Meanwhile, Napoleon is massing his forces for a possible cross-Channel invasion. So Temeraire, as the only healthy large dragon left to the British, is vitally necessary for the defense of the realm. But, perhaps, he's also vitally necessary to the task of finding whatever it was that cured him -- because, if the cure can't be extended to other English dragons, there's no chance of saving the nation.
I had a thought, early on, of the "of course they'll do X" type, but I filed that thought away when nothing along those lines was mentioned. Then, suddenly, the issue popped up near the very end of the book -- and
The publisher's teaser in the back gives away the fact that Napoleon will invade in the next book (which may be a foregone conclusion, but, still, you don't say it that bluntly). I'll be back for that one, even if I suspect that it will be more conventional and less in the spirit of O'Brian than this one. The Temeraire books are fine entertainments, good novels steeped in a world that is not our own and told in lively semi-period language. There should be much more fantasy like this; more books which aren't simply modern people in dress-up clothes gathering their various Plot Coupons.