47. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (historical fantasy) - ????
48. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik (historical fantasy) - ????
49. Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (historical fantasy) - 18 Dec 2010
I admit I may have a soft spot for historical fiction/fantasy, but I believe I'd have delighted in this book even without that bias. Novik's built up an excellent setting, wherein she reinvents the Napoleonic wars by adding fleets of dragons and their crews to the conflict. The series follows Naval captain Laurence, who quite accidentally becomes the captain of a very rare dragon, whom he gives the name Temeraire after a handsome ship. Temeraire-the-dragon is sometimes too clever for his own good, and more than once gets his beloved captain into trouble with his somewhat naïve idealism, but he is also fiercely protective and a passable strategist. They are, nevertheless, something of an odd pair, and circumstances find them on equally, if not more, odd adventures that take them across much of the world. It is interesting to note that while the dragons of England's Aerial Corps are not (by the English understanding) mistreated, as the series progresses the relationships between dragons and captains in the English system is contrasted to those in other cultures, and the comparison is rarely in the English's favor, causing Laurence some emotional distress.
I would highly recommend this series to anyone the least fond of dragons; this is a very down-to-earth look at them, where they actually have biology and practical matters such as how they might be fed and housed when kept in larger numbers are seen to.
50. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore & David Lloyd (graphic novel, dystopia)
I'm bending my own rules and counting this even though it's a graphic novel and I don't normally count graphic novels. Because V for Vendetta is a lot heavier reading than most such, very much seeming to place the emphasis on "novel". I picked it up back when the movie was in theatres, got the Swedish edition by mistake, but it's still a very impressive, if sometimes confusing work.
My main issue with it is that I have trouble telling the characters apart sometimes. This is in all likelihood a failing on my part rather than on Lloyd's, as the art fits the feel of the comic quite excellently. I just struggle with realistically portrayed characters. The article about the comic's origins that was included in my editions was also rather interesting.