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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, April 15, 2013

His Majesty’s Dragon

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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)
ISBN-10: 0345481283

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(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.

7 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen said...

Glad you ended up liking the book even if there were things that you didn't care for. It's always nice to read about dragons, isn't it? :)

6:23 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

The boring bits of these books for me are the battle scenes. I like everything else about them, but, oddly, I still have not read past book 2, even though I have several more on my tbr pile. I think that says something.

4:35 AM  
OpenID marveloustales said...

So I love the idea of dragons in the Napoleonic wars, and I actually do have quite a bit of interest in said-Napoleonic wars...but sprawling, detailed battles? Yeah...I suspect that would lose me. I already read the entire Horatio Hornblower series, and I think that was enough detailed Napoleonic battles for me.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I started off liking the sound of this and almost thinking it put me in mind of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - which was also set during the Napoleonic war but had the use of magic in place of dragons. I must say I enjoyed that book very much but it didn't have any epic war scenes! Plus it had the Raven King character - which was a brilliant addition!
I don't know whether I could stick it out if there are too many battle scenes - not really my thing and my interest would definitely wane!
Lynn :D

6:15 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

I know there are people who really really really love these books, but I've never been sure they're for me. And reading what you had to say about them, I'm thinking maybe they're not. Not that they sound bad, mind you...I'm just not sure they're my cup of tea.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I have book one to read, and I know people who love this series, but I am not in the mood to read about historical war, so haven't gotten to reading it yet. Yet it does have dragons! So I read your review with interest. I suspect I will have much the same view you ended up with. I will give it a try, and let you know. I'd like to know I at least tried the first book. It's good to know it is good reading, too.

Book 6 for this challenge. You are doing fantastic with this one, Pat! Far better than I am so far.

2:25 PM  
OpenID mervih said...

I'm a fan of this series and I have to say your review is spot on. I read this series because I like the characters and exploring the world Novik has created. The exploration doesn't really start until the third book, though.

The second book is mostly spent on the long, long sea voyage between England and China so it's quite a bit different from the first book. However, every book does have long battle scenes so they might not interest you.

5:21 PM  

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