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.