Saturday, December 31, 2016

Naomi Novik’s Her Majesty’s Dragon: A Book Review

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Naomi Novik’s Her Majesty’s Dragon blends historical fiction and fantasy as dragons are thrust into the midst of the Napoleonic Wars. The first book of the lengthy Temeraire series, Her Majesty’s Dragon follows the events that lead to the dragon’s discovery in egg form on a French vessel to the animal’s bonding with a British naval captain Laurence, the pair’s training, and their participation in staving off Napoleon’s invasion of Brittan. While Novik does not dazzle with flowy or flowery prose, she does enthrall the reader with the story. The novel is a page turner, one you will fly through and find yourself coming back to with little thought as to why or to the time spent reading it.

Novik flawlessly leads the reader into the heart of Laurence, through the sea of emotions that accompany his forced bond with the dragon, his change in carriers, and his eventual love for his beast. In terms of the dragons, these are not beasts at all, but rather intelligent dragons that not only talk to each other, but also their captains and caretakers. Each dragon possesses unique traits and abilities, and thus they, like planes in an air force, each serve a diverse purpose. Thus, beyond Laurence and his trials, Temeraire shines as a character of both depth and importance, enough depth to draw the reader in and make them care about the dragon as much as the human aviator. These emotions allow the plot to flow, the tale to captivate, and the pages to fly by.

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