His Majesty's Dragon

His Majesty's Dragon

4.03 (87,071 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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In the first novel of the New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, a rare bond is formed between a young man and a dragon, and together they must battle in the Napoleonic Wars.

"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
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 106 x 175 x 25mm | 187g
  • Ballantine Books Inc.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0345481283
  • 9780345481283
  • 16,836

Review Text

Just when you think you ve seen every variation possibleon the dragon story, along comes Naomi Novik. . . . Her wonderful Temeraire is a dragon for the ages. Terry Brooks

Terrifically entertaining. Stephen King
show more

Review quote

"Just when you think you've seen every variation possibleon the dragon story, along comes Naomi Novik. . . . Her wonderful Temeraire is a dragon for the ages."--Terry Brooks

"Terrifically entertaining."--Stephen King
show more

About Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, and Blood of Tyrants, the first eight volumes of the Temeraire series. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award and has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, as well as the Locus Award for Best New Writer and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of the graphic novel Will Supervillains Be on the Final?

Fascinated with both history and legends, Novik is a first-generation American raised on Polish fairy tales and stories of Baba Yaga. Her own adventures include pillaging degrees in English literature and computer science from various ivory towers, designing computer games, and helping to build the Archive of Our Own for fanfiction and other fanworks. Novik is a co-founder of the Organization for Transformative Works.

She lives in New York City with her husband, Charles Ardai, the founder of Hard Case Crime, and their daughter, Evidence, surrounded by an excessive number of purring computers.
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Rating details

87,071 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 36% (31,324)
4 40% (34,435)
3 18% (15,667)
2 4% (3,913)
1 2% (1,732)

Our customer reviews

After years of wanting to read the Temeraire series I finally got around to reading it about two weeks ago and I absolutely loved it and haven't stopped berating myself about having not started reading it sooner. Now, I don't know very much about the Napoleonic Wars but from what I've read about the author and the time period itself is that she used as much historical fact as she could whilst working in the alternative history with the dragons into the story. As soon as I started the book (which I read on my cellphone) I was hooked. The way Naomi Novik spun her tale of war, action, adventure, historical fiction and fantasy all together was simply amazing. The amount of detail that went into not only the setting but the vivid descriptions of the events, the creation of the dragons and the world was wonderfully done. At first I wasn't sure of what to make of Captain Will Laurence because he seemed a bit too haughty for his own good but eventually he grew on me especially when his bond with Temeraire evolved. For me though Temeraire was the star of the novel. I mean honestly who doesn't love an exotic, monstrously large talking dragon that loves to be read to and has an un-dragon like penchant for swimming and a taste for seafood? The novel follows these two unlikely friends during a rough time in British history and we see Temeraire grow from hatchling to a young adult dragon along side his once naval captain turned aviator as they join in to wage war on the French forces trying to invade from across the English Channel. Fraught with politics, a supreme sense of adventure and courageous battles, Naomi Novik's book was an amazing alternative look at what the world could have been like if we had been born into a world that included noble dragons. I loved learning about all the different breeds of dragons, their training and seeing all the different personalities that they exhibited. Overall this was an amazing read and I'm so glad I finally gave this book a try. Novik's writing style is strong and unique and she has a voice that's all her own. It was so refreshing to see a female author writing about dragons and war as I haven't seen many female authors take part in this genre. This is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year and is on my list top 100 favourite books of all time. I would recommend this to all fans of historical fiction and fantasy especially those who love alternative history novels. With great characters, an extremely strong plot and rich descriptions this is a must have for any fantasy reader's shelf and for a debut novel Naomi Novik proves she can hang with the big boys in the genre.show more
by Kimberly Roy
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