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His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire, Book 1 | [Naomi Novik]

His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire, Book 1

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 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 a baptism of fire.

Don't miss the rest of the Temeraire series:
Book 2: Throne of Jade and
Book 3: Black Powder War.

©2006 Naomi Novik; (P)2007 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, 2007
  • Hugo Award nominee, Best Novel, 2007

"Delightful...Novik seamlessly blends fantasy into the history of the Napoleonic wars." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1599 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Teresa Blue Ridge, VA, USA 10-24-08
    Teresa Blue Ridge, VA, USA 10-24-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Magical Series"

    I fell in love with the author's depiction of sentient dragons whose morality rivals those of men. The underlying themes of duty and obedience vs honesty and loyalty resonate with our world today. I only wish the author could continue this series! I look forward to more from Naomi Novik.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Richmond, TX, United States 11-01-11
    Kenneth Richmond, TX, United States 11-01-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    165
    ratings
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    94
    29
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    30
    3
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    Story
    "Good Series."

    This series and Jack Campell's lost fleet series have a lot in common for me. Protagonists that are the model of perfection, couched in dilemma’s that really only need a strong decisive commander to overcome.

    But like the lost fleet series, I'm not 'desperate' to find out what happens next. Perfect to read when I’m waiting, and solid entertainment whenever I have the time just not quite....gripping enough to be great.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winona Decatur, AL, United States 10-06-08
    Winona Decatur, AL, United States 10-06-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    70
    23
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    "Can't get enough"

    This is a twist of fate that you will never guess. It talks about true friendship and everlasting love. You will cry, you will laugh and you will get mad but you will stick with it to the end. Leaving you craving for more.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hannes cupertino, CA, United States 10-22-10
    Hannes cupertino, CA, United States 10-22-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "47 years too late"

    (I'm 57) I haven't finished the book and probably won't. They are reasonably well written, well-narrated and so forth, but as I was listening to the rather predictable "plot", I realized how much I would have enjoyed this at age 10....seriously, these are excellent children's books.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    francisco Roswell, NM, United States 08-14-12
    francisco Roswell, NM, United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Entertaining but Not Riveting"

    This book was a nice mix of Master and Commander and the Eragon series. I am not typically a fan of dragon focused fiction with the exception of the Paoloni series (but that is a whole other review). This book was entertaining and easy to listen to all the way through to the end….. However it was not riveting. The book had so much more potential to delve deeper into this world. I wanted more about the characters, the setting, and the dragons. While I try not to let details of the period distract me, I can’t help but notice them. Perhaps I have been spoiled too much from Bernard Cornwell’s books, but I enjoy books of this genre that can not only have a good story line, but also have great details of events, attire and equipment. While the author did a nice job of describing the dragons and their equipment, the same cannot be said about the military equipment, which at times was inaccurate. These are small and did not ruin the overall experience. I am troubled by the fact at the end of this book I was not compelled to get the next book in the series or even put it into my wish list. This is not the feeling I like to have when I start a new series, and therefore I doubt if I will continue to listen to these books. I would recommend this book if you are absolutely bored and want an easy to listen to book without much thinking required. I would rate it PG-13 as far as content and therefore could be a good listen for a family road trip if you are fine with your kids watching a movie of that rating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Boulder, Colorado 08-08-12
    Kevin Boulder, Colorado 08-08-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unique, fun, and well-written!"
    Would you listen to His Majesty's Dragon again? Why?

    I've already listened to this book 5 times. It's a fun listen. I have recommended it to several friends as a great "serious enough to pay attention to, but fun enough to listen to in the car" book. Light on the silly supernatural (no sexy vampires here) and heavy on personal interaction and historical setting, the Temeraire series is a great way to enjoy an alternate universe of the Napoleonic Wars. Novik's books in this series explore many of the continents of the early 19th Century complete with dragons and foreign cultures that are well-researched and described.


    What other book might you compare His Majesty's Dragon to and why?

    Hard to compare... Master and Commander? ... but with dragons.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Vance's narration is wonderful. Covering accents from around the world and a great diversity of characters, he does an excellent job of giving a feel for the language and actions in the books.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first book in a great series!! I highly recommend this book to readers who yearn for historical fiction mixed with fantasy. This is no witches, spells, sexy vampires fighting with musclebound werewolves for silly high school girls who only know the word "Beautiful" to describe things. This is much more a travelogue or war story set in the age of cannons and sails with real historical figures intermixed with aerial corps of dragons.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marisa Dover, NH, United States 06-06-12
    Marisa Dover, NH, United States 06-06-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very likeable characters"
    Would you recommend His Majesty's Dragon to your friends? Why or why not?

    yes. it was recommended to me by a friend. the story concept didnt seem that interesting, but as I read I found that the true enjoyment comes from the lead character and his dragon and their friendship, not some much the historical-fantasy setting.

    superb dialogue.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albatross Austin 04-26-12
    Albatross Austin 04-26-12

    SJ

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An interesting combination, but not very lively."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    While the premise of this series sounds riveting, and I had heard some good things, I actually found myself disappointed, all in all. There are a few neat parts, but somehow it felt fairly uneventful on the whole. And while I thought the narrator did an interesting job with Temeraire's voice, I don't think he lent much to what more active scenes did exist. It was however appropriate to the more Victorian aspects, in that most of the book read like the journal of a good-hearted but somewhat timid gentleman.

    Perhaps the series picks up further on, but as for now, this book didn't entertain me enough that I feel motivated to give the others a try any time soon.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Actually, though it pains me to say it, this story might benefit from the editing that a movie translation would give it. At least so far as timing and engagement goes.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoR S.F. Utah 02-23-12
    JoR S.F. Utah 02-23-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Came at me out of left field!"

    I didn't have very high expectations going into this book because I'm not a fan of dragon fantasy. Dragons have been done to death, and I usually avoid them. However, His Majesty's Dragon turned out to be one of the best fantasy books I've ever read/listened to.

    Novik blends historical with fantastical seamlessly. It felt like listening to one of the Master and Commander or Richard Sharpe books. Novik got her history right, and so the fantasy feels so... real.

    Dragons are the air force of the 19th century. This idea is so well thought out in this book that I am starting to wonder if dragons really did exist... Don't hesitate to listen to this if you're a fantasy fan. And of course, Simon Vance is wonderful as always.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Byrne 04-04-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable, But Slight"

    Although I can't say this wasn't an enjoyable read/listen, I was disappointed that Novik didn't do more with a very interesting premise. Put simply, the dragons are just too easy to deal with. They roll out of the egg able to speak with those around them, in the King's English (even if sired in China and given to the French!). For all their bulk and the fear that the non-aviators have of them, the fact is my girlfriend's cats are more dangerous and unpredictable. Some seeds are sown for the idea that huge, sentient beasts maybe shouldn't be treated like cattle, but it doesn't go very far in this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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