I was doing a vanity search on Google for “badke” and “bestiary”, just to see who was linking to my site, when I was surprised to see a reference to “Badke’s bestiary”. While I do write about the bestiary, I don’t recall ever having written one myself. Yet there it was, on the Temeraire website:

“It is a dragon egg, then?” Laurence said. It required an effort to restrain the triumph in his voice.

“Oh yes indeed, Captain, the size alone shows that.” Mr. Pollitt had wiped his hands on his apron and was already brushing more straw away from the top, trying to see the extent. “My, it is quite hardened already; I wonder what they can have been thinking, so far from land.”

This did not sound very promising. “Hardened?” Laurence said sharply. “What does that mean?”

“Why, that it will hatch soon. I will have to consult my books to be certain, but I believe that Badke’s Bestiary states with authority that when the shell has fully hardened, hatching will occur within a week. What a splendid specimen, I must get my measuring cords.”

His Majesty's DragonThis excerpt is from His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, part of the Temeraire series, a historical fantasy series set in the Napoleonic era. The storyline is like the Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin series of novels by Patrick O’Brian of the British Navy vs. Napoleon, crossed with the Dragonriders of Pern series of novels by Anne McCaffrey. This is a well-written series of novels with a clever and interesting use of dragon lore, along with more-or-less accurate historical details; imagine the Napoleonic wars with both sides having an air force consisting of various breeds of large, intelligent, speaking dragons ridden by crews of men and women. An entertaining series; if you like dragons and O’Brian novels, you will like these.