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His Majesty's Dragon

(Temeraire #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  87,292 ratings  ·  6,835 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, 356 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Del Rey (first published January 3rd 2006)
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Katie There's one small romance, but it's very short, ungraphic, and irrelevant to the overall plot. Seems almost like it was just kind of thrown in there b…moreThere's one small romance, but it's very short, ungraphic, and irrelevant to the overall plot. Seems almost like it was just kind of thrown in there because she thought it needed one. But I found it refreshing to read a book who's driving force wasn't romance for once.(less)
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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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  87,292 ratings  ·  6,835 reviews

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Jul 07, 2007 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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.99:

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.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Buddy read with my wonderful friend, Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* =)


****I reckon' I'm going to be spoilery!****

Once again I'm going to say, "Why did it take me so long to read this?" I love finding these little gems that I have had around FOREVER!

I fell right in love with Temeraire! And I love Laurence and his love for Temeraire, he really knew how to take care of his dragon! I want one too dang it. ❤

Laurence was a captain on a Naval ship when they found a French ship with an egg on it. Well, of
Jul 10, 2007 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
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5/5 stars] Woe is me for not having read this years ago!

I had this amazing dragon book sitting unread on my shelf for over 10 years… and I’m surprised no one revoked my membership to the dragon obsession club (not a real thing). In all fairness, the way people described this book and series gave me a very different impression than what the first book actually entailed. They’d say, “it’s an alternate military history, but with dragons.” I’m sure that description is completely accurate for the
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2017
4.5 stars! This book is so utterly delightful in every way. I can't even count how many times it made me smile or laugh, or how it tugged at my heartstrings. The bond between Laurence and Temeraire is incomparable. I cannot wait to continue on with this series! ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
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 dragons here, people!

Wanna know why I'm all smitten a
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
99c Kindle sale, Nov. 29, 2018. The first book in a fantasy version of the Napoleonic War (during the Regency era) by Naomi Novik, the author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver. The twist here is that Britain and France each have an air force made up of huge, intelligent dragons and their human riders. The dragons are so large that they have an entire crew in addition to their main rider; basically, they're like smart, talking (and sometimes smart-talking) naval ships flying around in the air. Plus ...more
Nov 15, 2007 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
Oct 25, 2007 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
David Putnam
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a great read. I sometimes shift over to fantasy as a way to cleanse the palette much like ginger in a sushi restaurant and this one was excellent for that purpose. The writing craft is above average. The author does a brilliant job creating a world with dragons. What I liked was that she didn't start from the beginning in how the dragons came to be. She doesn't overload the prose stopping the forward motion of the story to explain the world. She simple tells the story as if the reader alrea ...more
Jun 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sep 07, 2015 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
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Sep 17, 2014 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:


Six word review by me:

Here be dragons. Read it now.

Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love dragons!
"Temeraire", a.k.a. The Gentleman’s Guide to How to Train Your Dragon.

Dragons! Who doesn’t love dragons? GOT Season 7 is finally bringing theirs into action, and so I decided to read this ‘old’ (= 10 years) dragon book, which I enjoyed immensely. The writing may be a bit dense, but reading about Laurence raising a baby dragon from egg to powerful beast was a lot of fun.

The plot is quite simple: we’re talking about Europe during the 17th century, but dragons are alive and flying and mainly being
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reread for a challenge over at MVBO Group. And loved it just as much as the first time around!!

I have to admit I was not expecting much from this series. I really love dragons! But dragons fighting in a war as a part of the British aerial corps, working together with the British navy to fight off a French invasion led by none other than Napoleon?! I was convinced it cannot possibly work. Except that it does! It really does!!!
It is different, original, action packed and heart-warming all at the s
Julio Genao
Apr 24, 2013 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.
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
Oct 13, 2013 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
Dec 22, 2008 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, but ju
Ashley Marie
Quick impromptu reread with Melissa! 4 stars and original review stands. God I love Temeraire so much <3


Buddy read with the BBB gang!
(Bumped up to a full 4 stars rather than the original 3.5 because I remember it so fondly)

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
Nicholas Eames
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, damn, that was awesome. Not NORMALLY a fan of "alternate earth" fantasy but I'm glad I gave this a shot. The relationship between Lawrence and Temeraire was a beautiful thing, and the narrator did an amazing job bringing every character to life.

I ESPECIALLY love the names given to the dragon bred by different countries--the Chinese "Celestial", the Russian "Ironwing"...all of them were just so awesome.

And there are 9 books in this series? Wow...that's gonna take me a while.
Jan 12, 2011 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
Megan Baxter
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a little surprised by how much I liked this. The idea of the Napoleonic Wars with dragons seemed like something that could be either very good or very bad, and I've read enough overwrought fantasy the last little while (as well as some very good fantasy) that I was a little wary.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Maria V. Snyder
Dec 07, 2008 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.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Laurence read the final sentence aloud and placed the book down. He was tired after a long day of flight training and eager to sleep, but he sensed Temeraire's energy and knew 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'
I read this book within a day and it was a day where I have been feeling really ill and unwell and this book helped cheer me up. I must say, I was a little hesitant to dive into another Naomi Novik book after really not loving Uprooted, but I was very happily surprised by this book and I will certainly carry the series on.

This story follows a young man called Lawrence who is a Navy Captain. He's earned his rank for service to the crown and he's proud of where he's got without much family help.
This is a mildly diverting tale that spins its wheels with world building and exposition a bit too much. I respect Novik’s singularity of vision, and the assured manner in which she convincingly pulls off the tone and vernacular of the dragon-rich alternate history in which this is set, but I craved a much more urgently charged engine to drive this story forward. The few action set pieces are well done, clear, and involving, and the central relationship between Laurence and Temeraire is endearin ...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
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)
Mar 25, 2013 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.
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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

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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