Friday, June 01, 2007

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

The Napoleonic Wars, with dragons. Almost an alternate history, except that given the great difference this level of aerial transport and combat would have made to the course of history, everything was far too recognizable.

I was reluctant to read this at first, partly because of the Napoleonic war angle (I'm not fond of too much military detail in my historical reading) and partly because of the dragons (I'm not especially fond of traditional fantasy trappings, unless they're unusually well done, or used mythopoeically). That said, I very much enjoyed this; the dragons were neither mythic nor traditional, but fully fleshed out, as were the humans. They did resemble Anne McCaffery's dragons in some ways, but the pseudoscience behind them was better thought out. And the military details of how dragons might be used in combat were also carefully thought out and integral to the plot.

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