This review should properly be on ’s journal, since he was the one who actually bought the whole trilogy and has been lending to everyone. But he doesn’t normally do book reviews, so here I am. Not even the second to read our copy, but Tintenherz is mostly to blame for that.
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik Picture, if you will, the naval world of Captain Hornblower or Captain Aubrey. Holding that picture in your mind, picture Anne McCaffrey’s Pern. Bring the two pictures side by side and gently lead a dragon over to Captain Aubrey’s ship. Well, Novik does more to make the dragons her own and to make them fit in Napoleonic England. But it is Napoleonic England, and dragons – manned by entire crews – are central to struggle to defend England. Our hero, Captain Laurence, was perfectly happy with his Navy career until he captured a French ship with an about-to-hatch dragon egg. The baby dragon refuses to take the harness from anyone but him – and Laurence finds himself thrust into the shocking, secretive and disreputable world of his Majesty’s Aviators. This book works well on a good many levels – Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, develop a beautiful relationship. The setting is intriguing and the language beautifully appropriate (though easier to get through than Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell). And it’s a cracking good story. I very much wish I didn’t have three more books in queue before I can get to the second in the trilogy.