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Group Reads Discussions 2008 > His Majesty's Dragon - Master and Commander

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message 1: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 894 comments I recently mooched Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian, but have not had a chance to read the novel. I have seen the movie, and enjoyed it. As of yet, I can't comment on any connection to His Majesty's Dragon.

I did enjoy the notion of dragons as ships of war. It makes complete sense to me, and they are very intelligent ships as well. :)

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) I've recently mooched 'His Majesty's Dragon' (thanks, Jon!) & expect I'll read it soon. I look forward to it. Great reviews.

message 3: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1639 comments I, like Jon and Jim, have not started reading His Majesty's Dragon yet, but I am a HUGE fan of O'Brian, so now that I know about the connection I am even more stoked. Thanks, BunWat.

message 4: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 894 comments I finished reading His Majesty's Dragon last week (here's the link to my review: but I haven't read Master and Commander yet.

Not sure when I'll get to the Patrick O'Brian one, but Naomi Novik did an excellent job writing the alternate history of the Napoleonic Wars with dragons.

message 5: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1639 comments Following your idea, BunWat, I started reading His Majesty's Dragon last night and started rereading Master and Commander. There is a real feeling of kinship between the two, which can be no surprise since Novik includes her passion for O'Brian in her own author information. I was worried at first that Novik was going to make her characters carbon copies of Aubrey/Maturin's crew, but she seems to be doing a good job of avoiding creating doppelgangers so far, even if Laurence does seem to have just a touch of Lucky Jack. I'm looking forward to following the comparison throughout the book.

message 6: by Richard (new)

Richard (MrRedwood) | 162 comments Well, I've finished HMD and while I've never read M&C I did see the movie :-) and heard about the series from my father, who is a retired Navy man.

HMD takes place during the same period, and the Navy plays a substantial role, but Novik really doesn't go into any details of shipboard life and period naval technology.

What makes O'Brian obsessively compelling for many of his readers is, I think, that detailed work. Kinda like Tom Clancy shifted two centuries back (although I hope O'Brian's politics are as transparent and neanderthalish).

If you want stories that really know how many sails are on that brig, or what the protocol is for firing a sixteen-pounder... well, HMD doesn't go there.

message 7: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1639 comments There really is something owed by Novik to O'Brian, and it has much less than I expected to do with the Naval bits and the period, and a lot more to do with the way she manages the military relationships of her Corp officers, mids and dragons. The thing that always compelled me to read O'Brian was the way he managed his relationships, particularly the relationship between Aubrey and Maturin. Novik manages to borrow enough from O'Brian (or perhaps I should say she allows herself to be inspired enough by O'Brian) to create a similar bond between Laurence and Temeraire. And she does so without making her characters copies of O'Brian's. At least, for fans of Aubrey-Maturin, there is something familiar about the bond between dragon and rider.

message 8: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 440 comments It so happens that I've just finished reading the first book of the Aubrey-Maturin series. His Majesty's Dragon is much more to the Aerial Corps. But yes, the 'naval atmosphere' is almost the same.

Dragons as ships is more exciting, methinks. Maybe because they can interact and are sentient beings.

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His Majesty's Dragon (other topics)
Master and Commander (other topics)

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Patrick O'Brian (other topics)