So, I just finished Crucible of Gold.

For those unfamiliar with the book or the series, Crucible of Gold is part of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, which can be described as being an alternate history of what the Napoleonic wars would have looked like if all sides had access to dragons.  Before anybody raises an eyebrow at that, Novik’s a good writer with a decent working knowledge of the time period, plus – more importantly – a fundamental respect for that time period.  That’s kind of needed for good historical fiction: if you treat the inhabitants of a particular era as either overgrown children, or people from your culture wearing funny clothes, you’re doing it wrong.  Patrick O’Brian probably would have liked this series, God rest his soul.

Check it out.  You can start the series with In His Majesty’s Service: Three Novels of Temeraire (His Majesty’s Service, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War).  They’re great fun.

Ooh. Pretty new site, with pretty, old ships.

It’s called Age of Sail, and it looks like a historical blog discussing precisely that.

I came into Age of Sail fiction from the science fiction end of it, actually: reading S.M. Stirling and David Weber got me reading Patrick O’Brian and C.S Forester (I’m currently halfway through A&E’s Horatio Hornblower series, and enjoying it muchly).  And then, of course, there’s George MacDonald Fraser’s The Pyrates, which is required reading for anybody who loves old Hollywood swashbucklers (and who doesn’t).  So I guess I’m explaining why this is going on the blogroll…

Moe Lane

PS: OK, one last one: Naomi Novik.  For all your “Napoleonic warfare novels with dragons added; only, and this is really important to note, adding the dragons doesn’t make the whole thing suck horribly, or indeed at all” needs.