Book Review: His Majesty’s Dragon by Novik (4 Stars)

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

4 out of 5 stars

Read in November 2008

Why do I love tales of adventure on the high seas? Is it because I’ve always lived in Kansas, thousands of miles away from the ocean? And the icing on the cake? Dragons!

We meet Captain Laurence as he’s defeated and captured the French ship Amerité. Within its hold is a peculiar and very precious cargo, which Captain Laurence transfers immediately to his ship, the HMS Reliant. The Reliant‘s surgeon confirms the cargo is a dragon egg. Due to the recent stormy weather, which blew the French ship off course, the egg is hardened to the point of imminent hatching. Captain Laurence gathers his officers to discuss their options. The dragon egg is too great a prize for England to let the hatchling turn feral, so Laurence has his officers draw straws to present one of them as a handler for the dragon. However, the dragon, once hatched, has other ideas and refuses everyone … except Laurence. Laurence names the dragon Temeraire and their adventure begins.

Laurence immediately resigns or transfers his commission as Captain to his second lieutenant and spends the time on the return voyage to England in caring for Temeraire. Once they arrive in England, Laurence and Temeraire are transferred from the Royal Navy to the Royal Air Corps to being their training immediately. England may dominate the oceans with her Navy, the Napoleon waits across the channel with 100,000 men and his own dragons, waiting for the perfect opportunity to invade.

Naomi Novik does a fantastic job of drawing me into the early 19th century. She weaves the existence of dragons and their military applications into our history flawlessly and believably. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

Friday (May 3, 2013) StealEbook edition on sale for 99 cents!