His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You'll have to forgive me, folks, but I'm reviewing this from a decade-old memory, so I may get a little mixed up with some of the books that follow this first one. If I don't, then all's good in the world, right?
So what I remember most about the first Temeraire was how much I loved getting embroiled in a military dragon training camp for the service of His Majesty the King of England. For me, this was a brand new concept. I hadn't read any steampunk. I hadn't even read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. I thought this book was freaking awesome, but I kept wondering, back in those days, if this was truly the right kind of novel to be propped up as a Hugo. It was, after all, fantasy. I got over such crap since then, but at the time I was prejudiced against it on that point alone.
It was very fortunate for Ms. Novik that I loved the easy writing, the sense of magical adventure, the personality quirks of the team of dragons, and the hopeless nature of their riders. So of course I had to dive in to the next three novels right away, and I did.
So what happened after that point? I don't know. I never picked up another in the series. Maybe the whole concept ran out of steam for me, but I do remember the first two books very fondly, and the first was the best of them all. It's the whole thing about fresh starts and being the underdog that appealed the most.
It was a very fun read!
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