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His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – March 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In this delightful first novel, the opening salvo of a trilogy, Novik seamlessly blends fantasy into the history of the Napoleonic wars. Here be dragons, beasts that can speak and reason, bred for strength and speed and used for aerial support in battle. Each nation has its own breeds, but none are so jealously guarded as the mysterious dragons of China. Veteran Capt. Will Laurence of the British Navy is therefore taken aback after his crew captures an egg from a French ship and it hatches a Chinese dragon, which Laurence names Temeraire. When Temeraire bonds with the captain, the two leave the navy to sign on with His Majesty's sadly understaffed Aerial Corps, which takes on the French in sprawling, detailed battles that Novik renders with admirable attention to 19th-century military tactics. Though the dragons they encounter are often more fully fleshed-out than the stereotypical human characters, the author's palpable love for her subject and a story rich with international, interpersonal and internal struggles more than compensate. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Published as Temeraire in the U.K., His Majestys 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 Temeraires and Laurences strong bond, one critics hope Novik will explore in future novels. His Majestys 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 youll have to wait: it wont be released until the end of March.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Laurence has been a navy man and ship captain most of his life but when some unexpected loot from a French ship ends up being a dragon egg he is cast into role of rider to a new hatchling dragon and the life he thought he would have is now over.
I was entertained by learning what it takes to raise a dragon and see how they are incorporated into society and warfare. It was different than I expected as Dragons are pretty sentient and can speak right out of the shell. I also didn’t expect the unique relationship between rider and dragon. Sometimes they spoke to each other almost like a couple. While a little strange I did like the strong bound that formed between a Dragon and the Rider they chose at hatching.
Not a lot happens in the actual plot. There is a lot of training and Laurence getting used to how different the Arial Force is from the Navy. First of all there are women riders which is a huge change from the life he lived before. Most of this story is the life of having a Dragon and what it entails. There are a few battles and some tense moments but for the most part it is a story of a boy and his dragon.
Laurence is a bit stiff but it fits with the timeframe of the book and since he is English. I did want him to loosen up a bit more. Temeraire on the other hand is so obviously loyal to Laurence and pretty charming that he made the book all that more enjoyable for me.
If you haven’t read a Naomi Novak book yet I still say go with Uprooted first but she has a great writing style that can bring you into a new world and keep you there easily.
Lovers of Pern's Dragons or the tree-cats of Sphinx will be entertained by Novik's twist on the "everyone wants to be a dragon-rider/adopted by a tree-cat" theme. Unlike most fantasy or science fiction featuring intelligent animals or aliens, where the bond with them is highly coveted, Novik's England is a place where being an "aviator" is considered sort of a necessary evil. Certainly they are valuable to the nation's defense and all, but it certainly isn't a profession for a gentleman! Even a Navy career is disappointing to the protagonist's well-born Lord of a father, but when Laurence is thrust into his relationship with Temeraire his father refuses to even have him in the front door! He has to break off his engagement, because he couldn't ask a well-born lady to marry him now...it is a wonderful change of pace.
Novik also offers something else that fans of McCaffrey's Pern and Weber's Honorverse will appreciate--strong female warriors.
Between the gorgeous language, the expertly researched and presented historical backdrop and the delightfully charming main character Temeraire, this is a series you will want to read, listen to on Audible, then re-read and re-listen.
The Temeraire series is an alternate reality where the world is blessed with dragons. Beautiful, intelligent, loyal, talking (yes, talking) dragons. The worlds armies have used them for centuries as flying fighting machines. When Capt. Laurence finds the dragon egg, England is battling France and he must get the egg to England before it hatches. Once hatched, a dragon must imprint itself on a human or will go feral. Laurence's world completely changes when the egg hatches and the walking, talking, highly intelligent dragon imprints himself on the captain.
Novik is an incredibly beautiful writer, her sentences are flowing and lovely, her descriptors are creative and I must say I learned a handful of new words reading this book. And she gives the dragon, Temeraire, the most enchanting personality: clever, curious, charming and loyal to his human, Laurence. While the captain may have trouble adjusting to the less formal world of aviators, to the point where I wanted to smack the man into some spontaneity, Temeraire thrives. The loyalty each aviator shows their dragon (Yes! Women fly!) is comparable to how a serviceman regards a fellow fighter, only more so. They treat them like their better half.
Despite having dragons and battles, the book moves a tad slow. Lots and lots of proper behaviour, the captain is too inhibited. Every now and then he surprised me, but I kept waiting for him to turn full-on pirate. But, thank God, there are so many delightful scenes of the captain reading to Temeraire, bathing him, sharing secrets, and teaching about the world. Favorite? Explaining "whores" to the young dragon. It was one of those cringe-worthy moments when your child asks where babies come from.
A lovely book with an endearing dragon. I want to keep reading the series but I do need Captain Laurence to bust out more often. His dragon can't carry everything for him.
Most recent customer reviews
A very readable book, but...Read more
As others have mentioned in their reviews, Temeraire and Lawrence's friendship s one of the main driving forces...Read more