So I said I’d be posting recommended stuff, and here’s the first: His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik. This was already out in the UK (as Temeraire) and has been getting a fair amount of buzz on my friendslist, so I snapped it up when it came out on Tuesday.
DAMN, y’all, this is a good book.
Basic premise: During the Napoleonic wars, a Navy captain captures a French ship which is found to contain a dragon egg on the point of hatching. The ships can’t reach land in time, so one of the sailors is going to have to take on the dragon, thus giving up his seafaring career to join the mysterious (and less prestigious) Aerial Corps. As luck would have it, the dragon settles on the captain himself. Hijinks ensue.
Most of the reviews I’ve seen have played up the O’Brian comparisons, and that’s fair enough…. for the first few chapters. After that, our hero is no longer at sea, and the middle section of the book reminded me of The White Dragon more than anything else, what with the care, feeding, bathing, and training of a growing dragon who’s more intelligent and nimble than his peers. Then our heroes get flung back into the war, and from there on, the book is pretty much its own thing. And a most excellent thing it is!
Run out and get it; spend your weekend curled up with it. It’s a paperback; you can afford it.
Literary cousins: Aubrey/Maturin, Hornblower, Pern
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