His Majesty’s Dragon
Book 6 for Once Upon a Time…
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik.
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Del Rey; Reissue edition (March 28, 2006)
(right side is the book I have containing 3 books in one)
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.
I wasn’t certain what to expect nor if I would even like the story. Of course I love dragons and Naomi Novik’s dragon’s are very likeable and very good characters! However, I can’t say I have the least bit of historical interest in Napoleon! And so, although the dragons and Will Laurence, who becomes the rider of Temeraire, are all excellent characters I found myself wondering when the “war” would be of no interest to me whatsoever.
I will admit, that I loved the beginning and middle of this book but as it neared the end of book one, I wasn’t as taken with the story as I hoped I would be.
Also the dragons are very different from any I’ve read of, being large enough to have several men on each one for reasons of warfare. I had some difficulty “seeing” what all was going on and then other scenes when Laurence and Temeraire are alone my assumption of the dragon becomes that he is “smaller” more the size of the dragon in the Pern books.
Anyway.. I did like the book very much..Temeraire is certainly a dragon worth reading about…. but I have to admit I am not certain I will read book 2 as “the war” just isn’t grabbing the history part of me to hold my interest.. I will check into book 2 a bit more before I decide if I will go on or read something totally different.