I had plans to write this review while at work, but as I said, plans never go as planned :( This probably means all the posts I wanted to write will be delayed, sigh. Oh well, too bad for me, right? Still, I have time to write my review for my re-read, so it's not a total loss :)
My re-read this month is His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. You can read my previous review here. I chose to re-read this book because of Renee's post about the Non-romance Romance here and it made me want to re-read His Majesty's Dragon. So thank you very much Renee :D
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
published by Del Rey in March 2006
Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain's defense by taking to the skies... not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.Genre: fantasy
When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future-and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France's own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte's boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.
Series: Temeraire, book #1
The Story: His Majesty's Dragon takes place during the Napoleonic era, in a world where dragons exist and are valued as great warriors.
Basically, England and France are at war and Captain Will Laurence has accomplished quite a feat by finding himself in possession of a dragon egg. However, his life changes when Temeraire, the newly hatched dragon, chooses Will as his aviator. Now responsible for Temeraire, Will finds himself putting away his navy life and starting a new life as an aviator, which includes lots of training and a different mindset. However, in time of wars, Will will adapt for his Majesty... and his love of Temeraire.
My Opinion: There are five books in the series so far and His Majesty's Dragon is by far my favorite. I just love, love Will and Temeraire's relationship. Like Renee said, it's not romance, but a non-romance romance. There's just this connection between Will and Temeraire and yes, love. I love the way Will comes to care for Temeraire even though the beast changed his life completely. All these little things Will do for Temeraire, buying him jewelries, defending him, being proud of Temeraire's uniqueness. It's a blend of parent-child/older-younger brother/friend love.
As for Temeraire, he is simply just too cute LOL :) He's like a bright kid growing up, needing security, reassurance and love. He'll do anything to please Will. I love how Will comes first, no matter what where Temeraire is concerned. Also, like I said, Temeraire is just too cute and smart. I love Temeraire most in His Majesty's Dragon because there's this innocence to him. Strangely, I don't really like Temeraire's political stand and free-thinking in the subsequent books... and while their relationship is still as loving, the focus has shifted more to the plot... which is probably why His Majesty's Dragon is my favorite book in the series :D
Aside from Will and Temeraire, His Majesty's Dragon is wonderful for its world building. Seriously, dragons serving in the army? The whole logistic is mind-boggling, but Ms Novik is able to make it believable. The words flow and I, as a reader, is able to imagine it which is quite a remarkable feat. The plot is also quite interesting and the story keeps on moving, never remaining static or dragging. I find myself loving this book and going "awwww."
It might not have any "romance" as I know it, but the relationship between Will and Temeraire will make hearts melt. In addition, Temeraire's friendship with other dragons is also lovely. His Majesty's Dragon is simply a great, great book and if you enjoy fantasy and want something different, but I mean completely different, then this is for you :D
My Grade: A.