BLACK POWDER WAR, by Naomi Novik

3/series. Escaping China by a handy subterfuge, the Celestial dragon Temeraire and his captain Will Lawrence are ordered to Istanbul to pick up several valuable dragon eggs. A dangerous journey takes them over the Gobi desert, following the ancient Silk Road. In the mountains they encounter a band of feral dragons, barely led by the frenetic, posturing Arkady. When the band of out-of-control ferals decides to follow them, chaos comes along. Click below for more...
In Istanbul, city of endless and deadly intrigue, little is what it seems, including the disappearance of a ransom in gold coins. Meanwhile, Bonaparte continues his rampage across eastern Europe. Even if you're not terribly keen on dragons, this series is worth a look; best read in order, but they can stand alone (but why would you?). A beautiful melding of history, fantasy, war and emotion. A 5.
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