Title: His Majesty’s Dragon
Author: Naomi Novik
Publisher: 2006, Del Rey
Blurb: Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain 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.
Remind me again why I waited so long to finally read a book by Naomi Novik?
This book is gold.
I decided to finally read it as part of a challenge for the Iron Tome Readathon this month and it just so happened to be the first book that came in from the library. So, one morning a few days ago, I curled in my chair outside in my backyard while my new puppy decided to find a new spot to dig and decided to try it out. And I was immediately blown away by just how wonderful this book is.
Like, if you think I would die for Temeraire this very instant if he required it of me, so help me…
Honestly, the relationship between Temeraire and Laurence is what made me fall head over heels in love with this novel. I haven’t seen such a beautiful, animal-human relationship in AGES, so it was just really great to read that (plus, the fact that Temeraire is a dragon, it was just infinitely more amazing). I loved seeing them grow together, loved Temeraire’s curiosity, Laurence’s transition from viewing this as a potentially unwanted career change to something he could never imagine having a life without; not to mention how they both become front runners in changing the way aviators think and treat their dragons.
In fact, Laurence as a character was just incredible to me. His honor and his sense of duty were inspiring and I loved how we truly got to see him grow, as he deals with being a gentleman who is confronted with new aspects–and broken rules–within the aviator way of life he wasn’t used to in society. I love that we see those struggles, but Laurence is willing to grow and willing to change, if he needs it. And I just really appreciated that.
But even more, I just fell in love with this world. I mean, I wanted to be real so badly, having dragons as a part of our society. I couldn’t get over that dream, wishing I was an aviator while also not being able to read fast enough, wanting to know what happens next. As a writer, I also couldn’t help but notice how flawless Novik’s transitions are. I don’t know how she does it, but it was seamless.
Also, the fact that Laurence READS TO Temeraire!?
Friends, this was a wonderful story; one I have no idea why I waited so long to check it out, but I am so excited that this is a NINE BOOK SERIES to sink my teeth into. <3