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Temeraire (The Temeraire Series, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Naomi Novik
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Naomi Novik’s stunning series of novels follow the global adventures of Captain William Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire as they are thrown together to fight for Britain during the turbulent time of the Napoleonic Wars.

Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson's navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest, least important son of Lord Allendale. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancée, society's esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores.

After a skirmish with a French ship, Laurence finds himself in charge of a rare cargo: a dragon egg bound for the Emperor himself. Dragons are much prized: properly trained, they can mount a fearsome attack from the skies. One of Laurence's men must take the beast in hand and join the aviators' cause, thus relinquishing all hope of a normal life.

But when the newly-hatched dragon ignores the young midshipman Laurence chose as its keeper and decides to imprint itself on the horrified captain instead, Laurence's world falls apart. Gone is his golden future: gone his social standing, and soon his beautiful fiancée, as he is consigned to be the constant companion and trainer of the fighting dragon Temeraire…

Books In This Series (8 Books)
Complete Series

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    ‘These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart’
    Peter Jackson

    'Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of history, sympathetic characters, and an engaging style makes this series great, intelligent fun.’
    The Times

    ‘Plenty of intrigue, swordplay, exotic locations, plausible invention. In short a treat’
    The Telegraph

    ‘Novik has stirred the passions with a genre-busting historical fantasy of the first order’
    Sunday Sport


    Temeraire is a terrifically entertaining fantasy novel. Is it hard to imagine a cross between Susannah Clarke, of Norrell and Strange fame, and the late Patrick O'Brian? Not if you've read this wonderful, arresting novel.' Stephen King. 'A splendid novel. The plot was excellent, extraordinary in that the reader has no idea where it's leading. Let's hope this is the first of many from Naomi Novik.' Anne McCaffrey.

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    More About the Author

    An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular fascination with the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O'Brian and Jane Austen. She began writing as a guilty pleasure while studying for her Master's degree in Computer Science at Columbia. She found an opportunity to combine her passions by developing computer games, starting with a multi-player online science fiction game she created in college that has now been in continuous operation for almost a decade. She is also the founder and organizer of Vividcon, the annual convention for digital video enthusiasts who create music videos and other short films based on their favorite television shows and movies, and of the Commonverse, a project dedicated to applying the "open source" approach for software development to the writing of shared-universe fiction. She lives with her husband in New York City.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower with dragons 14 Nov. 2009
    By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
    Set in an alternate history where dragons are a vital weapon in military conflicts, Captain William Laurence's life changes forever after he finds an egg on board a captured French frigate. The egg hatches into a dragon named Temeraire who will only accept Laurence as its rider. Duty compels Laurence to leave the Navy, give up any chance of having a family and join the Aerial Corps where he must adjust to life with an inquisitive, fiercely intelligent dragon and the less formal structure of the Corps, which allows women in its ranks and even has a dragon instructor. As Laurence slowly forms friendships with Captain Roland (a scarred female captain and mother to one of the Corps' cadets) and Hollin (a member of Temeraire's ground crew), England is threatened by the superior numbers of Napoleon's dragon forces and soon Laurence and Temeraire find themselves playing a key role in the country's defence.

    There is much to enjoy in this book. The concept of using dragons as aeronautical ships (complete with crews and gunmen latched on with harnesses) is well depicted and Novik's aeronautical battles are vivid and exciting. Also well handled is the relationship between Laurence and Temeraire, the latter having a child-like quality without ever falling into tweeness. In fact the only jarring note is Laurence's constant use of "my dear" when addressing Temeraire, a form of address that doesn't quite ring true.

    Unfortunately, the other relationships in the book lack the same depth and there is little real story beyond the relationship between master and dragon. For example, a storyline establishing Laurence's romantic understanding with Edith is dispensed with in a cursory fashion, while the arrival of a French rider called Choiseul plays out in too predictable a manner.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly imagined and utterly compelling 3 Jan. 2012
    By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    When Captain Will Laurence seizes a French warship during the Napoleonic Wars he has no idea how his life will change - for the French are carrying a rare dragon's egg out of which hatches Temeraire who will have only Laurence himself for his owner.

    I really fell in love with this book: from the moment Temeraire hatched, stood up on his hindlegs and spoke to Laurence with his mix of whimsicality and inquisitiveness I was completely hooked. Novik has created a wonderfully solid world, part Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brien (Laurence reminded me particularly of Captain Wentworth in Austen's Persuasion), and part Tolkein. I particularly liked the way she doesn't bother with loads of backstory or explanation, simply drops us into a world in which speaking dragons as war machines are quite normal, and leaves us to find our feet.
    Most of all I love the characterisation in the book: the dragons have personality as much as the humans and I was literally laughing out loud at some of Temeraire's remarks, as well as moved to tears (Levitas).

    This is the first of a six book series, and so has a leisurely approach to plot. We see Laurence struggle as he abandons his naval career to become a dragon aviator, his and Temeraire's military training and, most of all, the growth of their relationship. That said, there are some gripping action sequences, and the whole thing is lightened by Novik's wonderful prose and immense imagination. I never struggled to believe anything in the novel's world and was utterly absorbed throughout.

    I don't read much fantasy (although this is a difficult book to categorise) but I absolutely loved this - I had to buy the next two books in the series before even finishing this, it's that compelling. So, whatever the genre, this is a brilliant feat of storytelling - highly recommended.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly, I really liked it! 18 Jun. 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition
    This is the story of a somewhat `stiff upper lipped' (but very likable) sea captain in the British navy during the Napoleonic wars who somewhat unwittingly becomes the keeper and `aviator' of a very intelligent Dragon. In his world, there has been a long history (since pre Roman times) of dragon breeding largely for military purposes. Dragons can talk and many are at least as intelligent as their keepers. Temaraire is Captain Laurence's extraordinary dragon and he is equally likable.
    I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, which I bought on offer for 99 pence (kindle edition). The author creates a wholly convincing fictional world in which the main characters really come to life. The archaic style of language and the sensitive treatment of both humans and dragons added to the mystique and I had trouble putting the book down. The author showed considerable skill in developing both the characters and the plot and the book has a very satisfying ending - unlike some works such as the Game of Thrones books which never seem to reach a resolution. I rather fancy that this book would make an excellent 3D movie (like Avatar)- Wake Up Hollywood! I will keep my eye out for more works by this author.
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    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful read 9 Aug. 2010
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    I got this book, mainly because amazon seemed insistant on recommending it to me constantly. But I am very glad that I did.

    Not only is this an incredible story, with some great characters that you cannot help but love from the outset, it is also rather heartwarming. The relationship between Laurance and his dragon, Temeraire, is just so special. The only other relationship I have read like it is that between Fitz and Nighteyes in Robin Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, and that was a perfect relationship, so for Laurance and Temeraire to come close (for me anyway) that is something special.

    Each of the dragons and characters have their own personalities as well. In some stories I've read, dragons often get lumped with the same generic persona, but here they have as much personality, if not more, than the humans.

    Temeraire himself is just lovely! He is just so pure and true that I couldn't help but love him! Simple things like his excitement over a sparkly trinket or getting a bath are just fantastic little additions to this story.

    Laurance, being the main character, is also rather charming. In the first few pages, I wasn't sure about him, but then his personality really began to shine through once Temeraire hatches, and I loved him from then on.

    What I also enjoyed was the fact that there is a distinct lack of over-complicated phrases to do with sailing or war, everything is kept to a good, understandable minimum, making it easy to follow, but still very realistic.

    I was dubious about 'Temeraire' as I'm not usually a fan of books like this, where the author has taken an event in the past, and changed it for fantasy purposes, in this case putting dragons into the battle against Napoleon.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on
    When the Robin Hobb books dried up I dreaded trying to find another truly decent author - absolutely delighted with this find! Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Cherry
    5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book and superb series
    Engaging, well written and fun. A really brilliant take on Napoleonic Europe.... With dragons as well. What's not to love?
    Published 3 months ago by Jon Story
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    good, fast paced, good characterisation, well written
    Published 4 months ago by caroline main
    5.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower meets Dragonflight
    Great concept, and nicely done. I'll be interested to see where this series goes.
    Published 5 months ago by Marc Wilson
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    good read
    Published 5 months ago by epm5
    5.0 out of 5 stars ... greatist stories I have ever read and I do love fantasy.
    This is one of the greatist stories I have ever read and I do love fantasy .
    Published 5 months ago by ms millie iden
    5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly engaging read, Horatio Hornblower on dragonback.
    Gripping from the outset and well placed throughout. My early apprehension about the dubious mixture of genres was soon put to rest. A cracking read.....
    Published 6 months ago by philip northcott
    3.0 out of 5 stars Damn Napoleon's Eyes! The war against Napoleon will be won...
    Temeraire takes an interesting concept and launches it into a multi-book series (there are nine planned) which has attracted attention from Peter Jackson (of the Lord of the Rings... Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Merlin's Owl
    4.0 out of 5 stars It's Napoleonic but not as we know it!
    This is the story of a naval officer who is inadvertently chosen as the partner of a Chinese Celestial Dragon. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Apionid
    3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not quite there...
    An enjoyable read, although one that would have benefited from some tighter editing. Whilst admiring the ambition, I'm not sure Ms Novik quite pulls off the strategic aspect of her... Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Poppydragon
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