A wonderful alternate history, Novik manages to give a respectful nod to the whole of dragon fantasy while taking it to new heights. Both the dragons and their crews are fully realized, the action exciting, the history perfectly drawn. I am just sorry that I allowed this series to wait as long as I did to begin reading it - this first book stands comfortably in stature with the first Pern trilogy and is a gem within the genre. If there were six stars this book would deserve them.
I took this with me to read on a trip and finished it yesterday on the plane home. Overall impression - exciting story with lots of details and great dragons! The author did a wonderful job of incorporating dragons into the alternate historical setting. The characters were all very well done too. The humans weren't people with present day sensibilities who happened to be wearing old-fashioned clothes - they really fit the time period. And the dragons were fabulous of course!
(By the way, it seemed especially fitting to be reading about dragon flying maneuvers and aerial battles while flying across the country in a little puddle-jumping Embraer with a lot of turbulence. I did end up rereading a lot of sentences as the book jumped away from my eyes, but that's OK - they were pretty good sentences!)
This is the most charming book! Ms. Novik has an excellent writing style that succinctly recalls the time period her story is set in. I am not at all surprised that Jane Austin is one of her favorite authors. And I was extremely impressed by her use of vocabulary, how exciting to find an author unafraid of adjectives. The story itself is wonderful, and I love Temeraire. The whole concept Ms. Novik has created only deserves the highest praise!
I enjoyed this book. Would've enjoyed a more in-depth book even more. Debating whether or not to finish the series. With my time being at a premium, I don't have time to read just okay books. Wasn't full of language. Wasn't gratuitously graphic with the violence (wartime). It certainly wasn't a romance novel! So, you can tell what was left out. :P
a really neat twist on the dragon rider theme. It combines a naval officer like one of the various fictional naval heroes [Hornblower, Bolitho, Drinkwater, etc ] and various talking dragons in a well written tale of naval air battles in Napoleanic times. This is a good one and I look forward to the rest of the series.
Just finished reading this first book in the series, and it's actually very good! After I read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell I started looking for other Historical Fantasy and this one filled the bill so to speak. Her writing style is great and from the very beginning you're drawn into it. The relationship between dragons and riders and society is actually quite refreshing from the norm.
Great fun! If you were a fan of Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels, or enjoy alternate histories, do yourself a favor and try this series. Well-written and with a dry sense of humor, it's a great tale; and the lead dragon is quite a character! It's great fun, and a pleasure to recommend.
Finally a series about a dragon and the human he bonds with from hatching that is exciting and adventurous! In addition, the historical research is awesome, as well as the "what if . . ." factor of the use of aerial combat between the British and the French.
When HMS Reliant captures a french frigate and seizes an unhatched dragon egg during the war the Napoleon, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future and unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarefied world of the British Aerial Corps as master of the dragon he names Temeraire, eh will face a crash course in learning tactics of airborne battle. Temeraire is not only a dragon who welcomes helping fight air battles with the French, his love for Laurence and his eagerness to learn new things with his increasing intelligence gives the reader an interesting ride.
Really fun book! Really great writing! The book isn't fast paced, but the story is so well told that it doesn't matter. I cared deeply for the characters. The character building is fantastic. Really great adventure. Recommend to any future reader. Especially if you like dragons.
a wonderfully imaginative, gripping, and fun fantasy/historical science ficton! Novik's creation of dragons as part of the Napoleonic Wars is inspired ... again and again and again. Delighted to know that Peter Jackson has the movie rights to this series. It's be awesome!
Not since I discovered Pern have I enjoyed a book about dragons so much.
Laurence was a very likeable character from the start, and the dragons were amazing. The Napoleonic wars fought with dragons was an interesting concept, and the author wrote it well and believable.
I loved the dynamic between Laurence and Temeraine. Though it wasn't quite the Impression from McCaffrey's world, their bond was strong and touching. I was glad that not only did Laurence teach Temeraire about the world, but Temeraire made Laurence a better person, and engaged him in things (like reading) that he'd never been interested in before.
I could have loved this book had it been a standalone story. As it is, there are at least two more books which I can't wait to gobble up.
Well done, and highly recommended to anyone who loves dragons.
There are dragons!! This is the first book of at least a 6 book series by this author. I like this because the dragons talk and the people are really good friends with their dragons. Its set during a war in Europe in the early 1800s with Napoleon Bonaparte. I didnt really like the war parts much but I did like the other parts. The people really fit the time period and are not modern people in a historical setting. I love the main dragon - Temeraire! Ive only read this first one of the series and plan on reading the others soon.
I thought this first book in the series was far and away the most absorbing and interesting. I was much less interested in the rest of the series, but I'm waiting and letting it percolate. This first volume introduces the character of Temeraire, the dragon--I really liked the dragon! It's a little like a cross between Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series and Anne McCaffrey--not as dark as the other "magic in the Napoleonic Wars" fantasy, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
Evan P. reviewed His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Bk 1) on
It's very easy to fall into the world that Novik is creating, to the point that this first book in the series feels inescapably like the beginning of a saga. Despite all the war and fighting and such, I felt the real take-away from the book was the sense of adventure and of companionship - the real thrill in the relationship between human and dragon.
Give it a read, and be prepared to settle in with the rest of the books soon thereafter.
Very good story, interweaving history and fantasy together in a very believable way. It's fast-moving with strong characters and a good narrative voice. Totally original ~ I've never read another story like it.
What a great book! Most of the stories with dragons in them that I have read are in a medieval-type fantasy setting, but this one is like an alternative history with dragons involved in the Napoleonic Wars. I thought it was a clever storyline, and have already started on book two of the series.
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. Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future-and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarefied world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle.