Monday, June 5, 2017

SciFi/Fantasy Book Review: His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

Long Review after the Jump:

His Majesty's Dragon is the first of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, which currently is 9 books long (the most recent came out this year).  The series is nominated for the Best Series Hugo, so this book came free in the Hugo Sampler.  That said, despite being the start of a series, this book does not end on a cliffhanger, so you can read this as a stand-alone.  But it's really good, so you may want to read the rest of the series anyhow (I suspect I'll be taking the rest of the series out of the library if i can).

-----------------------------------------Plot Summary-----------------------------------------
Captain Will Laurence wanted to be nothing more than a navy commander for the British in this alternate world Napoleonic world.  But when he captures a French frigate that contains a dragon egg, his world is transformed when the dragon chooses HIM as its new rider.  That dragon, named by Captain Laurence as "Temeraire", is incredibly smart and incredibly mobile, of a species known to hail only from China.  Together, both Temeraire and Laurence will have to learn how to fight together, and will fight to ensure Napoleon doesn't prevail with his large dragon advantage.

Oh and they'll have to deal with a few bad apples in the British forces who might not treat the intelligent dragon species with the respect it deserves.

What makes His Majesty's Dragon a great read and a lot of fun is how well it paints the characters.  I touch on characters a lot in these reviews, because well, they matter a lot.  Here, both Temeraire and Laurence are great characters, with a strong bond and relationship that you grow to care about, but the Book develops more characters than that.  I grew to love and care for even the other dragons and their riders as well, which is impressive given how much the focus is on our main duo.

Is the plot something amazing to write home about?  Not really no, and the conclusion includes a telegraphed reveal (of sorts) that I was waiting for most of the book to drop.  But it doesn't matter because the main duo is such a joy to read, and I couldn't help but cheer when that reveal finally came.  I will definitely track down the remainder of this series....eventually.

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