Summary: Together in one volume, here are the first three novels in Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, combining the gripping history of the Napoleonic era, the thrill of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books, and the excitement of Patrick O’Brian’s seafaring adventures. In His Majesty’s Service also includes an exclusive original Temeraire short story.
Capt. Will Laurence is serving with honor in the British Navy when his ship captures a French frigate harboring most a unusual cargo–an incalculably valuable dragon egg. When the egg hatches, Laurence unexpectedly becomes the master of the young dragon Temeraire and finds himself on an extraordinary journey that will shatter his orderly, respectable life and alter the course of his nation’s history.
Thrust into England’s Aerial Corps, Laurence and Temeraire undergo rigorous training while staving off French forces intent on breaching British soil. But the pair has more than France to contend with when China learns that an imperial dragon intended for Napoleon–Temeraire himself– has fallen into British hands. The emperor summons the new pilot and his dragon to the Far East, a long voyage fraught with peril and intrigue. From England’s shores to China’s palaces, from the Silk Road’s outer limits to the embattled borders of Prussia and Poland, Laurence and Temeraire must defend their partnership and their country from powerful adversaries around the globe. But can they succeed against the massed forces of Bonaparte’s implacable army?
My Thoughts: I have been a big fan of this series ever since the first book came out a few years ago. Novik writes in a very unique and perfectly suitable-to-the-time-period kind of style. Dragons in the Napoleonic wars! Amazing idea. Really unique. Very fun and original story. Novik has become one of my favorite authors.
The first book was my favorite. In the rest of the series Temeraire and Laurence travel all over the world–each book sort of has a “focus”. They go to China in the second novel, and then to Turkey in the third. They also visit (for various plot-related reasons) the African continent as well as Australia.
Author Website (and excerpt from the first book in the series): http://www.temeraire.org/in-his-majestys-service/#reviews