Dragons & Jetpacks discussion

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)
This topic is about His Majesty's Dragon
35 views
BotM Discussion - FANTASY > His Majesty's Dragon / Chapters 5-8 / ***SPOILERS***

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Greg | 998 comments This thread is for discussing the second third (chapters 5-8) of His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik.


Greg | 998 comments In chapter 5 - looking forward to Laurence & Temeraire proving themselves among the corps! Also looking forward to whoever owns that poorly kept dragon being punished.

It's that kind of book - I feel pretty sure these things will happen, but I'm loving it!


Angela Hart (campfiresandfairytales) | 1 comments Yes! Poor little Levitas needs some love!! It breaks my heart. For some reason, I wasn't sure I would like this book. I am loving it though! It's been way to long since I read a good dragon book.


Greg | 998 comments Angela wrote: "Yes! Poor little Levitas needs some love!! It breaks my heart."

Me too Angela! Poor Levitas!

Something about the candid and goodhearted way this book is written allows me to turn off all cynicism and fully enjoy the story. Nothing super complicated about it, but it's delightful!!

Just finished chapter 7 - exciting as Laurence and Temeraire see their first action!


Sandy | 1636 comments I have to admit I was tense during the rescue of the dragon. I like the fact that Laurence is already thinking about his replacement - someone Temeraire can live with and find additional happiness with.

They are so like dogs in this book - so loyal and so easily mistreated. The author had to have that in mind during this story.

I found the part where Laurence was stroking the new blossoming ruff and whiskers on Temeraire very amusing, and his subsequent discussion with Celeritus comical.

Levitas - poor Levitas - now we all know why there are laws on cruelty to animals and the SPCA. Made me want to go pet and play with my dog and give her a treat but not a pearl necklace.

At least she isn't as expensive...although I swear she eats better than I do.


Greg | 998 comments Sandy wrote: "I have to admit I was tense during the rescue of the dragon. I like the fact that Laurence is already thinking about his replacement - someone Temeraire can live with and find additional happiness ..."

They are a bit like giant dogs Sandy - very endearing!


Robin P I was amused by my reaction to the female captains -"Wow, what an amazing idea!" though I had accepted without question that there could be talking dragons. Just shows how much I had internalized a picture of what a captain could be. Margaret Fuller, America's first feminist, said in the 1840's that women should be able to have any profession, even "Let them be sea captains if they will ".


Greg | 998 comments Robin wrote: "I was amused by my reaction to the female captains -"Wow, what an amazing idea!" though I had accepted without question that there could be talking dragons. Just shows how much I had internalized a..."

Very true Robin!


Sandy | 1636 comments Well Laurence was certainly taken aback by the existence of a female captain on a dragon. I wonder why the author felt he had to have a dragon that would accept only female captains to justify that prospect.

I love the fact that Laurence reads to his dragon and he loves to be read to. What I don't get is why the dragons - such majestic and large animals allow themselves to be harnessed and used in battles. They all seem to get along just fine yet they train and fight battles and get hurt by other dragons.

I did like the fact that Temeraire has questioned the need to let Laurence die to continue the fight for the king. A lesson to be learned here?


message 10: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments Sandy wrote: "Well Laurence was certainly taken aback by the existence of a female captain on a dragon. I wonder why the author felt he had to have a dragon that would accept only female captains to justify that..."

I'm guessing it's the time period - at least that's how I took it. I don't think that women served in the British military in the 1700s, though I could be wrong. Any military buffs out there who know?

I love the reading to the dragon too! And it probably is a bit fanciful the way the dragons allow themselves to be harnessed like that, but for me, it's an enjoyable fantasy. Was it you who said the dragons were a bit like dogs? I completely agree - they are, aren't they? It's sweet though, and I do love it!


Narilka | 390 comments I'm in the middle of chapter 8 and am so angry at the treatment of Levitas. Rankin deserves a comeuppance. I hope Levitas can find his courage and reject Rankin, then choose a new Captain. Seems like something that could work given what we know of their world so far.


message 12: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments Narilka wrote: "I'm in the middle of chapter 8 and am so angry at the treatment of Levitas. Rankin deserves a comeuppance. I hope Levitas can find his courage and reject Rankin, then choose a new Captain. Seems li..."

Me too, poor Levitas!


Sandy | 1636 comments Narilka wrote: "I'm in the middle of chapter 8 and am so angry at the treatment of Levitas. Rankin deserves a comeuppance. I hope Levitas can find his courage and reject Rankin, then choose a new Captain. Seems li..."

I so want Levitas to reject Rankin and accept the ground crew guy that was so speedy to react to his wanting to be clean. can't remember his name and moving backward on Kindle is not easy.


message 14: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2698 comments Mod
Some good action here, and his first impressions of Rankin and Granby turn out to be incorrect. I feel kind of bad that dragons are fighting each other in combat, deliberately hurting each other.


message 15: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments Audrey wrote: "Some good action here, and his first impressions of Rankin and Granby turn out to be incorrect. I feel kind of bad that dragons are fighting each other in combat, deliberately hurting each other."

I was a little sad about that too Audrey. It's a bit like War Horse in that way. The animals don't understand what's happening on a larger scale really - they seem to act mainly out of loyalty and love for their handlers. So their motives are pure in a way that the humans' motives could never quite be. It's awful somehow to think of them hurt, not really understanding why.


Sandy | 1636 comments Audrey and Greg - I totally agree - I feel the same way with dogs that go to war. Where do they get the choice? Same with the dragons. Do they really understand what they are fighting for? I did like the fact that Temeraire questioned Laurence about loyalty to king - when all he really knows is the relationship they have. Wonder if that is going to play into the story somehow?


message 17: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2698 comments Mod
I guess I'm also a big softie around animals.


message 18: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments Sandy wrote: "Audrey and Greg - I totally agree - I feel the same way with dogs that go to war. Where do they get the choice? Same with the dragons. Do they really understand what they are fighting for? I did li..."

I suspect you're right that it will come into the story Sandy - those issues of the way dragons saw things differently in terms of loyalty came up several times.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 803 comments Free Levitas!!


message 20: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments Veronica wrote: "Free Levitas!!"

:)


Robin P The dragons have different personalities. Temeraire is always trying to be logical and also to follow Laurence's example of doing what is right. Sometimes those things clash and he asks great questions about why things are the way they are. Other dragons are less intellectual and some are more belligerent.


message 22: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 998 comments Robin wrote: "The dragons have different personalities. Temeraire is always trying to be logical and also to follow Laurence's example of doing what is right. Sometimes those things clash and he asks great quest..."

I remember a few places in the book where it talks about how the Chinese dragons are bred for intelligence; so that makes sense Robin.


Robin P Greg wrote: "Robin wrote: "The dragons have different personalities. Temeraire is always trying to be logical and also to follow Laurence's example of doing what is right. Sometimes those things clash and he as..."

Yes, Temeraire has an amazing mind for mathematics and military tactics but others have no such interests. (In Book 2 you get to see how dragons live in China!)


Sarah | 641 comments I don't know what I find more adorable, the reading or the swimming.

Is it wrong to hope Rankin has some sort of...accident?

Robin wrote: "I was amused by my reaction to the female captains -"Wow, what an amazing idea!" though I had accepted without question that there could be talking dragons. Just shows how much I had internalized a..."
I think its because its relatively easy to accept a fantasy element being added. When it requires a societal change to accommodate that change though, it then clashes with what we know of the period and its more surprising and/or harder to understand.

Though I do wonder why, if some dragons accepting only female captains has always been the case, it wouldn't have impacted society more. I suppose the separation of the aviators from general society could explain that, but it being so completely concealed seems awfully unlikely.


message 25: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2698 comments Mod
I think we were all hoping for Rankin to have an "accident."

And that's a good point about the female captains.


back to top