5 stars This book is so utterly delightful in every way I can t even count how many times it made me smile or laugh, or how it tugged at my heartstrings The bond between Laurence and Temeraire is incomparable I cannot wait to continue on with this series 2 7 18 ON SALE for 2.
99 by Rabid ReadsThis isn t my first Novik read In fact, the whole reason I finally got on with reading HIS MAJESTY S DRAGON is b c I read and absolutely adored Uprooted But UPROOTED isn t being released until May, so this is the first Novik review I ve posted.
Same and not the same, people Same and not the same.
Meet Will Laurence Laurence is a Captain in the British Navy He is a perfect gentlemen He is ostentatiously dull And while there is significant character growth throughout the book, it is completely in regards to the small mindedness that comes with his gentleman status, having no impact whatsoever on the dull, dull, dullness of his disposition And maybe this is irrelevant, and maybe it isn t I don t know What I do know is that b c I have James Norrington in my head, every time Laurence is on the page and that s pretty much all the time all I can think is Why on earth would you write a Norrington like character, when you could write a Will Turner or Jack Sparrow type character instead Especially, when the Norrington type character has a DRAGON B c really What would Norrington do with a dragon Funnily enough, I now feel qualified to answer that question not much.
That s not to say it didn t have its moments Obviously, it did B c dragon Temeraire was probably my favorite part of the book BUT I couldn t completely enjoy his character, b c Novik states early on that Chinese dragons are bred for intelligence, and after establishing that fact, uses him to spout insightful and ahead of his time political ideals BUT For an insightful character to be perceived as insightful for me, anyway , he needs to be spouting universal truths, timeless wisdoms, or exposing easily overlooked, but once pointed out, clear flaws in a majority mindset All Temeraire does is say things likeSome of the laws which I have heard make very little sense, and I do not know that I would obey them if it were not to oblige you It seems to me that if you wish to apply laws to us, it were only reasonable to consult us on them, and from what you have read to me about Parliament, I do not think any dragons are invited to go thereWhich, yes, is amusing, but not particularly clever I also enjoyed Laurence s pragmatic observations, which were quietly humorous and made me snicker at regular intervals Like when it s discovered that the dragon egg they acquired will hatch before reaching land and one of the crew will have to bond with the hatchling, meaning that he ll be forced to leave the respectable Navy to join the disreputable Dragon Aviators Laurence is determined as any gentleman would be to proceed in all fairnessthough if Fanshawe had not spoken in so unbecoming a way, Laurence would have liked to keep Carver out of it, as he knew the boy had a poor head for heights, which struck him as a grave impediment for an aviator.
snickers But regular though those intervals were, they were not enough to overwhelm the blah Most of the blah was the result of Laurence s stodginess, but while it s one thing to accurately reflect the attitudes of the period in which a book is set, it s quite another to tacitly endorse them view spoilerLaurence bowed to them both, though he had a sense of awkwardness for the first occasion since he had grown used to Harcourt She was leaning with no appearance of consciousness against Choiseul s shoulder, and he was looking down at her with undisguised warmth she was quite young, after all, and Laurence could not help feeling the absence of any suitable chaperone She was young And in need Of a chaperone flares nostrils The suggestion is bad enough, but when Harcourt was indeed taken advantage of by the dastardly Choiseul, thus justifying Laurence s backward thinking frowns hide spoiler
I wasn t expecting much when I picked up His Majesty s Dragon.
To tell the truth, if I d seen it in a bookstore, I wouldn t have picked it up But it was recommended to me by a reliable source as a better alternative to Eragon, and it was a historical fantasy set during the Napoleonic Wars I figured I d give it a try I didn t regret it.
I don t love this book because Naomi Novik s writing style is equal to that of Tolkien I don t love this book because it s perfect in every way indeed, some of the subplots were rather weak, and should have been changed or cut out altogether Rather, I love this book because Naomi Novik took a boring, cliche idea, and put on a spin on it that s so brilliant and yet mind bogglingly obvious I have to wonder why in the world someone hadn t thought of it before.
In all of the previous dragonrider books I d read, there was always one rider One lone human on a dragon the size of a house And somehow, that was supposed to be special and sensible and realistic But no if a dragon is that large, then why is there only one rider Why can t there be Having one rider on a dragon is like putting one passenger on a plane that could potentially carry fifty.
And that s where Naomi Novik takes the Temeraire series Her fight scenes aren t one on one affairs, they re all out aerial battles fought with crew members dangling precariously from leather harnesses, forced to make the best of inaccurate rifles It s true, the captain has a special relationship with his or her dragon, but there s the distinct feeling of a team that the captain would really be nowhere without the support of a crew behind him What s , Novik makes the battles work they re clearly planned out and make sense in a historical context.
The main characters are also unusually engaging Laurence, as a former naval captain who accidentally stumbles upon a dragon egg, is plunged into a branch of the military completely unlike the one in which he s served, and his confusion and stiffness are only to be expected While his stubbornness and sense of propriety are on occasion mildly irritating, his reactions to elements of the Aerial Corps are only natural given his character And Temeraire, the dragon that hatches from the egg Laurence discovers, is than a mere sentient ship his naive, inquisitive personality is adorably appealing, and the political views he develops at times contrast sharply with those of Laurence.
And then there s the matter of the main villain there is none There s no evil overlord to face, no Dark Lord Napoleon who tries to foil Laurence s and Temeraire s plans at every turn In fact, despite the fact that the book is from a strictly British point of view, Novik portrays Napoleon fairly, and his character only grows sympathetic as the series goes on Napoleon doesn t even make an appearance during the first book it s just the British Aerial Corps versus the French Armee de l Air It s a lovely change as the battles grow steadily climactic, one gets the feeling that they re in a war against other dragon crews just like theirs, not fighting some unseen maniac.
Like I said, His Majesty s Dragon isn t perfect The subplot with Choiseul is ultimately disappointing in its resolution, and Laurence s love interest is perilously close to a Mary Sue and should have been cut thankfully, there s a lot less of her in the following books Still, it s a refreshingly original spin on an overused idea, and all in all a very good read.
5 5 stars Woe is me for not having read this years ago I had this amazing dragon book sitting unread on my shelf for over 10 years and I m surprised no one revoked my membership to the dragon obsession club not a real thing In all fairness, the way people described this book and series gave me a very different impression than what the first book actually entailed They d say, it s an alternate military history, but with dragons I m sure that description is completely accurate for the series as a whole, but had someone mentioned even briefly that His Majesty s Dragon was less about alt history as a focus even though that was an essential setting component and about the forming bond between a man and his dragon, I d have been on board the Temeraire ship years ago Unfortunately first impressions caused me to hold off When it came out I was in the middle of college and the last thing I wanted to do was put down one text book and pick up another even if the new one had dragons I thought I d be bored with the historical elements and recycled battle scenes All the discussions I d had about it with customers made me think I was getting into a dry historical retelling that took itself too seriously This is SO NOT THE CASE The relationship between man and dragon is 100% the appeal of the book for me It s a slowly paced plot that focuses on the bond and establishes the groundwork for what s to come Because of the aforementioned expectations for the series, I m certain some ventured in looking for battle sequences, military strategy, and loads of historical references, but were bored with their lack which is an irony considering my boredom might have stemmed from those things being present if I d read it 10 years ago As I said, perhaps the series as a whole will offer those things, but for me this book offered perfect immersion into what it s like to be a dragonrider or Aerialist in training Now that my tastes have broadened, I m actually looking forward to seeing the historical immersion in future books, but that alone wouldn t have been enough to get me to pick up the series The dragons are my main motivation Not only was Temeraire a fascinating creature, but so were the many other varieties of dragons aka Niki s dragon heaven I loved the training aspects and can t wait to see those put into good use, I loved the commander of the training encampment you ll see , and I loved the relationships and dynamics beginning to form between all the trainees and their dragons Basically, this is the book I ve been hounding to find all my life The slow burn of this novel might have bored a few people, but I reveled in every single moment It had me so wrapped up, I even shed a tear or two I can t remember the last time a book made me cry The combination of a fantastic main character, sentient dragons filled with awesomeness , and the overall theme of the series set His Majesty s Dragon up as one of the best books I ve read in a while I can t wait to get my hands on the next one Recommendations read this book if you like dragons It s a bonus if you also like alt history PVia The Obsessive bookseller at www.
com Other books you might like
99 This book made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside Yes it did Oh, I know exactly what you re thinking You re thinking, Sarah doesn t do warm and fuzzy, Sarah only does cold hearted cynicism Ha Fooled you right there I ll have you know I do have a heart sometimes and actually enjoy feeling all warm and fuzzy occasionally Besides, it s not like this is me cooing and getting the fuzzies over a bunch of cute babies We re talking about dragons here, people Wanna know why I m all smitten and stuff Mostly because this book reminded me of Pete s DragonI think I just lost half of the people reading this review Don t worry kids, this is too ancient for you to know about Besides, it s not your fault you were born two decades too late view spoiler It does explain why you re all so screwed up, though hide spoiler 99c Kindle sale, Nov 29, 2018 The first book in a fantasy version of the Napoleonic War during the Regency era by Naomi Novik, the author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver The twist here is that Britain and France each have an air force made up of huge, intelligent dragons and their human riders The dragons are so large that they have an entire crew in addition to their main rider basically, they re like smart, talking and sometimes smart talking naval ships flying around in the air Plus, different dragons have different tricks and abilities.
Will Laurence is the captain of the HMS Reliant, a naval warship, and happy with his career But when they capture a French frigate, they find a major prize an unhatched dragon egg These eggs are so valuable that there s no question that whoever is chosen by the baby dragon will immediately be put in the dragon air force So when the dragon a breed no one in England has ever seen before hatches, rejects the young crewman chosen for him, and selects Captain Laurence instead, he s initially very resentful of the forced career change but resigned to his fate The story follows Will and his dragon, Temeraire, as they grow to love each other and learn their role and tactics in England s air battles It s an enjoyable story, a little like Horatio Hornblower or Master and Commander, except of course with dragons There s a whole series here, but this one works fine as a stand alone read.
Aerial Combat Brings A Thrilling New Dimension To The Napoleonic Wars As Valiant Warriors Ride Mighty Fighting Dragons, Bred For Size Or Speed When HMS Reliant Captures A French Frigate And Seizes The Precious Cargo, An Unhatched Dragon Egg, Fate Sweeps Captain 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 3.
5 stars His Majesty s Dragonis about a sea captain, who after capturing a French frigate, and seizing a valuable, unhatched dragon egg from the French is brought to an unexpected journey that changes his life forever His Majesty s Dragon is a fantasy, historical fiction novel about the Napoleonic Wars I thought this novel was cute, unique, and creative It was different, and that is one thing I admired about the work Naomi Novik used historical events, and mixed a tamer form of our fantasy dragon in one book Sort of like How To Tame A Dragon, but with the idea that dragons are like domesticated dogs At the end of the day I just wanted a dragon to ride around I would get to so many places quicker The other part I liked were the ideas of Natural and Artificial Selection Science Evolution I am assuming, at one point there were tamer dragons, and wilder dragons, which the humans took advantage of the tamer ones for their own benefit Honesty, I would of loved to know the backstory of how humans rode dragons Was there one or a few guys who became friends with a nicer breed of dragons What is the history Then eventually, through Artificial Selection, humans started breeding between different types of dragons to give certain attributes to the next generation, such as fire, acid, intelligence, etc Cool, right I love it The main character, Lawrence, was an intelligent, courageous, noble gentleman Temeraire, the main dragon, was the same as Lawrence I can see how these characters can annoy, and tire some people, because they have the best attributes of a human and dragon, and you wonder what is their flaw They cannot surely be the best, of the best, of the best That isn t human I liked them, especially for their noble attributes, but I am waiting for them to relax The other characters had flaws, some where evil, and dragons had their own personalities and qualities that gave a nice mixture to the overall story His Majesty s Dragon was a light read, and easy to follow Naomi Novik gives the ground work in this novel, by showing the reader the hatching, the training, the different types of dragons, personalities of dragons, and the war There were a few exciting moments, but I was expecting brutality I was kind of disappointed that there wasn t ferocious battles There were some sad, and angry moments, but I just wanted a little crushing of skulls I will read the next book in the series to see if it may become brutal They are dragons of course, and some natural, wild instinct is sure to come inHis Majesty s Dragonoverall is a cute, unique book that was enjoyable Happy reading blog www.
com I m amazed at how many people enjoyed this book The premise is fascinating and extremely creative And for that it avoids a single star Otherwise, the characters are bland, there is minuscule character development to speak of, and THERE ARE NO REAL CONFLICTS Every conflict is conveniently tied up with no trade offs This isn t fantasy, it s day dream By far, the most amusing portion of the book is the conversations between Laurence the protagonist and Temeraire the dragon amusing to the sheer ridiculousness of its romantic triteness Temeraire may have intelligence that surpasses Nobel Prize winners, but he has the emotional quotient of a peanut.
Read this book only if you want pure, saccharine fluff.