So I just finished His Majesty's Dragon
by Naomi Novik (recommended by heyheyrenay
and others). It's not often that I put down a book and immediately run over to post about it, but it's also not often that I am so immediately and thoroughly engaged by one. From the first page, and I had a hard time putting it down. Highly recommended, even if you don't usually read fantasy.
The story is set during the Napoleonic Wars in an alternate universe where dragons exist. Novik's dragons are wonderful, fully realized characters every bit as interesting and believable as the humans. I can't say much more without spoilers, but if anyone wants to chatter about it I am more than willing.
It's a series, of course. Does anyone write engaging one-shot fantasy novels anymore, besides Guy Gavriel Kay? But at least Novik managed to pull off the trick of making this story feel complete while leaving it wide open for the next story. So far, there are two more books published, with a fourth coming out in September. I think a trip to the bookstore may be in my near future.