Imagine the A&E series Horatio Hornblower had dragons! That’s what I thought as I read Naomi Novik’s novel His Majesty’s Dragon.
This novel is set in the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s and tells the story of a British naval captain who suddenly finds himself caring for, and training, a dragon.
Novik creates a world where dragons are an essential part of warfare as it adds the aerial element that is so prominent in wars today. Yet today we have drones and are able to maintain a distance between the plan and the execution of that plan. Like a pilot who loves his machine, this story goes a step further to create dragons as sentient beings who are capable of relationships and thoughts (and their ability to talk adds a new level). Throughout the novel, the main thread is the relationship that Will Laurence builds with the dragon Temeraire.
Throughout the novel Laurence and Temeraire develop a beautiful friendship (just like the line in Casa Blanca). The ability of Laurence to transition and adapt from being a Naval Captain to a newbie in the Aerial Corps is the engaging part of the story. Yes, there is a battle happening and the side with the most dragons and best tactics will win, yet the connection between dragon and man is the most interesting part of the story.
As a lover of books, I find it especially great that Laurence and Temeraire bound over reading. Temeraire can’t read, yet has a very sharp and creative mind. As Laurence reads to him from several different disciplines, both challenge and encourage each other. I have to say that I would not have found this book without it being recommended and lent to me. I also have a new person in my life and I love that we are able to share our joy of reading together.
Life is an adventure and books are a way of learning more and sharing ideas and concepts with others. Creativity grows as we encounter art. I am grateful that I am surrounded by people who read and enjoy the arts!
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
“Temeraire said, ‘It is very nice how many books there are, indeed. And on so many subjects!” (Naomi Novik).