Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

The deck of the French ship was slippery with blood, heaving in the choppy sea...Thus begins Naomi Novik's riveting debut novel. I was grabbed from that first sentence and engulfed into a rousing Napoleonic era adventure. Though some reviews are calling His Majesty's Dragon a blend of the naval epics of Patrick O'Brian and Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels, I found this first installment in the Temeraire series to be utterly unique. But then, I have never read O'Brian. I will say that I outgrew McCaffrey's dragons some ten years ago. They greatly intrigued me when I first discovered 'adult' science fiction at the tender age of twelve or so, but Pern has not managed to keep it's hold on me. Novik's Will Laurence grabs hold of the reader and never lets go. Nor do I want him to.

A certified bookaholic I had begun to despair of late that all of the good stories had been told, everything coming out for the genre seemed to be the continuation of an old series, or the rehashing of an old idea. I was wrong. This is one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. The pacing is exquisite, the battles carefully researched then tweaked according to the circumstances and the men and women are fully rounded characters. The best part is that the second and third installments are already slated for release! Instead of waiting for a year or more, the second book, entitled Throne of Jade, will be out on April 25th. Black Powder War, the third, arrives May 30th. Sadly, Novik's books aren't a trilogy. Sherwood Smith, an author I admire, has been lucky enough to read them and review them on her own blog. Of a fourth novel Smith writes: Each book ended with enough resolution to be satisfying, but with enough open questions to leave me yearning hard for more. Now. Please.

I agree. More. Now. Please.

***also be sure to check out the super cute Temeraire web game courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers


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