These books want so badly to be Master and Commander with dragons. I can't fault the author for wanting to follow so successful a formula, but at times she follows it too closely for my tastes. Granted, most people will probably not even realize the parallels, since the M&C series appeals to a much different set of readers.
But they have dragons! you say, and I will grant you that they are original in that they veer off into a much different history of the Napoleonic Wars. But of course they would, with dragons. However, just as Patrick O'Brian resorted to having his protagonists Aubrey and Maturin shipwrecked and starving and wandering over the Andes Mountains with llamas, so goes Novik. Trouble with rebellious crew members, the fussing over escorts for young women, even down to discussing battles over dinner using crusts of bread as ships - so very, very like.
Having got that off my chest, I'll say that this installment in the series at least picked up the pace from book #6. Rather than wandering around Australia for what seems like an age, this plot has much more action and the interesting twist of a surviving, yet declining Inca civilization.
I'll give it three stars, as it was a fun read. But really, if you like these you should give Master and Commander a try.