His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When English captain William Laurence captures an egg from a French ship, his duty is clear: he must tame the dragon inside to help fight Napoleon—even if it means leaving behind everything he knows. His choice to become the companion to Temeraire—an extraordinary dragon of a species unknown in England—will call upon all of his loyalty, courage, and experience.
This is an alternate history set in the Napoleonic era, when all of Europe was threatened by French military might. The major details are the same, with one small change—every country has an Air Corps made up of specially bred fighting dragons captained by human riders. Laurence and Temeraire’s unusual friendship is the linchpin of this series and Novik’s brilliantly imagined world.
Anyone who is a fan of Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series will recognize the era depicted here (Laurence owes a lot of his personality to his predecessor, Aubrey), and fans of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books will appreciate Novik's detailed and thoughtful take on human/dragon relationships. (Enjoy Christopher Paolini's Eragon? The Temeraire books are vastly superior.)
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