now lives brooding in the depths of her closet), she realized she preferred the writing to the programming, and, on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels. Temeraire was her first.

Naomi Novik books reviewed


Temeraire series

  • Temeraire (2006)
    Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson's navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest, least important son of Lord Allendale. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancée, society's esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores. After a skirmish with a French ship, Laurence finds himself in charge of a rare cargo: a dragon egg bound for the Emperor himself. Dragons are much prized: properly trained, they can mount a fearsome attack from the skies. One of Laurence's men must take the beast in hand and join the aviators' cause, thus relinquishing all hope of a normal life. But when the newly-hatched dragon ignores the young midshipman Laurence chose as its keeper and decides to imprint itself on the horrified captain instead, Laurence's world falls apart. Gone is his golden future: gone his social standing, and soon his beautiful fiancée, as he is consigned to be the constant companion and trainer of the fighting dragon Temeraire…
  • Throne of Jade (2006)
    Captain William Laurence of the British Air Corps and his dragon, Temeraire, begin their slow voyage to China, fearful that upon landing they will be forced to part by Imperial decree. Temeraire is a Celestial dragon, the most highly-prized of all draconic breeds; famed for their intelligence, agility and most of all for the Divine Wind - their terrible roar capable of shattering the heavy timbers of war ships, shattering woodland and destroying other dragons mid-flight. Temeraire’s egg was captured and claimed by the British at sea, but he was meant to be the companion of the Emperor Napoleon and not captained by a mere officer in the British Air Corps. The Chinese have demanded his return and the British cannot refuse them - they cannot afford to provoke the Asian super-power into allying themselves with the French - even if it costs them the most powerful weapon in their arsenal and inflicts the most unimaginable pain upon Laurence and his dragon.
  • Black Powder War (2006)
    British flyer Will Laurence and his extraordinary Celestial dragon, Temeraire, gratefully anticipate their voyage home from China. But before they set sail, they are waylaid by urgent new orders. The British Government, having purchased three valuable dragon eggs from the Ottoman Empire - one of a rare fire-breathing Kazilik dragon, one of the most deadly breeds in existence - now require Laurence and Temeraire to make a more perilous overland journey instead, stopping off in Istanbul to collect and escort the precious cargo back to England. And time is of the essence if the eggs are to hatch upon British shores. A cross-continental expedition is a daunting prospect, fraught with countless dangers. The small party must be prepared to travel the treacherous Silk Road: navigating frigid mountain passes and crossing sterile deserts to evade feral dragon attacks and Napoleon's aggressive infantry. Barely surviving the poisonous intrigue of the Ottoman Court, the small British party's journey home is delayed once more. The Prussians muster their forces before them, barring their way, and Laurence and Temeraire become swept up in the battle against Bonaparte - trapped by politics as they learn that the British had promised to send their allies aid - but help is months overdue. The crew will also face unexpected menace, for a Machiavellian herald precedes them, spreading political poison in her wake. Lien, the white celestial dragon, absconded from the Chinese Imperial Court shortly after the humiliating death of her beloved princely companion. Fervently believing Temeraire to be the architect of her anguish, she has vowed to ally herself with his greatest enemy in order to exact a full and painful revenge upon everything and everyone the black dragon holds dear.
  • Empire of Ivory (2007)
    Laurence and Temeraire made a daring journey across vast and inhospitable continents to bring home a rare Turkish dragon from the treacherous Ottoman Empire. Kazilik dragons are firebreathers, and Britain is in greater need of protection than ever, for while Laurence and Temeraire were away, an epidemic struck British shores and is killing off her greatest defence - her dragon air force is slowly dying. The dreadful truth must be kept from Napoleon at all costs. Allied with the white Chinese dragon, Lien, he would not hesitate to take advantage of Britain's weakness and launch a devastating invasion. Hope lies with the only remaining healthy dragon - Temeraire cannot stay at home, but must once again venture into the unknown to help his friends and seek out a cure in darkest Africa.
  • Victory of Eagles (2008)
    Laurence waits to be hanged as a traitor to the Crown, and Temeraire is confined to the breeding grounds as Napoleon invades Britain, and takes London. Laurence and Temeraire have betrayed the British. They have foiled their attempts to inflict death upon the French dragons by sharing the cure they found in Africa with their enemy. But following their conscience has a price. Laurence feels he must return to face the consequences, and as soon as they land they are taken into custody. Laurence is condemned to the gallows and Temeraire faces a life of captivity in the breeding grounds. None of their friends or allies can come to their aid, for every hand is needed elsewhere. Britain is completely unprepared for Bonaparte invasion and the advanced tactics of his own celestial dragon - Temeraire's mortal enemy - Lien.
  • Tongue of Serpents (2010)
    Laurence and Temeraire have been banished from the country they’ve fought so hard to protect - and the friends they have made in the British Aerial Corps. Found guilty of treason, man and dragon have been deported to Australia to start a new life and many new adventures.
  • Crucible of Gold (2012)
    For Laurence and Temeraire, put out to pasture in Australia, it seems their part in the war has come to an end just when they are needed most. Newly allied with the powerful African empire of the Tswana, the French have occupied Spain and brought revolution and bloodshed to Brazil, threatening Britain’s last desperate hope to defeat Napoleon. So the British government dispatches Arthur Hammond from China to enlist Laurence and Temeraire to negotiate a peace with the angry Tswana, who have besieged the Portuguese royal family in Rio - and as bait, Hammond bears an offer to reinstate Laurence to his former rank and seniority as a captain in the Aerial Corps. Temeraire is delighted by this sudden reversal of fortune, but Laurence is by no means sanguine, knowing from experience that personal honour and duty to one’s country do not always run on parallel tracks. Laurence and Temeraire joined by the egotistical fire-breather Iskierka and the still-growing Kulingile, who has already surpassed Temeraire in size - embark for Brazil, only to meet with a string of unmitigated disasters that leave the dragons and their human friends forced to make an unexpected landing in the hostile territory of the Inca empire, where they face new unanticipated dangers. Now with the success of the mission balanced on a razor’s edge, and failure looking more likely by the minute, the unexpected arrival of an old enemy will tip the scales toward ruin. Yet even in the midst of disaster, opportunity may lurk - for one bold enough to grasp it.