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His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1)

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4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  46,384 Ratings  ·  3,765 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
Mass Market Paperback, 353 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Del Rey
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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.
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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dafna
Jul 11, 2007 Dafna rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ 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:

description

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
...more
Irene
Jul 10, 2007 Irene rated it really liked it
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
...more
✘✘ 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
...more
Robert
Nov 06, 2007 Robert rated it liked it
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
Jim
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
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
...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Oct 13, 2015 Robin (Bridge Four) rated it really liked it
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
...more
Mj
Nov 15, 2007 Mj rated it it was ok
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
...more
julio
May 27, 2016 julio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to julio by: Kate
pleasantly formal, yet still disposed to the occasionally thrilling episode of draconian escandalo. stately, but lush; a fun romp into every child's fantasy:

having a fearsome flying lizard for a best friend.

ate this badboy up like it was a bonbon.
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Oct 26, 2015 Eon ♒Windrunner♒ rated it really liked it
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:

description

Six word review by me:

Here be dragons. Read it now.

description
Jack
Aug 11, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it
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
...more
Gar
Jun 19, 2009 Gar rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vinaya
Feb 21, 2011 Vinaya rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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
...more
Stephen
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)
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
...more
Kim
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
...more
JAIME
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.

Maria Snyder
Dec 07, 2008 Maria Snyder rated it it was amazing
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.
Mpauli
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
...more
Brad
Aug 06, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
You'll have to forgive me, folks, but I'm reviewing this from a decade-old memory, so I may get a little mixed up with some of the books that follow this first one. If I don't, then all's good in the world, right?

So what I remember most about the first Temeraire was how much I loved getting embroiled in a military dragon training camp for the service of His Majesty the King of England. For me, this was a brand new concept. I hadn't read any steampunk. I hadn't even read Jonathan Strange and Mr.
...more
Simona Stoica
Jan 23, 2016 Simona Stoica rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Allison
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
Daniel
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
...more
Jenny Maloney
Apr 28, 2011 Jenny Maloney rated it did not like it
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 strange...to say the le
...more
AH
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
...more
Joseph
Sep 10, 2013 Joseph rated it liked it
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
...more
Chloe
Mar 12, 2009 Chloe rated it it was amazing
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
Maria Clara
Mar 24, 2016 Maria Clara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exactamente no sé qué decir, aunque me gustó y sorprendió mucho el libro. Al comprarlo, pensé que me encontraría con una historia de fantasía clásica y nada más lejos de la verdad: es una mezcla de Jane Austen con dragones que luchan contra Napoleón y su intento de invadir Gran Bretaña. Me encantó la rigidez y la moral del protagonista en ciertas situaciones, así como sufrí con el pequeño dragón Levitas.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 stars. This was a great read. I really don't know what took me so long to get to this book. I'd heard so many good things about it, which is why I added it to my to-read pile in the first place, but it must have sat there for more than a year.

I think it's probably due to the series described to me as "The Napoleonic wars...but with dragons" that initially made me reluctant. I had it in my head that the book was going to focus more on war and the military fantasy side of things, but I was pl
...more
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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.” 126 likes
“Temeraire said, 'It is very nice how many books there are, indeed. And on so many subjects!” 65 likes
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