Book Review: “His Majesty’s Dragon” by Naomi Novik

Genre: Fantasy

Will Laurence is the captain of the British warship, Reliant.  They had just fought a one sided battle with a French ship and are now on board the vessel making sure the remaining French Naval personnel are secure and conducting a detailed search.

What they find is remarkable.

A dragons egg, that has hardened (meaning it will soon hatch).  Not quite sure how to proceed, since the egg will hatch before they make land, Laurence selects a number of crew members with no attachments (wives, kids, etc) for the dragon to select as it’s soul-mate / rider (himself included).  When the dragon makes it’s selection, the two of them will be transferred to aviation where they will help protect England from French invasion (Napoleon Bonaparte).

One bright sunny day about a week later, the egg hatches while everyone on board watched in awe.  Mr. Carver was the selected soul-mate for the dragon.  He stepped forward, but, the dragon ignored him.  Once it was ready, the dragon moved around inspecting the ship and the people.  Occasionally, it would stop and look a person in the eye….then move on.

Laurence was disappointed.

“Still exploring, the dragon came past him; it sat up on its haunches to look at him inquisitively, and Laurence gazed down at it in unconcealed sorrow and dismay.

It blinked at him; he noticed its eyes were a deep blue and slit-pupiled, and then it said, “Why are you frowning?”

Thus starts a remarkable love affair between the dragon and Laurence.  Laurence, not knowing the conventions of the aviation world (to pick a Greek name), named the dragon: Temeraire and the dragon accepted that name……then declared he was hungry.

“His Majesty’s Dragon” is a magical read.  Since England and France are at war, there is a lot of action on the ground, “dogfights” in the air, and, unfortunately, death. But, the love between Laurence and Temeraire conquers all.

This is the first in a series and I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the books.


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