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His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1) by…

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1) (edition 2006)

by Naomi Novik

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,424318992 (4.07)2 / 596
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.… (more)
Title:His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1)
Authors:Naomi Novik
Info:Del Rey (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

  1. 255
    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (lorax)
    lorax: The Napoleonic Wars, just with no dragons. Better-written than Hornblower and with much stronger characterization.
  2. 122
    Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (Rozax)
    Rozax: Both Novik and McCaffrey take great care in developing the worlds for their respective series. If you like one, you may very well like the other.
  3. 92
    Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester (DWWilkin)
    DWWilkin: If you like the time period, no better way to start then with the first popular series about Age of Sail
  4. 71
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (PghDragonMan, Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both are alternate history/fantasy novels with a distinct nautical flair. His Majesty's Dragon is set during the Napoleonic Wars - just with dragons (obviously) as a sort of Air Navy - complete with crew. Leviathan is set during an alternate WWI between the Darwinists (who have living ships & weapons) and the Clankers (who use machines).… (more)
  5. 40
    The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson (infiniteletters)
  6. 63
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (ErlendSkjelten)
    ErlendSkjelten: Much heavier fare than Temeraire, but all the more enjoyable for it. The Napoleonic wars, with magicians instead of dragons.
  7. 30
    Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Another interesting and well written historical fantasy.
  8. 20
    Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley (infiniteletters)
  9. 31
    Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (notemily)
    notemily: DRAGONS!
  10. 10
    Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove (PghDragonMan)
  11. 32
    A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (TomWaitsTables)
  12. 10
    Lord of the Changing Winds by Rachel Neumeier (noneofthis)
  13. 10
    Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe by James M. Ward (amysisson)
    amysisson: In this case, the dragon *is* the ship, and the main character is younger and less experienced, but otherwise they have a similar feel....
  14. 00
    The Dragon and the Thief by Gillian Bradshaw (TomWaitsTables)
  15. 00
    Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke (2wonderY)
    2wonderY: This is a real life story of a man whose all encompassing relationship with elephants, one in particular, echo that between Laurence and Temeraire.
  16. 01
    Dragon Companion by Don Callander (infiniteletters)
  17. 12
    Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede (carlyrose)
    carlyrose: A bit lighter and for perhaps a younger audience, but also an alternate history dealing with the Napoleonic Wars.
  18. 12
    The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (FFortuna)
  19. 01
    Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara (leahsimone)
  20. 15
    Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb (KimarieBee)

(see all 21 recommendations)


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English (311)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (317)
Showing 1-5 of 311 (next | show all)
I absolutely adored this book. It’s a mostly happy and sweet account of a stiff, formal Navy man who ends up getting drafted into the Dragon-riding Aerial Corps. The dialogue and relationship between Captain Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, had me smiling throughout most of the book.

I generally read books with a ton of action, and this is not one of those books. There are a few battle scenes towards the end of the book, but most of this story concerns Laurence and Temeraire training and learning their place in the British military.

Forget the “one man riding his dragon” stories. In this book Novik does a wonderful job of helping you imagine a “dragon crew” with a few men strapped onto the harness. Dragons are huge, so there’s room for a team as they patch up wounds on the fly, use flags to signal different formations, drop bombs, etc.

While most of the book is happy, it’s not all sugary sweet fluff. There are battles, and there’s a death that really pulls on your heart-strings. Thankfully, Novik doesn’t drag this out too long, or I may have ended up crying.

Simon Vance did a fantastic job with the narration. It was a joy to listen to. ( )
  egaston | Dec 5, 2019 |
I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much from this book, after all I found it laying around on the floor at the recent Emerald City Comicon so it that didn’t bode well for it. Once again I was proved very wrong and was pulled into this novel from the very first page; how can I have not known of this series before now? It definitely falls into the category of one of those great little secrets that not enough people know about.

The characters in this first book in the series are well developed, but not to the point where there is no room for growth, and there is no romance which is very rare in this genre of book. The relationship covered in this first book is that between a man and his dragon; the Temeraire (the main dragon protagonist) and Laurence (the main human protagonist) bond is a deeply emotional connection. There is palpable love between man and dragon, and their relationship is the emotional thread that weaves through the novel. Temeraire is intelligent, logical and witty with a childlike wonder for the new world in which he finds himself. Laurence is the battle proven Naval Captain that patiently guides him through the world in the best way he knows. Neither of these characters have experience with the world of the other, but the Author brings those two worlds together via these characters in a realistic and caring manner. The Author captures the warmness and sincerity of their bond, enough to give balance to all the colder, plot-driven elements of the story. This novel is primarily an adventure, a story in wartime, an exploration of dragons in this fascinating alternate history society, but in its writing the Author doesn't neglect the warmer, more ‘human’ side of things. There are moments of extreme emotion and emotional distress, mostly due to the closeness that aviators develop with their dragons, and each moment played out realistically. When it comes to moments of high emotion I feel that each one has to be earned in character, in story, in meaning, and I feel cheated when I think the Author is trying to manipulate me to respond; this Author used no manipulative techniques at all as the reader is right there feeling everything with the characters.

The world-building is handled with startling grace, given that this is the Author’s first novel. This was one of the main pleasures of this book for me; the authentic feel of the world that was built. It is apparent that extensive amounts of research went into correctly portraying 19th century English society, from the realities of the Navy to the manners of the drawing room. And best, none of it is done in a lecturing way; it is all of it presented as naturally as possible. The Author hasn’t let research intrude at all upon telling the story, and better yet, her addition of dragons into this world is so well thought-out (from their feeding, breeds, natural inclinations, personalities, levels of intelligence, size and temperament, mode of fighting and the innovative invention of aerial fighting) that it adds to the depiction of the historical period. In a seamless manner the Author grafts on her inventions to the known historical realities, and comes up with a beautifully realised fictional world that's meticulously detailed and worked out. I particularly liked the fact that there is so much thought given to how the dragons would fit into this society, and she succeeds in a way that few Authors in this genre succeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who likes dragons, alternate realities or fantasy; actually I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, well written story and feel that even readers of the Master and Commander and Dragonriders series of books would enjoy this as well. I will definitely be reading the remaining books in this series.

Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2015/04/20/review-his-majestys-dragon-temeraire-1-nao...

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
( )
  TheAcorn | Nov 8, 2019 |
I feel like I'm late to the party. While I'd heard of Naomi Novik, I hadn't read her books until I picked up Spinning Silver. I loved it so I moved onto Uprooted. And now I'm into the Temeraire series. I'm especially baffled at my Novik-lack because I love Regency historicals and fantasy, so why haven't I read these books before?
Anyway, Captain Will Laurence captures a French frigate in the Napoleonic wars, he discovers they were carrying a rare Chinese dragon egg. When it hatches, the dragon imprints on Laurence. He names it Temeraire and becomes a member of the aerial corps.
Ms. Novik knows her Regency period, and the book is peppered with historical references. She manages to fit the dragons in very organically. Temeraire is a delight; he's so smart, and his relationship with Laurence is sweet. The other characters, both aviators and dragons, are wonderful. I can't gush enough about this book. So, onto the next one in the series. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Aug 26, 2019 |
Fantasy/alternative history in which the Napoleonic Wars are fought with the added force of a Dragon Corps. Laurence is a Navy captain who find himself forced into a change of career when the dragon egg his ship's crew found on a captured French vessel hatches and chooses him as its handler. The change means quite a bit of adjustment for Laurence, since the Dragon Corps have very different ideas about how things are done and aren't easily moved to accept outsiders, but his fast-growing friendship with Temeraire (the dragon) makes it worth the life upheaval.
I enjoyed this one a great deal (which isn't at all surprising, since I absolutely loved Novik's Uprooted), and I'd give it 10/10, except that the battle scenes went on too long for me. That sort of thing makes me go cross-eyed very quickly, and I'm not interested enough in it to make an effort at understanding what's happening. So for me the story got bogged down with the battle bits, but was otherwise excellent. I love Laurence and Temeraire, and their relationship is wonderfully developed. ( )
  electrascaife | Aug 19, 2019 |
During the Napoleonic Era, a British Navy Captain and his crew conquer a French ship. After boarding the French vessel, they discover it was carrying an extremely valuable dragon's egg. When the egg hatches before the ship is able to return to England, the ship's captain must bond with the hatchling or risk losing the dragon for England. However, by doing so, the captain finds himself with no choice but to leave the Navy and join the Aerial troops. I really enjoyed reading this historical fantasy/alternate reality novel. The characters were well developed and easy to root for, especially Temeraire, the dragon. It was an interesting approach to the mythical creatures and a fun story to read as Laurence and Temeraire adjust to life in the Aerial Corps. Aside from the presence of dragons, there were no other fantastic elements to the story. I will definitely continue the series. ( )
  Cora-R | Jul 31, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Novikprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marquez, GayleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
“I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable to sleep on.”
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Published as "His Majesty's Dragon" in the United States and "Temeraire" in the United Kingdom.
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