Lisa's Reviews > His Majesty's Dragon

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
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Apr 23, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: buzzfeed-best-fantasy, fantasy, favorites, botm-suggestions
Read 2 times. Last read May 24, 2017 to May 27, 2017.

Review From May 2017:
This is a re-read that I chose on a whim. I was in a fantasy/dragon mood.

The re-read was just as good as the first time, making this an official favorite. I love the dragon Temeraire, and I love the mix of historical fiction and fantasy. The cultural implications of having real dragons in the 19th century is fascinating by itself, but the added action enhances this story into an exciting read. To top it off, while the main protagonists are men, there are the appearances of strong independent women, which for me is a requirement in a good story.
Overall, this is a great book and worth a look for fans of both fantasy and historical fiction.


Review From 2015:
Synopsis: 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 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.
In My Opinion: I give it ★★★★, maybe even ★★★★ and a 1/2, for being both an exciting and interesting action story!
My Thoughts: I've had this on my TBR for a while and finally decided to give it a try when a Shelfari friend gave it a high rating. I am so glad I picked it up! The book revolves around the idea of what the Napoleonic Wars would look like if dragons truly did exist and humans found a way to communicate and work with them. It was a very interesting parallel universe, with a diverse number of dragon breeds, and fascinating maneuvers and tactics for war. It made perfect sense that each dragon would have a crew of men aboard, rather than just one flyer as we have seen in other stories (such as Eragon). It also made sense that the attitudes and culture of the men and women who worked with dragons would be different from the people outside the Aerial Corps. I really liked how Naomi Novik kept the close-minded attitudes of the early 19th century, but was still able to incorporate modern 20th-/21st-century ideas by using the Aerial Corps, such as having women be dragon captains and be just as involved as the men.
The creativity wasn't the only I liked either. I loved the characters! Captain Laurence felt very aloof and standoff-ish in the beginning, but I loved watching him turn into someone much more likeable as he raised and trained with Temeraire, exchanging his rigid Navy attitudes for the more relaxed ideals of the Aerial Corps.
I loved Temeraire from the start, he was so intelligent and faithful and willing to please. I liked how he and Laurence would read together and exchange ideas together frequently. It made sense that an intelligent dragon would have a lot to say that would influence the people around him.
The plot also worked really well. I found the whole thing very active and interesting throughout. I did not get bored at any given point, as there was so much to read about. Even the parts where everyone was just going about their business was fun to read!
Overall, this was an interesting and intelligent mixture of fantasy and 19th century military war stories. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will probably read it again at some point. I am interested in continuing the series and I've already started the second book. I would most certainly recommend this read to anyone who enjoys fantasy, particularly those who like dragon stories. Enjoy!
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Reading Progress

April 23, 2014 – Shelved
April 24, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
March 23, 2015 – Started Reading
March 27, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 19, 2015 – Shelved as: buzzfeed-best-fantasy
April 7, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 24, 2017 – Started Reading
May 24, 2017 –
50.0%
May 25, 2017 –
85.0%
May 27, 2017 – Finished Reading
May 29, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
November 14, 2017 – Shelved as: botm-suggestions

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