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Temeraire

The Temeraire Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Series: The Temeraire Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Naomi Novik’s stunning series of novels follow the adventures of Captain William Laurence and his fighting dragon, Temeraire, as they are thrown together to fight for Britain during the turbulent time of the Napoleonic Wars.

As Napoleon's tenacious infantry rampages across Europe and his armada lies in wait for Nelson's smaller fleet, the war does not rage on land and water alone. Squadrons of aviators swarm the skies - a deadly shield for the cumbersome canon-firing vessels. Raining fire and acid upon their enemies, they engage in a swift, violent combat with flying tooth and claw...for these aviators ride dragons.

Captain Laurence is a satisfied man with a respectable commission aboard the ship Reliant. His career is born from a love for the sea, and he takes his duty very seriously.

Months before the battle of Trafalgar, on patrol in the Atlantic, the Reliant takes a small French frigate, storm damaged and possessing a fierce crew unwilling to surrender as easily as they should. On board Laurence finds a dragon egg - a great prize, as England is in sore need.

Having spent months on a slow journey from Asia, the egg hatches. A sinewy newborn emerges from the fragmented shell, ignores his harness bearer, approaches Laurence and changes his life.

Hatchling dragons must be put in a harness immediately, otherwise the dragon young become hard to control - fit only for the breeding colonies. The person chosen to first harness the beast must be an aviator, for the dragon will accept no other captain. The life of an aviator is not a desirable one; reviled by fashionable society, they live hard, lonely lives bound to duty, and they frequently die young. Laurence must now join them; duty demands it, though his heart is broken.

But, more astonishing than the dragonet - named Temeraire by Laurence - are the documents found with him, documents addressed to Napoleon from the greatest, most skilled dragon breeders in the world: the Chinese.

The dragon Temeraire was meant for the Emperor Napoleon himself and promises to grow into no ordinary creature.

©2006 Naomi Novik (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"I took a jaundiced view of dragon books until Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of military history, sympathetic characters, and engaging style makes this series great, intelligent fun." (The Times)

"Plenty of intrigue, swordplay, exotic locations, plausible invention. In short a treat." (The Telegraph)

"These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart." (Peter Jackson)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fantasticly real

After the french revolution, in the british colonial empiere, wiith dragons.
A very real story, despite the fantasy elements.
The only other story about dragons as good as this series is the dragonkepper series by Carole Wilkinson.

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  • Simon
  • 12-09-18

Dragon-infused Napoleonic War!

When you look at the ingredients that Naomi Novik has stirred into her Termeraire pot it simply shouldn't work. Yet somehow not only does it work but it does so beautifully. Just as Novik's magnificently described dragon battles stretch the laws of physics in ways that would have Newton himself pelting her with apples so her mixing of dragons with the Napoleonic wars may have fantasy and military history purists trying to throttle her with the hair they've just ripped from their heads! But I don't think she worries too much about the purists!

The way that she infuses her dragons and their aviators into the real historical events of the period is stunning because somehow it's easy to accept that it was dragons more than fire ships that scattered the Spanish Armada! Not long through the book somehow this anachronistic RAF feels natural especially imbued as it is with the stoical stiff upper-lipped mannerisms of the time. Somehow Novik brings her wonderful dragons into the period while channeling the spirit of the Battle of Britain, it's heroic stuff.

The lead character or rather lead human character, Laurence, wouldn't be out of place of course in a Hornblower or Thomas Kydd novel though through his impeccable gentlemanly manners there is just a spark of a certain Captain Sharpe that rises to the fore as one particular villain is brought summarily to book! If among all these historical shenanigans there is a genuine core to this book it is the beautifully detailed relationship between Laurence and Temeraire who proves to be something a bit special even among his fellow dragons. There is genuine warmth which will give these books a much wider appeal than one containing just the more military and bloodthirsty aspects.

Simon Vance is a very successful match for Novik's writing. He brings the nobility to Lawrence and a lot of that relationship warmth and character to the varied cast making this a surprisingly good package. I wasn't originally going to try this series but on the recommendation of a friend I did and that's something I'm very glad about. The second book is due out on the 3rd January and I suspect will do much to chase away any post new year blues!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Bernie
  • 01-20-19

A great surprise.

This was much better than I could have imagined. On to the next. I didn't feel that interested reading the description but I thought will give it a chance. And so glad I did.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • R.A Moore
  • 03-12-19

ripping good yarn

ripping good yarn. a great adventure, like a combination of Sharp's Rifles meets Game of Thrones

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Travis Eyles
  • 02-20-19

What a book!

Seriously, what a book! This was brilliant. Second time reading. Won’t be the last time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R. Mouland
  • 02-18-19

love this book. such a great original story.

Great characters and such an original story. well read. looking forward to the rest. Great book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-29-19

Amazing

I thought I would give this ago as it contains two of my favourite interests, war stories and dragons. I can't wait to get to the other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gabrielle Harvey-Jones
  • 01-12-19

What a find!

Loved it & Simon Vance is the perfect reader! My private pleasure - such a joy to have a well read book about dragons! 🤗

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • nicole
  • 12-09-18

Available in the U.K. at last.

Naomi Novik is one of the best fantasy writes to appear in years. While the author writes unique stories there are shades of Hornblower and of the Pern series here, making this engrossing story equally appealing to both male and female listeners. I've been waiting for the series to come to the U.K. for years and am very glad that the first two books are here at last.

While Simon Vance is not usually my favourite narrator, he absolutely shines in this role and deserves every one of the five stars I have given him.

I couldn't stop listening anymore than when I first listened to these stories. My only surprise is that Audible U.K. has not done more to let listeners know that they are now available.

Note: As many people who both read and listen may already have the kindle it is worth knowing that this is already Whispersync. While we are not allowed to discuss price in these reviews, some people, especially on the monthly scheme may wish to see if if Whispersync is less expensive for them with this first book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-19

brilliant story

love this story, my favourite books, performed well although the characters aren't how they sounded in my head when I read it. the ear quickly adapts and you follow along on a whirlwind ride

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  • PMT
  • 05-26-19

Lovely story

Bought this having read Simon's review, and so glad I did. I developed a fancy for dragons when reading Anne McCaffrey's books many years ago, and this was equally enjoyable. The relationship between Laurence and Temeraire is fascinating, and I have already bought the next two books.

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  • Mr David P Lam
  • 12-19-18

A Dragon and a Gentleman

The story is wonderfully written and only enhanced by Simon Vance’s performance. I can’t wait till the next book is released.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sweetheart1
  • 06-27-19

brilliant!

i loved this so much from the very first chapter that i brought the entire series! so well written and narrated that i could hardly stop listening.

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  • C
  • 06-02-19

Cracking good read!

Loved every second!
Loved reading the books - and thoroughly enjoyed the audible version. Smoothly voiced - all characters believable and engaging.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 05-31-19

compelling

thoroughly engaging. Very good narration too. I found it hard to stop listening at many points.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-19

Well written well read

was a real joy this book. i remember reading this story when it first came out but didnt finish it due to life events. glad i came back to it.

as the title indicates this is wepl written and well performed by the narrator who really brought the story alive.

this a good twist with a merging of two interesting genres alternatove history and fantasy to create a very unique sort of story. the Napoleonic wars are an era that does not get mucg attention anymore which is a shame as it is an interesting peroid of history.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-19

great book

I loved the language, great story, only the great finale seemed a little too hastened

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  • brandon
  • 02-05-19

excellent

Very well written and captivating throughout. I highly enjoyed this book and look forward to exploring more of Naomi's work.

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  • Renate
  • 01-02-19

Very disappointing

I have read Naomi Novik’s other works and was hoping again to be whisked away to beautiful far away countries, full of fairy tales written in her magical, shimmering style read by Kate Sobey with her voice as smooth as silk. Instead was listening to a voice that sounded as cold and boring as listening to the news. And really the story was also very disappointing- war on the seas with dragons.
The dragon idea was cool the story dry and boring. What a shame

1 of 4 people found this review helpful