This first adventure of a new fantasy series introduces the remarkable dragon Temeraire and his heroic captain, Will Laurence, who are thrust into ...Show synopsisThis first adventure of a new fantasy series introduces the remarkable dragon Temeraire and his heroic captain, Will Laurence, who are thrust into the world of the Aerial Corps, offering aerial support to the British during the Napoleonic Wars. Original.Hide synopsis
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This first volume of a series is an interesting combination of elements reminding one of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series of British Navy stories, Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern and Bernard Cornwall's Richard Sharpe. It is set during the Napoleonic wars with dragons as Air Forces. The different types of dragons have different capabilities and for the most part develop a strong attachment to their pilots and vice versa. However, there are the occasional abusive pilots.
What a fascinating concept. If you like History, and love dragons, you just have to go here and enjoy this amazing ride on the Air Corp dragons. This is wonderfully entertaining and the excitement never stops.
This book is flat-out phenomenal, but I'll try to avoid hyperbole.
In her debut novel, Naomi Novik manages to put dragons to a wonderfully original use, as mounts for the Air Force (called the Aerial Corps) during the Napoleonic Wars. Far from being built around a gimmick, the book is stunning in its descriptions of the intricacies of military code and strategy, while also establishing distinct personalities for the many dragons within its pages. Temeraire, our dragon protagonist, is immensely likable, as is his handler, Captain Will Laurence. One thing I really enjoyed is how Novik established Laurence as a stickler for etiquette and formality while still imbuing in him a deep sense of compassion and empathy. Usually in fiction the hero is the rogue who breaks down the barriers of formality; here the situation is reversed and Laurence is thrust into a branch of the military which is almost completely casual in opposition to his Navy-trained manners.
I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next book in this series. I both cried and laughed OUT LOUD while reading this (the former fortunately in private, the latter on the subway, garnering me some strange looks from my fellow commuters), for Novik skillfully mines both hilarity and profound tragedy in her story.
The quality of the writing is also top-notch, and I was reminded more than once of Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brien, only to read in the "about the Author" section that those are two of her favorite authors. I am so very glad to have discovered this author and am excited to add these books to my collection.
His Majesty's Dragon, or Temeraire as it was originally released in the UK, was such a fresh and original tale that the author was catapulted into a multi-book series released simultaneously on both sides of the pond. The Temeraire series of books blends Napoleonic history with the existence of dragons as the cavalry of the time. The first book of the series introduces these concepts and the world while, in parallel, presenting the wonderful individuals of Lawrence and Temeraire himself. The process of their training, work and investigation into Temeraire's origins is a wonder of respect, capability and love.
A remarkable book. The sophomore efforts may suffer a little for pacing, but the first novel does not in the least; in fact, the movie rights have been optioned by Peter Jackson. Recommended.
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