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 Capt. 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 their own baptism of fire.
- Hugo Awards
Showing 1-10 of the 14 most recent reviews
1 . A very interesting perspective
Posted January 03, 2011 by Benjamin , Seoul, South KoreaHis Majesty’s Dragon does veer away from the traditional expectations of the fantasy genre. At first, when I loaded the book into my ebook reader, I was a bit surprised to see the length was only about 240 pages. This was a shock seeing that most fantasy books are quite mammoth in size. The over writing style and depth of the book is on the light side, though most of the dialogue is written in the form an older British dialect.
While much different from an expectation of what a fantasy novel should be, I was quite impressed with the alternative reality that the author did create. The inclusion of parts of dragon lore into the span of human history. The cultural aspects of countries and their effects on dragons was indeed fascinating for me.
Later in the book, the combat to me was very creative. I suspected at first would just be one person riding a dragon while the dragons engaged in aerial combat. Instead, it turned out that dragon warfare was along the lines of a hybrid between a WWII bomber and a colonial wooden warship.
Though not an absolute favorite, I am looking forward to reading more of the series.
2 . what a great surprise
Posted August 12, 2010 by tina o , whittierI am finishing up this attention-grabbing book. Wow! It was a free one, but worth it at the going rate.
3 . Better than Expected!!
Posted June 26, 2010 by Bethany , saskatoonI didn't expect much from a free e book but i goobled it up!! Great binge read. I was sad when i finished the book, i wanted to keep reading about the sensitive dragons!!
4 . Alternate History and Dragons
Posted June 16, 2010 by rw , Huntington Beach CAHarry Turtledove would be proud. This book is one more reason that Free ebooks can get you hooked on a series. The combination of accurate European History and the blend of Fantasy are Fantastic.
5 . "master & commander" meets anne macaffrey
Posted June 04, 2010 by james , honoluluenjoyed this cross between "master & commander" and the dragon stories of anne macaffrey.
tho I found it implausible that dragons would be able to speak in complete sentences like adult humans mere moments after being hatched (or if they can, why don't they become super-geniuses as they mature?)
6 . An excellent read for dragon fans.
Posted September 04, 2009 by Sleepless in Miami Beach , Miami BeachThis is a well written tale of adventure with the dragon twist. I had always walked past this book and enjoyed its cover art, but it was not until it was offered for free that I actually gave it a chance, and I'm glad that I did. I was hooked within the first 50 pages, and if you enjoy reading books such as Eragon, then you'll like this too. Unlike Eragon, the series matures quite nicely and tackles some very interesting philisophical questions about whether dragons are property or sentient beings with their own rights.
7 . Great!
Posted August 11, 2009 by SenseisWife , JacksonvilleHonestly, I only read this because it was free and there was a note from Stephen King on the front. I loved it, it was captivating from the first sentence!!
8 . Best book in a long time.
Posted August 10, 2009 by Robert B , Sandia Park N.M.This book was very hard to put down. Can't wait to read the next one. Will read and recommend all of Naomi Novik books.
9 . An Intimate Relationship
Posted July 16, 2009 by VRod Karaf , Rocky Mountains, COThis book was a pleasant surprise... While it struggles a tiny bit getting off the ground, it develops quickly as it introduces and develops the main character. Once the dragon enters the story, you are enraptured by the relationship that develops. The military training scenes and battle scenes are written with attention to cinematic details, allowing you to watch the scenes in your mind. But in the end, this is a story about a man and his new best friend, told in a way that you care about both characters and want to continue following in their exploits. Highly recommended.
10 . Good story, terrible punctuation and editing
Posted July 15, 2009 by cinefyl , OhioI agree with the others that this was a very good story, but I couldn't get past the excessive use of semi-colons and such. For the love of all things holy, the copy editor should get a new job.
March 27, 2006
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Excerpt from His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
The deck of the French ship was slippery with blood, heaving in the choppy sea; a stroke might as easily bring down the man making it as the intended target. Laurence did not have time in the heat of the battle to be surprised at the degree of resistance, but even through the numbing haze of battle-fever and the confusion of swords and pistol-smoke, he marked the extreme look of anguish on the French captain s face as the man shouted encouragement to his men.
It was still there shortly thereafter, when they met on the deck, and the man surrendered his sword, very reluctantly: at the last moment his hand half-closed about the blade, as if he meant to draw it back. Laurence looked up to make certain the colors had been struck, then accepted the sword with a mute bow; he did not speak French himself, and a more formal exchange would have to wait for the presence of his third lieutenant, that young man being presently engaged belowdecks in securing the French guns. With the cessation of hostilities, the remaining Frenchmen were all virtually dropping where they stood; Laurence noticed that there were fewer of them than he would have expected for a frigate of thirty-six guns, and that they looked ill and hollow-cheeked.
Many of them lay dead or dying upon the deck; he shook his head at the waste and eyed the French captain with disapproval: the man should never have offered battle. Aside from the plain fact that the Reliant would have had the Amiti slightly outgunned and outmanned under the best of circumstances, the crew had obviously been reduced by disease or hunger. To boot, the sails above them were in a sad tangle, and that no result of the battle, but of the storm which had passed but this morning; they had barely managed to bring off a single broadside before the Reliant had closed and boarded. The captain was obviously deeply overset by the defeat, but he was not a young man to be carried away by his spirits: he ought to have done better by his men than to bring them into so hopeless an action.
Mr. Riley, Laurence said, catching his second lieutenant s attention, have our men carry the wounded below. He hooked the captain s sword on his belt; he did not think the man deserved the compliment of having it returned to him, though ordinarily he would have done so. And pass the word for Mr. Wells.
Very good, sir, Riley said, turning to issue the necessary orders. Laurence stepped to the railing to look down and see what damage the hull had taken. She looked reasonably intact, and he had ordered his own men to avoid shots below the waterline; he thought with satisfaction that there would be no difficulty in bringing her into port.