His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

Series: Temeraire Book 1

Author: Naomi Novik

Review by James Barrett

Naval Captain William Laurence is thrust unwillingly into the world of His Majesty’s Aerial Corp, after bonding with the newly hatched dragon Temeraire. The understaffed Aerial Corp places him in an accelerated boot camp designed to bring the new pair up to speed, as they are desperately needed to hold off Napoleon’s Imperial desires for Britain.

Why I Enjoyed It:
I found the dragons to be fully fleshed out characters, unlike the majority of dragon novels where they exist as talking horses. In fact I found that the characters of the dragons in the book to be better developed than the majority of the humans.
The language in the book is a treat consisting of authentic sounding(to me, having been forced to watch BBC Jane Austen dramas by the wife) 19th-century English. Novik works to maintain the language not only during dialog, but also in scene descriptions, creating a lush reading experience.
The battle scenes are engaging but don’t overwhelm the book be being every other page. Novik also shows a love for the era and an understanding of the Napoleonic wars that goes beyond that of a layman.
If you are a fan of the film Master and Commander, love to read McCaffery’s Pern novels, or just wish Jane Austen would throw a little action into her novels, I can highly recommend Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon.


  1. "...or just wish Jane Austen would throw a little action into her novels"

    that one line made me want to read this book. I'm curious, is it the start to a series? and if so, is the series complete?

    great review.

  2. I really love this whole series. Can't wait for the next book to come out!

  3. Sounds interesting. I can't imagine dragons being involved in the Napoleanic Wars but I'm willing to give it a try. Good review. I also enjoyed the reference to Jane Austen. I wish I could get my husband to watch Jane Austen with me. :)

  4. My husband loves this series!!! I think that there are 4 books out so far. Highly recommended from here.

  5. I do have to say that I liked this book too, but as the series continue, the main character makes some immoral choices. Just so you know.

  6. There are 4 in the series so far. Unfortunately the others in the series have some swear words. Not many, but all the more jarring because of it

  7. All8, are referring to that scene in Black Powder War where Temeraire "Contaminates" the pond?

    I was LMAO.