— Love @ 15:30 Comments (7)
Filed under: A-Z Reading Challenge, B, English, Fantasy, First in a Series, Here Be Dragons, Historical, Seafaring Challenge
His Majesty’s Dragon
by Naomi Novik
For the Here Be Dragons, First in a Series, Seafaring and A-Z reading challenges.
First line: The deck of the French ship was slippery with blood, heaving in the choppy sea; a stroke might as easily bring down the man making it as the intended target.
Back cover blurb:
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 the uncertain future—and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarefied 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.
Thoughts: I really, really liked this book. I’d suspected I might, and thankfully I was not disappointed, as has sometimes been the case (The Eyre Affair springs readily to mind as an example of this). Naomi Novik’s take on the Napoleonic Wars is quite exciting to read and her characters are ones you quickly become exceedingly fond of. The only beef I have with the story is that it’s sometimes a little too fantastic, perhaps. That, and the reactions of the main character to certain things (though, granted, they are perfectly understandable reactions for him to have, as a product of the Regency era. Still, they grated on me a little).
All in all, though, I can say with certainty that I will try to get my paws on the next three books in the series as soon as possible, and that I will also wait with bated breath for June to come around and with it the publishing of the fifth book.
A B rating is nothing if not extremely well-deserved in this case.
5 Jan 2008 at 18:21
Hi! (wandered over from the Seafaring Challenge) I’m reading War and Peace right now, so anything Napoleon sounds very interesting. :) I was very disappointed in The Eyre Affair as well the first time I read it four years ago; then I read it again last year and really liked it, and I’ve enjoyed the next three as well. Weird, huh?
5 Jan 2008 at 19:15
I’ve always found the Napoleonic era very interesting.
As for The Eyre Affair, maybe I should give it another chance? I shall keep it in mind, at least, since I know such a lot of people love that series of books. I mean, there must be something about them!
8 Jan 2008 at 14:13
After reading your review I really wish I could read this; I became interested in the Napoleonic era a couple years ago. Unfortunately my library only has it on CD, and I hate buying books I don’t know for sure if I’ll like.
8 Jan 2008 at 18:38
Ink Mage: I know that my library will sometimes be able to get a book on loan from another library in the area, if there’s a book you want that they themselves don’t have.
Does your library have that option? Might be worth asking.
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