Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: His Majesty's Dragon

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (Temeraire, book 1)
5 stars

Reasons for reading: Husband highly recommended the series; Owlmoose chose it for Herding Cats

Synopsis: "Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. 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."

My thoughts: Gosh, this review is late! I read this one back in the summer. But I loved it - both Husband and Owlmoose were right. It's such a cool concept - that dragons were used basically as airplanes. Temeraire is an amazing character - wise, innocent, petulant, brave, loving.... And Laurence is the perfect stoic British sailor. Their bond is a wonderful thing to witness. It's really interesting to see how the dragons and their captains are treated rather like second-class citizens in the armed forces - people are still pretty afraid of dragons and the people (some dragons will only take female captains, incredibly shocking in 19th century England) who ride them are thought of as odd ducks.

The verdict: High-flying adventures abound in this tale of a man and his dragon!

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