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Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] [Paperback]

Naomi Novik
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Aug 2007

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…



Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (6 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007258712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007258710
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

‘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

From the Back Cover

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…


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Regency dragons - irresistible! 15 Jan 2006
By Medsec
Format:Hardcover
As a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels, as well as the much under-rated Georgette Heyer's beautifully observed Regency novels, I found this story charming and absorbing. Temeraire himself is quite delightful, the book is well-written and easy to read and I think fans of C.S. Forester's 'Hornblower' would also be intrigued by this unusual mix of naval battles and dragons. There is plenty of action, but not too much to put off those of us not entirely enthralled by battle scenes. Well worth reading; I can't wait for the sequel!
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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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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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic in every sense.
A friend recommended that I read this series, and how right they were. Interweaving historical fiction & fantasy at the time of the Napoleonic wars, a young captain in the Royal... Read more
Published 18 days ago by T. Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Temeraire is a Star!
I have wanted to read this for a while as I have heard a lot of good things about the series. It is my first book by Naomi Novik. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Sarmor
5.0 out of 5 stars Briliant
I loved the narrative. The story, based in Napoleonic Times uses language typical of the times and the protagonists could very well have been a navy man at the time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stefano Salvi
4.0 out of 5 stars If Dragons Ruled the World
I was intrigued by this book when I heard about it. As a lover of historical fiction and fantasy this seemed perfect for me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Sam Andrews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
seems interesting but was quite dull after the first few chapters.
Published 1 month ago by Aliya Hashmi
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief and Unimportant spoilers about a brilliant book
I love this book! Mainly because I am a fan of: Georgette Heyer (novels set in the 18th century that have a very polite and proper style of conversation/prose); of history; and of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sansa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read, engaging and funny.
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Coell-Pemberton
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasic
A marvellous alternative history of the Napoleonic Wars with dragons. Well written, past paced with believable characters and dialogue. Excellent.
Published 3 months ago by callum m leuty
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, but ends up as my little pony but with fangs.
I liked the original idea, and some of the thought behind the dragons.
I didn't like the endless plod around with manners and etiquette
I didn't like going on how much he... Read more
Published 4 months ago by DeanoDury
5.0 out of 5 stars 17th Century Dragons - light and fun read.
Good fun. I was worried it might be bit too military but actually they don't do much fighting. I didn't think it was brilliantly written but it was a jolly nice read that was fun... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kelley Townley
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