Customer Reviews


91 Reviews
5 star:
 (51)
4 star:
 (21)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful read
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...
Published on 9 Aug 2010 by Larewen Evenstar

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but perhaps a little too disposable.
Temeraire is an epic fantasy/alternate history crossbreed novel by Naomi Novik, first published in 2006. Confusingly, it is also the first novel of the Temeraire series, an open-ended series which now encompasses five volumes with several more on the way. In the USA, possibly more sensibly, it is called His Majesty's Dragon.

The Napoleonic Wars are raging...
Published on 16 July 2008 by A. Whitehead


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful read, 9 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] (Paperback)
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. But Novik certainly pulls this off without a hitch!

Another thing I worried about, before reading this book, was the perhaps the opening would be far too long, given the descriptions on the backs of books usually tell you roughly what will happen, but usually turn out to be telling you what happens once you get about a third of the way into the book, I was worried that we would have to wait at least 100 pages before the dragon hatched. But luckily I only had to wait a few pages, as you are thrown right into the story, just after the battle where Laurance's crew manage to get the dragon egg from the French, so no waiting around, which was excellent!

I really look forward to reading the other books in this series, as I have high hopes for them given how much I enjoyed this one! Highly recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Regency dragons - irresistible!, 15 Jan 2006
By 
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly, I really liked it!, 18 Jun 2012
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower with dragons, 14 Nov 2009
This review is from: Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] (Paperback)
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. The only sub-plot that holds any punch involves Rankin, a captain who deprives his dragon Levitas of love and kindness and who comes into conflict with Laurence as a result.

Novik's writing style apes 19th century literary style and her research creates an authentic period feel. However there's some serious semi-colon abuse in the opening half of the book, which frequently threw me out of the text and at times the descriptions of all the types of dragon was confusing.

The book ends with a set-up for the next in the series, and there's enough enjoyment to be derived from the story for me to read on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brief and Unimportant spoilers about a brilliant book, 18 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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 fantasy novels, particularly ones with dragons. Therefore this book perfectly combines these three elements.

Temeraire is set in the Napoleonic wars in Britain (which as far as I can tell this book is fairly historically accurate) with an added twist: Britain and France had dragons to fight with as well for an aerial corps.

A naval officer, Laurence, finds an egg on a captured french ship right at the very beginning which hatches and begins the beautiful loving friendship between the intelligent and a rare breed of dragon, Temeraire, and him.

The book is exceedingly well written, engaging, doesn't drag on, has lovely characters and relationships between them all and even has unexpectedly deep and meaningful social and philosophical commentary on things in the time period and the human nature as a whole.

Highly recommend this book, even though there is no romance to speak of (which would normally bother me), but this book was so good it didn't need it and the only relationship it needed was the wonderful companionship it had between Temeraire and Laurence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 10 Oct 2012
This review is from: Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] (Paperback)
I took Temeraire on holiday as a beach read. I had heard about the series but I was still very sceptical after reading reviews on Amazon and elsewhere and suspected deep down that I would hate it.

In fact I found Temeraire to be much, much better than I had expected. The plot is fairly basic although the details hang together well but I found some of the background regarding the dragons and their riders to be a bit contrived. The idea that the riders are social pariahs is pretty daft - military men have always been in love with exciting novelty and it would be more plausible that young men would be desperate to join the dragon corps rather than regarding it as a disgrace. In the real world you only have to look at the fashionability of hussars and frigate captains to see what servicemen's attitude towards zooming around on a dragon would really have been. I think this mis-step probably comes from the (American) author's view of old world social structures of the time believing them to have been much more rigid and overpowering than they really were. However this is a common error and shouldn't be held against her too much.

Where she gets things right is in the dialogue - there are very few clangers and for the most part it reads authentically and more than anything really helps set the story in the early C19th. Furthermore she avoids the pitfall of so much historical fiction - information dump syndrome. In fact there is very little of that sin and what there is geared around the dragons and therefore necessary explanation to the reader of the story's fantastical elements.

So much historical fiction these days is written by imitators of Bernard Cornwell and is based around blokey violence and swearing. Temeraire profits from having a female author whose interest is in character interaction. Very little of the story is action and she concentrates on the developing relationship between the protagonist and his dragon partner, and how they come to fit into the secretive world of the dragon aviators. The book's great villain isn't Napoleon or his spy who is uncovered by our hero, nor yet the French army and dragons who the British must battle in the climax. It is the British aviator who casually mistreats his dragon causing it both pain and unhappiness despite its adoration of him. It is this attention to character that makes the battle scenes when they come much more involving to read than a macho blood and guts approach would have been.

Temeraire was the best fiction I read this year and one of the few books recently I've found interesting enough to actually finish. I highly recommend it and am now going to order the sequel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Temeraire!, 7 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ok so I am very proud to say I love this book. It wasn't really a surprise considering how much I love How to train your dragon dvd. What more can I ask for than a dragon that is a bit like a cat? Well Temeraire is what I can ask for!

A character is created who I actually care about and want to see them grow and develop especially his relationship with the other dragons and his owner. The author does really well in immersing me into this world and seeing dragons as more than just a means for fighting totally awesome aerial battles.

This is one you need to read if dragons or cats are your things!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!, 29 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. Jk Waller (Tyneside, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] (Paperback)
Imaginative, fast paced, brilliantly inventive. An excellent historical Fantasy Epic!

Excellent story, accurate historical detail, wonderful fictional elements, action packed... You must read this!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who would have thought dragons and ships would be such a good fit?, 26 Sep 2010
By 
M. Hepworth (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] (Paperback)
Temeraire takes an unusual combination and makes it work surprisingly well. The setting is our world during the Napoleonic Wars, a little before the Battle of Trafalgar, but both sides maintain fleets of dragons as well as wooden-sided ships. This delightful version of the classic "what if" tactic of good SF produces something akin to alternative history fiction. In fact, the only major weakness is that she's very carefully balanced the abilities of dragons to make sure they haven't radically changed history.

Novik does a surprisingly good job of portraying the period and drawing authentic characters for the time. The main character, Will Laurence, is a touchy and proud Royal Navy captain who is thrown into the wilder world of Britain's dragon forces, and this outsider's perspective cleverly introduces them to us. The dragons come with differing abilities and sizes, and their place in military tactics is presented realistically.

Laurence is an engaging character, and his partnership with his new dragon Temeraire is well drawn. There's a modicum of romance, and although the focus is on the dragons and action, there's enough of a sense of a wider world. I'm definitely going to follow the later instalments with interest.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon]
Temeraire (Temeraire 1) [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] by Naomi Novik (Paperback - 6 Aug 2007)
6.29
Usually dispatched within 10 to 14 days
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews