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His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire, Book 1
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His Majesty's Dragon: A Novel of Temeraire [Kindle Edition]

Naomi Novik
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future–and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.


From the Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This engaging debut from newcomer Novik takes the swashbuckling nautical adventure of Horatio Hornblower and adds dragons to the mix, resulting in an enchanting medley of history and fantasy. During the height of the Napoleonic Wars, Capt. Will Laurence of His Majesty's Navy captures a French man-o'-war-an already valuable prize made invaluable when the crew discovers an unhatched dragon egg aboard. Laurence finds himself taking up the duty of being the dragon's captain, forcing him to leave his beloved navy and enter into the unknown world of Britain's dragon-riding Aerial Corp. Thorn accurately captures the sound of 19th-century British dialects, and he varies his voice considerably (occasionally going too far) to differentiate between characters. One odd choice of Thorn's was his decision to give all dragons in the book a rather high, somewhat stilted voice-at odds with the booming speech one would expect from a creature of that gargantuan size. This quibble aside, Thorn does an excellent job of transporting the listener to the historical setting of the novel and brings Novik's richly imagined world vividly to life. A Del Rey paperback (Reviews, Jan. 23, 2006).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Published as Temeraire in the U.K., His Majesty’s Dragon is the first of a planned trilogy (The Throne of Jade and Black Powder War will appear in 2006). Amply praised by SF writers, this original alternate-reality historical SF novel stands fully on its own. Against the convincing backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, Novik limns fantastical battle scenes, creates emotionally astute and appealing characters (dragon included), and provides unique insight into dragons, their abilities, and their breeding combinations. At center stage lies Temeraire’s and Laurence’s strong bond, one critics hope Novik will explore in future novels. His Majesty’s Dragon, notes Fantasy Bookspot, is more than a "worthy choice for those looking for a new series to indulge yourself in for the new year." But you’ll have to wait: it won’t be released until the end of March.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


Product Details

  • File Size: 574 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345481283
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reissue edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000GCFBQA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,163 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
214 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PATRICK O'BRIAN WITH DRAGONS -- WHAT A DELIGHT! February 18, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"I understand you're a huge fan of Patrick O'Brian's books about the British Navy, and that you're desperately looking for something to replace them," said the shrewd, well-meaning editor who sent me an advance copy of Naomi Novik's first novel. "Give this one a few pages: I was instantly hooked, even though I've never been a reader of fantasy."

Neither have I - at least since I was 16 and discovered the dangers and delights of mysteries and thrillers. But this gent does put out some fine crime stuff, so I put "His Majesty's Dragon" on my to-be-read shelf. And guess what: I too was immediately hooked by the writing, the research and the sheer courage of the whole enterprise.

First of all, fantasy isn't the right category for this - although I can understand the publisher's desire to use that to tap into the Harry Potter explosion. Alternative history is better: I remember vividly Harry Turtledove's "The Guns of the South" about what might have happened at Gettysburg if the Confederate Army had automatic rifles. Novik's imagination is wider and deeper: she has added to Nelson's Navy a squad of dragons who can attack from above and bring down fire and poison on Napoleon's fleet as it tries to conquer England.

It's not just a mechanical gimmick, either: the dragons are intelligent creatures, loyal to their human trainers, vastly touching in their desires to prove themselves and be approved of by people and fellow dragons. When a young British sea captain, Will Laurence of the Reliant, captures a French frigate carrying a dragon's egg about to hatch a few months before the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, he makes a friend for life in the form of a startlingly beautiful and highly intelligent jet black creature he names Temeraire after a ship captured from the French.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I should preface this with the warning that I'm going to gush -- frankly, I haven't been this madly fond of a book in the longest time (hm, when did Connie Willis last publish something?), and I'm at the stage where I want the whole world to know how great this book is. I bought it Wednesday afternoon, read 200 pages of it that night, then went out the next day and all I kept thinking about was going home and finishing it, which I did, staying up very late (past my bedtime) and finding the ending very bittersweet. Bittersweet because the conclusion happily justifies all the promise of the beginning chapters, and yet I'm sad because I'm through with the book and will have to wait weeks (till April 25) for the sequel. I know that's nothing compared to the wait with most fantasy trilogies, the gap between books is usually at least a year, but I want the sequel right NOW in my hot little hands.

The novel takes place in England during the Napoleonic Wars, only with the added twist of dragons (which must be admitted, improve every scenario). In this alternate universe, dragons are tamed by most nations of the world as a fighting force, bonding to a handler at hatching, and trained in the Aerial Corps in the pursuit of warfare. So when Will Laurence, a British Naval captain experienced in battle, captures a French frigate with a dragon's egg that is very quickly going to hatch, he has no choice but to put himself and the crew up to bonding with the creature because even though England has France outgunned in the way of ships (think Admiral Nelson and the superiority of the British Navy), France is outgunning England 2-1 in the way of fighting dragons.
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128 of 138 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's a reason the publishing world is buzzing over Naomi Novik: this first book is worth the hype. In "His Majesty's Dragon" she shows tremendous talent for worldbuilding, drawing us easily into a version of our own history in which the Napoleonic wars were augmented by an air force piloting (not only sentient but highly intelligent) living craft. Just as Susannah Clarke (in "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell") depicted an alternate England in which magic was real, Novik shows us an alterate England (and China, and France) where there be dragons, and the results are dazzling.

What I like best in this book is the way the main characters develop over time. Temeraire, the dragon whose egg is discovered in the early pages of chapter one, is a compelling protagonist -- as is Will Laurence, the Naval captain who becomes responsible for him and who sacrifices his naval career to join the mysterious Air Force. Laurence changes dramatically over the course of the book, but he does so in a subtle and organic way.

This book made me laugh, made me think, and once or twice made me a little bit sniffly, too. I can't wait to read books two and three. Don't miss this one -- it's a pleasure.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted story and flat characters June 29, 2006
By Ken
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I can't give a bad review to any story handled with such competence, but I can't give a good review to the same story if the characters are this one-dimensional and naive. The historical context & research coupled with the dragons themselves carry the book. Ms Novik is a talented writer in terms of structure and pace, but the human characters are shallow afterthoughts compared to their dragon counterparts. I would suggest this for younger readers looking for a straightforward story with happy endings and predictable plot lines.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
A wonderful reading. I love reading about how Laurence won the Temeraire's egg from a French ship of war and how Temeraire chose Laurence and let him harnessed himself by... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Preeti
4.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to this world
Really fun book - kept me ripping through pages and finding time to read
Published 17 days ago by Scott Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous story written with great imagination and knowledge of...
A fabulous story written with great imagination and knowledge of history. This is actually the third time I have purchased this book. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Sally B
5.0 out of 5 stars If only I could ride a dragon like Temeraire
Give me more, Naomi Novik! I loved the care taken with appropriate language and terminology with His Majesty's Dragon, Book 1. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad
No Patrick Obrian but enjoyable. Good emotional development of the relationship between the dragon and rider. Will read the next one.
Published 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I own this book
Published 1 month ago by Customer Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to read!
I love most science fiction/fantasy books on dragons and this will be a collection I plan on reading. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pennie
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
I enjoy reading stories about dragons and this book was no different. A fun mixture of history and fantasy, along with a colorful cast of characters, made this book a very... Read more
Published 1 month ago by lew
5.0 out of 5 stars Pern Fans should not miss this.
If you are a Pern fan because of the dragons you will LOVE these books! The dragons are full on characters, intelligent and engaging. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DANA WOOD
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh take on fantasy!
His Majesty's Dragon combines two things I never considered as pairing: dragons, and the Napoleonic Wars. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth M. Wade
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More About the Author

I'm a New Yorker who writes about Napoleonic-era England, China, Istanbul, and, oh yes, dragons. My official website is at www.temeraire.org, and my livejournal there is the best way to reach me -- I am sporadic about updating and responding to comments because everything else slides when I am on a roll with writing, but I read everything posted there and always love to hear any and all comments from readers.

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Topic From this Discussion
Age appropriate?
Certainly. This is actually stocked as a Young Adult book in some libraries, probably due to its lack of gratuitousness. It's not designed for kids, but kids would enjoy it.

The only conversation that may be questionable to a very protective parent is a discussion where the young dragon does... Read More
Sep 25, 2007 by Emily Baker |  See all 10 posts
hardcover?
I didn't even know that they had been published in hardcover. When and where were they published? Can you find them on Amazon.uk? I agree it looks to be expensive maybe they can be found elsewhere?
Dec 4, 2008 by A. M. Ponzo |  See all 5 posts
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