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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Not nearly enough historical fiction involves dragons—and that’s why we love Nebula Award winner Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon. Upon discovering a mysterious egg aboard a captured 18th-century French vessel, Captain William Laurence must leave his beloved ship behind and adjust to life as a member of the indispensable-yet-boorish Aerial Corps. As his touching friendship with his winged charge blossoms, William’s reluctance fades. Novik’s world-building is lush, and we love her fantastical reimagining of the Napoleonic Wars and breathtaking descriptions of aerial acrobatics. But it’s the touching boy-meets-reptile story that really makes this book—the first in a nine-volume saga—a wonder.
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).
Customer ReviewsSee All
I’m only giving a 4 star because of what happened to Levitas.
This book is amazing!! I love reading it, I love the tone of it. I love characters (or love to hate them), and I love all the attachments I have made to these characters. There are 7 more books you say? I know what I'm going to be reading for the foreseeable future
The beginning really hooks people in if they like naval battles and dragons. There are a few parts that are a little slow, but then the action starts back up. Overall, it's one of the best first books of a series ever.