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Temeraire (Temeraire #1)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  41,205 Ratings  ·  3,369 Reviews
Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the 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 extraordi ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by Harper Voyager (first published March 28th 2006)
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Donna The books aren't related in any way, so you can read either one first, depending upon what you're in the mood to read. I read Uprooted first and loved…moreThe books aren't related in any way, so you can read either one first, depending upon what you're in the mood to read. I read Uprooted first and loved it, and now I'm starting in on this series which has a completely different feel, but seems well written, too. (less)
Dustin Not in any measurable amount. A sliver's worth now and then. I certainly wouldn't consider it a romance novel.

More of a bromance, I guess.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 11, 2007 Dafna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
God, I admit, I'm one of those douchey fucks that look down on fantasy readers while I sit firmly ensconced in my igloo composed of "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron" and "Star Trek: The Lost Years" books. Of course, it'd be a book about dragons fighting for the British army against the encroaching Napoleonic forces to get to me to realize: DRAGONS ARE FUCKING COOL.

Especially dragons with awesome Han Solo type female riders and plucky young girls manning the gunnery and uptight, strong silent type men
Jul 10, 2007 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't expecting much when I picked up His Majesty's Dragon. To tell the truth, if I'd seen it in a bookstore, I wouldn't have picked it up. But it was recommended to me by a reliable source as a better alternative to Eragon, and it was a historical fantasy set during the Napoleonic Wars. I figured I'd give it a try. I didn't regret it.

I don't love this book because Naomi Novik's writing style is equal to that of Tolkien. I don't love this book because it's perfect in every way - indeed, some
Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

This isn't my first Novik read. In fact, the whole reason I finally got on with reading His Majesty's Dragon is b/c I read and absolutely adored Uprooted . But Uprooted isn't being released until May, so this is the first Novik review I've posted.

Same and not the same, people. Same and not the same.

Meet Will Laurence:


Laurence is a Captain in the British Navy. He is a perfect gentlemen. He is ostentatiously dull.

And while there is significant character growth throughout
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
BR with the BBB gang starting October 9, 2015.

This book made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Yes it did. Oh, I know exactly what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Sarah doesn't do warm and fuzzy, Sarah only does cold-hearted cynicism." Ha. Fooled you right there. I'll have you know I do have a heart (sometimes) and actually enjoy feeling all warm and fuzzy (occasionally). Besides, it's not like this is me cooing and getting the fuzzies over a bunch of cute babies. We're talking about dragon
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very engaging book, I read it in a few hours on a very cold Sunday afternoon & evening. I didn't want to put it down. Historically, it is set about the early 19th century during Napoleon's reign. Told from the POV of a British sea captain, but the twist is that dragons are a part of the war effort between the two. Our captain/hero gets caught up in that part of the war.

Characterization is very good as is the portrayal of British society & military. There isn't a lot of military detail
Nov 06, 2007 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bored SF fans
This is a tough one to review in some ways. First, I've read lots of "dragon books", and this is far, far from the best. For one thing, I'm a physicist and while I'm willing to suspend disbelief up to a certain point, the image of dragons capable of carrying anywhere from tens to hundreds of humans at a time (plus weapons and armor!) for distances that again range from tens to hundreds of miles in a day just does not compute. Let me count the ways it violates natural law, not just by a little bi ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Buddy read with a few peeps at Buddies Books and Baubles starting Oct 9.

3.5 I want a baby Dragon stars

I read Uprooted this year and it was one of my favorite books of the year so far so I thought I’d give another Naomi Novak book a try. His Majesty’s Dragon is an alternate history where Dragons are present and used in the warfare of the Napoleonic Wars like battleships would be. It is a really interesting concept and the writing is almost as good as Uprooted.

Laurence has been a navy man and shi
Nov 15, 2007 Mj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
I'm amazed at how many people enjoyed this book. The premise is fascinating and extremely creative. And for that it avoids a single star. Otherwise, the characters are bland, there is minuscule character development to speak of, and THERE ARE NO REAL CONFLICTS. Every conflict is conveniently tied up with no trade offs. This isn't fantasy, it's day dream.
By far, the most amusing portion of the book is the conversations between Laurence (the protagonist) and Temeraire (the dragon)-amusing to the
Jan 22, 2010 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eon ♒Edgedancer♒ & part-time Warder ☯
As there are many great reviews for this already that really pinpoint the good and the bad of this book, I shall allow myself a lazy review.

Six inch punch by Bruce Lee:


Six word review by me:

Here be dragons. Read it now.

Jack "Books & Bikes"
Well, after this re-read, I don't know what I was smoking when I only gave His Majesty’s Dragon 3 stars. This is easily one of the best "alternate history" adventure books I've read.

It's amazing how well Naomi Novik has integrated dragons into the arsenals of the various nations during the Napoleonic wars. As there have been plenty of works already written about that time period, including the well-known Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, it's nice to have a fresh take on these familiar b
Feb 21, 2011 Vinaya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Paolini Hate Club
I read His Majesty's Dragon when it first came out in 2006. The Eragon craze was in full swing, and everybody but me was raving about the book, it seemed. I have had a fascination with dragons ever since I watched Dragonheart (which made me cry like a baby!). Paolini's immature rendition of a draconian 'plaything' made me crave some decent writing. A friend recommended the Temeraire series, and it was the biggest favour he's ever done me, then or since.

Sometimes when I re-read books that I read
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
It took me a long time to get around to reading this, which is a shame, because it’s delightful. If you like historical fantasy at all, you’re almost certain to enjoy this book.

Will Laurence is a captain in His Majesty’s Navy at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, and it looks a lot like the Navy you’d see in a Patrick O’Brien book--all protocol and taking enemy ships for profit--until his ship captures a precious dragon egg and Laurence is sent off the Aerial Corps to be captain of the dragon inst
I really enjoyed this. I only took a star off because I felt like there wasn't enough story to it. Interestingly, that is sort of how I felt about Uprooted. It could certainly be that I am blinded by how brilliantly Naomi writes her characters, that I miss the actual plot. I don't know. I need to think about it.

Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
3.5 stars, rounded up. Buddy read with the BBB gang!

Temeraire instantly brings Toothless to mind

Seriously, if Toothless could talk, he would be Temeraire. It's lovely. The idea of inserting dragons into a historical context is brilliant and for a first novel this is excellent. I found it a bit long-winded at times and might have skimmed here and there, but for the most part I really enjoyed it. Temeraire and Laurence's relationship is ADORABLE (I find myself pronouncing L's name with a French ac
Naomi Novik's Temeraire books are set in an alternate reality in which dragons are found around the world, are intelligent and have allowed themselves to be linked to a rider.

Set during the Napoleonic Wars the drgaons are, at this point, recruited by both sides as an Air Force changing the way the war actually went by adding in an extra element. The main characters are Temeraire, a Chinese dragon whose egg was captured from the French, and his handler, Capt. Laurence.

From the start I found the
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Outstanding beginning to what looks like a great series. Excellent back story/ world-building making the presence of Dragons in the time of Napoleon seem very realistic. As great as that was, what carried the story was the superbly written relationship between Temeraire and Capt. Lawrence. Highly recommended.

Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (2007)
Winner: Locus Award for Best First Novel (2007)
In this alternate reality series, the napoleonic era is enrichened by dragons. So, battles started way earlier being not only fought at land and sea, but also in the air.

As british navy Cpatain Laurence seizes a french frigate, a dragon egg is found within and it's about to hatch. As dragons bind to the first person that is able to harness them, Laurence unexpectately becomes the handler of Temeraire, the dragon inside the egg.

For Laurence this means that his life as a navy captain is changed up
Jun 19, 2009 Gar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Snyder
Dec 07, 2008 Maria Snyder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just when you thought Dragons had done it all - along comes Naomi's book. Dragons fighting in the Napoleonic Wars - I was reluctant to read it at first, thinking it would be heavy on the military aspect. But when it was nominated for a Compton Crook, I picked it up and was surprised. The war is a part of the setting and plot, but the characters are the stars of the show. Both Lawrence and his dragon.

PS: Naomi won the Compton Crook.
His Majesty’s Dragon is a historical fantasy set during the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s. There isn’t really any magic in this alternate history, and there is really only one difference, which is - obviously - the existence of dragons. I love the way that Novik interweaves dragons with what really happened, giving them a place in history as it played out. It’s such a subtle change, really. Humans use dragons in war. They have entire units of them to supplement naval battles. They are not a ...more
Let’s go back to the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon was trying to conquer Europe and Britain. Now let’s just alter the history, just a tad, and imagine these wars fought aerially with dragons and imagine what an aerial battle would entail during this era.

His Majesty’s Dragon struck me as an original, entertaining read. A lot of detail went into this story and at times it was a little difficult for me to imagine a fully outfitted dragon flying off into battle carrying his harness, his avi
Sep 10, 2013 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laurence read the final sentence and placed the book down. He was tired after a long day of training and eager to fall asleep, but he sensed Temeraire's energy, knowing his companion had something to say. 'How did you like the book?' Laurence asked.

'I enjoyed it.' Temeraire said 'I liked the dragons and the people. They all felt real and comfortable... when we got to know them.'

'But perhaps we didn't always get to know them?' Laurence asked as he closed his eyes and leaned into Tereraire's warm
Mar 12, 2009 Chloe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy, e-book
Napoleonic wars with dragons. Really, do you need much more of an explanation? These are dragons written how I always wished they were, in a world that I care about. Alternate histories are dicey things- either the author hews too closely to the original events for the story to take on its own life or the history just serves as a lure to get unsuspecting nerds to take the plunge. Novik pulls off the ultimate balancing act, however, weighing Nelson's naval maneuvers with aerial raids from French ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kakvu god pricu da citate zmajevi ce joj uvek davati neki ekstra smek. Narocito jos ako govore sreci nema kraja. Tako je i ovde.

Prica je smestena u priod Napoleonskih ratova i u vecini slucajeva drzi se istorijskih cinjenica... sem sto imamo zmajeve :) Citajuci knjigu jasno je da je sve zamisljeno kao veci serijal pa samim tim imamo pricu koja se ne zuri previse, daje dovoljno detalja i naravno dovoljno vremena likovima da se fino razviju.

Zmajevi su odlicni vrlo interesantnih pogleda na svet i j
Oct 07, 2015 mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Αν και η φανταστική λογοτεχνία είναι το είδος με το οποίο καταπιάνομαι περισσότερο τα τελευταία χρόνια, δεν είχε τύχει μέχρι στιγμής να διαβάσω κάποιο μυθιστόρημα που να έχει ως κύριο θέμα τους δράκους.Με το πρώτο λοιπόν βιβλίο της εννιαλογίας Τεμεραίρ εγκαινίασα αυτή τη νέα θεματολογία για μένα και μπορώ να πω πως οι πρώτες εντυπώσεις είναι ιδαίτερα θετικές.

Την εποχή του Ναπολέοντα, ο Γουίλ Λώρενς πλοίαρχος του βρετανικού πλοίου Ριλάιαντ καταλαμβάνει τη γαλλική φρεγάτα Αμιτιέ ανοιχτά της Γαλλία
Simona Stoica
Jan 23, 2016 Simona Stoica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dragoni. Dacă majoritatea prietenelor mele visau la unicorni şi prinţi, eu îmi doream să cresc un pui de dragon în curte, să vizitez cu el întreaga Europă şi să învăţ să controlez focul, chiar dacă riscam să fiu considerată o piromană.

Pe fundalul bătăliilor napoleoniene, căpitanul Will Laurence din Marina Regală britanică devine „stăpânul” unui pui de dragon, pe care îl numeşte Temeraire. Oul era destinat împăratului Napoleon, însă Temeraire îl recunoaşte pe Will drept căpitan, iar tânărul este
Beanbag Love
Jun 24, 2010 Beanbag Love rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd actually give this a 4.5. I found it intriguing and hard to put down. It was different from many books I've read recently.

This is an alternative history where dragons are a part of the military and have a long tradition of bonding with their 'aviators' and fighting international skirmishes.

I won't go into much detail because it's laid out so nicely in the book it's a joy to read it fresh. I will say that this takes place during the Napoleonic wars and it's set in England. It isn't romance, a
Ben Babcock
Have you ever taken a good, long look at the Napoleonic Wars and thought, “These are cool, but they could really use more dragons”? Naomi Novik did, so she wrote a book about it.

That’s really all you need to know about the Temeraire series: if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then it’s not going to change your mind about dragons or about the Napoleonic Wars. But if it sounds awesome, then you’re in for a treat. I originally gave this five stars when I added it to Goodreads, having read it
Jenny Maloney
Apr 28, 2011 Jenny Maloney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-read
I picked this book up (and it's two follow-ups) because there was a great write-up in Writer's Digest about how Novik turned this story into a 'great new series'. Um, after reading it, I'm not sure quite how she managed that.

There are scenes. Sometimes really exciting scenes. But I fail to see the over-arching problem...and I don't know how you would drive a whole series without a bigger problem. The relationship between the rider, Laurence, and the dragon, Temeraire, is say the le
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An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to partic ...more
More about Naomi Novik...

Other Books in the Series

Temeraire (9 books)
  • Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2)
  • Black Powder War (Temeraire, #3)
  • Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, #4)
  • Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5)
  • Tongues of Serpents (Temeraire, #6)
  • Crucible of Gold (Temeraire, #7)
  • Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)
  • League of Dragons (Temeraire, #9)

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“I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable to sleep on.” 117 likes
“Temeraire said, 'It is very nice how many books there are, indeed. And on so many subjects!” 59 likes
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