Brightly written, started off with terrific pace. Strong narrative voice, strong tone that made the Napoleonic era feel real. Wonderful attention to detail in the setting. Then suddenly downshifted into what I can only call the getting-ready-for-a-long-series pace. The ending was a complete surprise — not the content, but: “Oh. Oh! So that must have been the ending. This trailing matter is an appendix of some sort.”
This will probably read better as part of an anthology, but this first volume wasn’t a complete story. A lot of spun plot threads and side characters introduced, but only the smallest subthreads resolved. Hey, check out the exciting next chapter! Nothing wrong with that, but the book as independent entity suffers considerably for it.
I enjoyed the page by page reading, even the book-as-part-of-a-series, but I’m not on board for an open-ended series just now. Novik's up to six and counting. A little quick research on Wikipedia says that she plans to stop at nine. I’ll circle back in ten years and see how that worked out.
Amazon link: His Majesty's Dragon