His Majesty's Dragon

I just recently read Naomi Novik’s Napoleonic dragon books and found them surprisingly good. This series is quite unusual: a mix of historical fiction set during the Napoleonic Wars with the fantasy addition of dragons. It sounds like the recipe for a cheesey fantasy series but it actually works.

Her historical verisimilitude is strong and her grasp of the navies and armies of the day seems solid. She has come up with a concept of dragon-based napoleonic era aerial warfare that is a mixture of gunpowder naval warfare and fantasy concepts. Suprisingly the mix works well and I found the aerial battles quite compelling.

But the books go beyond just battles. She captures the social mores of the times in a fairly convincing way. She works the concept of dragons into her alternate-history world thoroughly and the dragons themselves are fully realized characters.

Overall, I found myself surprised at how well I like this series. It’s light reading but is a very fun mix of adventure, alternate-history, napoleonic warfare, and dragons. Recommended. Personally, I’m hooked :).

Note: although this is being marketed as a “trilogy”, its actually just the first 3 books of an ongoing series. However, each book can stand on its own, although they should be read in order. Each book has its own main plot and each comes to a more or less satisfying conclusion.

Sounds interesting! I’ll add it to my backlog of things to read…