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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 (1421 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Janet Pinehurst, NC, USA 10-12-07
    Janet Pinehurst, NC, USA 10-12-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    102
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    "Dragon Riders of Pern meet Master and Commander"

    The comparison is a little simplistic, but this alternative history is tons of fun. The characters are consistant with the period, the writing is good, and Simon Vance is one of the best readers anywhere. I loved every minute of this book. A great adventure!

    4 and a half was what I wanted, but it didn't quite reach my 5 star threshold.

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Stoneham, MA, United States 07-08-10
    Melanie Stoneham, MA, United States 07-08-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    "Excellent AU period fantasy"

    The tone of the writing fits the setting perfectly, and the narrator matches as though the book were written specifically for him.

    Some reviewers have complained that the story is tedious. Certainly the writing style is deliberate and considered, but as I said, it matches the setting and especially the naval character of Lawrence, the main character whose perspective is our own. Anyone who needs a very fast-paced writing style (like Carl Hiassan) might dislike it, but anyone who can tolerate Tolkein would have no trouble.

    Temeraire is delightful, and Lawrence is such a good man. His gradual shift from the navy to the aerial corps is believable and involving; his struggle with integrating himself into the new culture is fraught with pitfalls that are paralleled nicely by Temeraire's difficulty with being a rare breed.

    Lawrence's stiff manner and preoccupation with propriety stem from a powerful and selfless desire to do the right thing, both for his country and for his loved ones, making behavior that would come off as pompous in another man seem heartfelt and honest from him.

    What little aerial combat there is (surprisingly little if you're expecting a war, but for the story and Temeraire's age it's appropriate) is occasionally paced a bit oddly, but in truth, the action sequences are exceptionally easy to follow, dramatic, and realistic, with real consequences and believable decision-making, none of the absurd posturing of the usual fantasy battle scene.

    In short, Naomi does an excellent job of convincing the reader that her world is real, that dragons are real, that we know a guy named Lawrence, that he has a dragon named Temeraire, and that we care about them both.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles LaPorte, IN, United States 08-16-10
    Charles LaPorte, IN, United States 08-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Same Narrator as the Stieg Larson series"

    Story is very well written. The narration is enjoyable. I loved the Stieg Larson series in a big way because of Simon Vance's narration. I found out about this Dragon series from a list of favorite authors listed by Jim Butcher. It was a great pick! Well worth the Credit

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Clancy 11-23-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Great Book"

    I truly enjoyed this book. The author did a great job of combining fantasy with history. This novel is a combination of Hornblower and Eragon (but much better than Eragon). The author developed characters that are believable and have depth to them. The battles that the dragons fought is were fast moving. It is a great book to past your time in traffic, you may wish your drive was longer so you did not have to turn it off.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon American Fork, UT, United States 02-21-14
    Brandon American Fork, UT, United States 02-21-14

    Novelist. Steelheart, Mistborn, The Rithmatist, The Wheel of Time, The Stormlight Archive.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Much Enjoyed This Book"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed His Majesty's Dragon, and in the time since I finished it, I've come to appreciate it even more. I liked it while I was reading it, but in comparison to other things, this has stuck with me more. It is a delightful story, the narration was very good, and I give the book my highest recommendation.

    I've got this weird thing going on where Naomi Novik and I actually were up for the same award when we first broke into the business, and she thoroughly trounced me. So I don't give this recommendation lightly, since she is--next to John Scalzi--my secondary evil nemesis :), but also by all accounts a very nice person.

    I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of the series.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Ebeling Manteca, CA United States 05-22-08
    Janice Ebeling Manteca, CA United States 05-22-08 Member Since 2008

    artist writer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unique perspective of dragon rider"

    The Napoleonic wars - with dragons. Naomi Novik offers a unique view of the dragon rider - a core of the armed forces, with not a single rider, but a crew aboard a war harness complete with rifles bombs and swords aboard a winged battleship in areal battles, with warriors leaping across to "board" another dragon's back to fight to capture the Captain - the actual bonded dragon rider. What a fascinating portrayal. Novik's description of the various breeds of dragons in the world and weapons other than breathing fire (a rare gift), makes it also vary interesting. Her dialog captures the speech of British military men of the era, giving it a wonderful flavor. In addition, the audio reading of this book was excellent, down to the perfect British accents. The appendices at the end describing the various dragon breeds (the writings of the expert on the subject) were delightful and very well thought out. I have absolutely no complaints about this book and am eager to download the next volume.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Corryton, TN, United States 04-24-09
    Margaret Corryton, TN, United States 04-24-09 Member Since 2008

    Married, middle-age, owner of 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a messy house.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    "Great Book"

    I am looking forward to listening to the next 4 books. The characters are very real in my mind, they are very well developed. I like the narrator, too - he does a very good job of bringing the characters to life.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Ada, MI, United States 11-03-08
    Debra Ada, MI, United States 11-03-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    5
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    "Unexpected pleasure!"

    Tall Ships and Nepoleonic battles are not my usual cup of tea but this book was a pleasure to listen to and has me hooked on the series.

    The concept and characters are great and I immediately felt the connection that will keep me coming back for more. The narration was excellent as well.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winona Decatur, AL, United States 10-06-08
    Winona Decatur, AL, United States 10-06-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 9 people found this review helpful
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