Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – March 28, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Audiobook
“A terrifically entertaining fantasy novel.”—Stephen King
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.
“Just when you think you’ve seen every variation possible on the dragon story, along comes Naomi Novik. . . . Her wonderful Temeraire is a dragon for the ages.”—Terry Brooks
Don’t miss the magic of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series:
HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON • THRONE OF JADE • BLACK POWDER WAR • EMPIRE OF IVORY • VICTORY OF EAGLES • TONGUES OF SERPENTS • CRUCIBLE OF GOLD • BLOOD OF TYRANTS • LEAGUE OF DRAGONS
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
- Publisher : Del Rey; Reissue edition (March 28, 2006)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345481283
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345481283
- Lexile measure : 1030L
- Item Weight : 6.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.1 x 1 x 6.9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #303,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The story engaged me right from the get-go. I'm a sucker for dragons, so I was predisposed to enjoy it, but I don't read just anything about them. I got lured in by action, good characterization, and an intriguing premise, that in the Napoleonic wars, England and France (among other countries) use dragons as aerial corps. A newly-hatched dragon may accept a harness from a human, and if s/he does, then the two of them are virtually tied together for the life of the human. In ideal circumstances, they become best friends, family even.
So when Captain Laurence finds himself in the position of having to harness a dragonet who has hatched aboard his ship, he is not happy. His life is the navy, and he knows how hard the life will be in the air corps, how much he'll have to give up. But he quickly learns how much more he gains when he and Temeraire are paired, and in fact the relationship between the two is the best part of the book. Temeraire is an absolute delight, and watching Laurence come to love him is soul satisfying.
There's a good deal of military detail, but it's not off-putting, and in fact the battle at the end of the book is quite exciting. There were moments of comedy, of heartbreak, and drama. It's an easy read, and a quick one, and it did what nothing else was doing for me this week, it captured my imagination and my interest, and kept me reading. I can't wait to start the second book in the series.
It is however written in a completely different style, and you can't in any way compare this to other books of Novik's, or other fantasy books in general.
The writing is beautifully crafted in classic English, but without the rambling boredom you'd associate with that linguistic style. The humor is dry and witty, and the action is everywhere. If you're like me and re-read the battles of Gondor and Helm's Deep over and over as a teenager, you should thoroughly enjoy these books. I was also a huge fan of the dragon Temeraire as a character; in a way, this series is a love story between him and his captain, Laurence. Their companionship through adventures at high seas, many continents, and of course the Napoleonic wars is at the center point of the whole series, and it's actually a lovely relationship you can really invest in as a reader (I know that's hard to believe, what with one half being a dragon). There's a reason Stephen King liked this book...
The only way the series can appear to a disadvantage is if you compare it to anything else in the fantasy fiction realm. It's just too different and individual, and you have to really embrace the style and story without trying to measure it up to other pre-existing standards.
Also, even though the two main characters are male, there are a few kick-ass female characters, Laurence's boss Jane Roland, and one young member of his crew -Jane's daughter- Emily Roland. They're not hugely developed characters, but still absolutely dominate in a male-ruled world of characters, and provide sufficient delight for female fantasy enthusiasts.
Lovers of Pern's Dragons or the tree-cats of Sphinx will be entertained by Novik's twist on the "everyone wants to be a dragon-rider/adopted by a tree-cat" theme. Unlike most fantasy or science fiction featuring intelligent animals or aliens, where the bond with them is highly coveted, Novik's England is a place where being an "aviator" is considered sort of a necessary evil. Certainly they are valuable to the nation's defense and all, but it certainly isn't a profession for a gentleman! Even a Navy career is disappointing to the protagonist's well-born Lord of a father, but when Laurence is thrust into his relationship with Temeraire his father refuses to even have him in the front door! He has to break off his engagement, because he couldn't ask a well-born lady to marry him now...it is a wonderful change of pace.
Novik also offers something else that fans of McCaffrey's Pern and Weber's Honorverse will appreciate--strong female warriors.
Between the gorgeous language, the expertly researched and presented historical backdrop and the delightfully charming main character Temeraire, this is a series you will want to read, listen to on Audible, then re-read and re-listen.
Top reviews from other countries
Although the premise is really interesting (unlike some, I though putting Dragons in a known historical context was really interesting ), I found the characters over-simplified to the point of being almost cliches/caricatures, and the Dragons almost seemed like emotional simpletons.
For me, the intrigue and interest in the universe was more than offset by the annoyance at the key plot figures. To be fair, I've been tired of the whole period drama genre for a while, and found this story-telling too much like it was written by an author of that time but without any of the charm that counter-balances the Victorian style hypocrisy, airs and graces.
This is one of the few works that I will be turning around and rereading immediately to examine the craft of how they were written instead of just how the plot develops.
Both Laurence and Temeraire are great characters, really likeable, and I was invested in them from early on in the book. There's plenty of adventure and excitement as they join a squadron of dragons and fight in battles. The supporting characters are also well described. The challenges of Laurence's transition from the very formal Navy to the much more daredevil, relaxed world of the flying corps are well described and provide a layer to the story beyond the inevitable peril from the French forces.
I've only given four stars because I think the plot is quite standard - there weren't really any surprises here and I guessed all the twists. It follows a pretty well trodden path for this type of fantasy story. However it's really well done and very enjoyable to read. It's also only the first of a nine book series so I'm sure there is room for more complex plots to develop in later novels. I'll definitely be reading more of them - this is perfect escapism. I don't think I'm going to remember much about it in a month other than it had a dragon in and I enjoyed it, which is another reason for not giving a fifth star, but in the moment it was great fun and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys this type of fantasy adventure.
However, Uprooted had been so good I thought it worth a shot. Wow, it’s a very, very good read, suspend the grating concept of the 1800's military techniques and what having an air corps made up of dragons would do to that style of warfare, and Ms Novik delivers a well-crafted and yes well researched novel.
I read that no less than Peter Jackson the Director of LOTR amongst other things has bought the rights to this being made into a movie and I can well see why. Sadly from all I can read Mr Jackson only has this as a potential project, nowhere near being a film any time soon. (How frustrating must that be for the author?)
Anyway, its great escapist fantasy and well worth the read.
Naomi Novik has put together an excellent series of books. It's got a great set of characters, especially Lawrence and Temeraire, it moves around the globe to lots of interesting locations.
I usually read a series of books interleaved with my other books ... not so with Temeraire. It's that good I read all nine of them back to back