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His Majesty's Dragon

His Majesty's Dragon

Paperback - 2006
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When the HMS Reliant captures a French ship and its priceless cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, Captain Will Laurence is swept into an unexpected kinship with an extraordinary creature and joins the elite Aerial Corps as a master of the dragon Temaraire, in which role he must match wits with the powerful dragon-borne forces of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey Books, c2006
ISBN: 9780345481283
Branch Call Number: SciFic Novik Pbk
Characteristics: 353 p. : ill. ; 18 cm


From Library Staff

Naomi Novik is known for her alternate history and fantasy stories. Her primary series is set in Temeraire.

List - Dragon Classics
PimaLib_MiraD Apr 26, 2018

What if the Napoleonic wars were fought with dragons instead of horses as mounts? This is the question that lead to Naomi Novik's historical fantasy series.

From the critics

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JCLCharlesH Apr 01, 2021

Napoleonic combat but with dragons - If you like all of the elements of British class drama, action oriented combat, and layer of fantasy over the top of it all, this is your book. The first in a series, but stands alone just fine. I especially enjoyed the character and world building in this volume.

Jul 27, 2020

Exciting series especially for those who appreciate military maneuvers. Agree with the comment about Horacio Hornblower.
A teeny, tiny, minuscule thing that didn’t seem to fit (and I hate to mention it at all): Laurence calls the dragon Temeraire “Dear” and “My Dear”. Would a naval man do that? Perhaps the author’s research indicated that in Napoleonic times, one man would say that to an equal and close friend. But to my ears it felt feminine and parental - and I’m female. Don’t let it put you off as this book is a great read.

May 14, 2020

The Napoleonic wars have always fascinated me, but the added element of dragons really made this book for me.
I loved this book, especially the characters. I really liked the innocent yet powerful vibe I got from Temeraire and the cautious yet caring personality Laurence exhibits.
I also think that there are tons to learn from this book, namely the fact that friendship can accomplish great things. As we see Temeraire and Laurence grow and improve together, finally resulting in a huge battle against the French, I couldn't help but marvel at the powerful friendship between the two. This friendship pushes both Laurence and Temeraire to become their best selves, resulting in huge accomplishments.
I relished this book from cover to cover, and I am excited to see what adventures await Laurence and Temeraire in the sequels. 5/5
@Galaxy_Read of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jan 28, 2020

Written as a stand-alone novel, Novik couldn't resist expanding her concept into a series. The alternative universe here is a faithful depiction of the era of the Napoleonic wars, with credible descriptions of battle tactics, strategy, and military culture--with the addition of dragons, which are used for aerial combat. What makes this novel a winner are the elegantly created and very British personalities of the dragons themselves and their relationships with their human comrades. Though I haven't yet read more in the series--so many books, so little time--I fully intend to!

Jan 19, 2020

I loved Uprooted and Spinning Silver, so I was excited to discover a whole series of Novik's books to read on a long vacation. The Temeraire series was quite a disappointment. While I enjoyed the characters of Laurence and Temeraire, and the idea of a reality where dragons are flown in the military, and the description of the cultural differences between the navy and the flying corps, there really didn't seem like there was much purpose or actual story to the book. There were a lot of battle scenes, which I generally skimmed through (the same way I did when reading The Odyssey in high school), and some interesting characters, but that was it.

I would imagine that if you loved those books about the naval captain or you enjoy reading all the details of battles, you'll enjoy this. If not, you probably won't.

FPL_Amy Nov 22, 2019

Imagine if Wellington and Napoleon fought each other with dragons! Seriously, it’s an alternate universe in which the Napoleonic Wars are fought using dragons. It’s everything I didn’t know I wanted in a book, until I started reading it.

Aug 06, 2019

Give me Napoleonic wars and dragons any day. I loved this book and can't wait to read more of the series.

Jul 02, 2019

Must read

alburke47 Jun 13, 2019

So I’ve had this on my TBR for quite some time, but picked up the audiobook from my local library. The story is basically the Napoleonic Wars with the fun addition of dragons (which make everything better). A ship’s captain, Will Laurence, captures a French ship,and on board is a dragon egg. When the egg hatches and the dragon bonds with Laurence, he must leave his beloved navy and join the very different aviators, where his life undergoes significant change. Here’s my thoughts on the much-loved novel:
As already mentioned, I listened to the audio version, and the narrator (Simon Vance) does a stellar job breathing life into Laurence, the dragon Temeraire, and all the other various military-type characters in the story
The relationship between a man and his dragon is easily the highlight of the book. Laurence’s struggles as his life changes - a change in career, being disowned by his family and becoming a surrogate father - are mirrored by Temeraire’s struggles to adapt to the strangeness of human nature
The pace is kind of slow. It’s certainly not boring, but there’s not a lot of non-verbal action. That being said the battle at the end of the book is pretty darn exciting, but otherwise it’s mostly conversation driven
Of course, the author writes all this chit-chat really well, but I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed the reading experience as much as the listening one
Temeraire is easily the finest character in the book, not just because he’s a dragon, but Novik’s portrayal of him. There’s a definite feline vibe to his character, and he made me laugh a bunch of times with his wry observations Laurence is also a blast, offering some equally witty critique, and often has his stiff upper lip and gentleman’s sensibilities been cast into doubt by his dragon on occasion.

I’ll give the audiobook an entertaining 4 out of 5 stars. Not sure I would have sprung for that if I’d read it though.

IndyPL_SteveB Apr 17, 2019

The first book of the “Temeraire” fantasy series, a combination of C.F. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, but with its own originality. The series takes place in the Napoleonic Wars, but with both sides having intelligent dragons as combatants. The dragons are like battleships, large enough for a captain and a crew of 20 or more. Dragons, when hatched, each choose a human to be their captain.

Main character Will Laurence is a ship captain in the Royal Navy who is chosen by a newly-hatched Chinese dragon, immediately ending his career in the Navy and beginning his career in the Aerial Corps. The book is very entertaining and a good intro to the series, since both captain and dragon have a lot to learn about each other and about warfare in the air.

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Jan 15, 2016

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

JMP7 Nov 25, 2015

JMP7 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

vv1 Mar 12, 2015

vv1 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 05, 2014

GirlWhoLived thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

lucky Mar 12, 2009

lucky thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary
May 05, 2014

William Laurence, prestigious naval captain, captures a French vessel in 1804 which is carrying a rare dragon egg. The creature hatches and bonds to Laurence, who hesitantly names him Temeraire and resigns himself to the sacrifice of life in the Aerial Corps (who are considered to be rowdy and undisciplined). However, even as he is shocked by the female captains and loose formality of the Corps, Laurence comes to form a deep bond with Temeraire, and the inseparable pair and their new friends serve Britain through the war. Daring adventure and fascinating characters abound.

lucky Mar 12, 2009

A captain who is part of the Queen's Navy discovers a dragon egg aboard a french ship. The egg hatches and the dragon, amazingly, attaches to the captain, who must now become an aviary.


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