It’s been an exciting, inspiring, exhausting nine days. I collected Justine from Heathrow a week last Thursday, and we embarked on a Regency roller-coaster ride around London and southern England, from the spectacularly OTT pleasure palace otherwise known as the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, through the smugglers’ haunts of Rye and the Cinque Ports, via the Medieval churches of Romney Marsh and the splendors of Canterbury, to the Royal Maritime Museum at Greenwich and the beautiful Georgian mansions of Kenwood, the Wallace Collection and Osterley Park. We swooned over fabulous fans and priceless porcelain. We plotted plots and lusted after libraries.
Now we’re done. Justine’s on a plane home, and I’m back in North London with a bag full of laundry, a house full of builders and a head full of ideas. I thought this was going to be another post about historical romance (we heard so many great story starters that I’m sorely tempted to try my hand) but it seems my Girls are fixated on the other recurring theme of our trip – dragons! The picture at the top of this post shows the carved dragon that sits atop the one-ton chandelier that dominates the banqueting room at the Royal Pavilion. He was the first and the most spectacular example, but the Regency fashion for Chinoiserie meant that we encountered the scaly, winged beasts at every step of the way, and now I’ve got them on the brain.
I’m too fried to get any new words down, so I decided to treat myself to a book, and I’ve spent a pleasurable hour investigating dragon stories. I knew The Hobbit, of course, and Patricia Briggs’ Dragon Blood/Dragon Bones duology, but after that I drew a blank. I should have known Goodreads would have a list ready and waiting – click here for their list of popular dragon romance books.
I might try a few of those later, after I’ve read His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, the first book in her Temeraire series. When I discovered that there’s an alternate history series which is a re-imagining of the epic events of the Napoleonic wars with an air force of dragons, manned by crews of aviators – well, it was game over. I love the premise, I love the excerpt on her website (read it here), and I’ll be settling down with the book just as soon as I upload this post.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Have you read the Temeraire series? What did you think of it?
Have you read any other good dragon stories? Or if dragons don’t do it for you, what will you be reading this weekend?