Book Review: His Majesty’s Dragon

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

It has been awhile since I have been quite so sucked into a book. Novik writes an alternate historical fiction, centering on a British naval Captain during the Napoleonic War. The alternate part of this history is the presence of dragons in the world. Upon capturing a French ship, William Laurence finds a dragon egg in the hold, a dragon egg that is ready to hatch at any moment.

There were three reasons that I really enjoyed this book. Novik tried, successfully I believe, to write in a style that befitted the era represented. The main character, Laurence is very concerned about the politeness rules of society, though as the novel goes on, he becomes slightly more liberal in his views. the diction that Novik had chosen helps authenticate the world she has created.

Most of the dragons in the story are intellegent and have a very delightful sense of humor (that is #2, for those counting). The turn of phrase and dialog between the dragons and their handlers is very diverting. i found myself giggling aloud many times.

The last thing I appreciated was the way Novik wove the dragons into a history that already exists. This is a very rich period in Naval warefare, and history in general. The days of Nelson were glory days for the British and I liked the nods to this period in the novel.

Highly Recommended – for all! Fantasy or historical fiction lovers alike.