(Originally posted on March 23, 2009, in the original Random Dewey blog)
His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik. Book 1 of the Temeraire trilogy. Napoleonic-era British navy officer accidentally becomes a dragon rider in the Aerial Corps.
This is the first book in the Temeraire series. Nelson’s navy is trying to stop Napoleon’s forces from crossing the Channel and Captain Will Laurence’s ship is in the middle of a sea battle against a French frigate. On board the frigate: an unhatched dragon’s egg. Dragons have been used for air warfare since ancient times. Soon, Laurence finds himself the rider of a newly hatched dragon and must leave the Navy and join the Aerial Corps. If you liked the Horatio Hornblower stories, you might also like His Majesty’s Dragon. It’s a fast-paced adventure story of battles and military strategy with a large dose of camaraderie — both between Lawrence and his dragon and Lawrence and his new crewmates.