HIS MAJESTY'S DRAGON by Naomi Novik
Read: Sept 25-26
Do you believe in dragons? This book is set at the time of the Napoleonic wars between Britain and France and center around the relationship and development of a dragon and his captain.
During a sea battle a British frigate captures a French sailing ship and discover part of their prize is a dragon egg. When the egg hatches the person to whom the dragon attaches himself, is thereafter his handler and basically gives up any chance at a normal life. This dragon attaches himself to the ship's captain. The book tells the tale of how the Captain and the Dragon Temeraire develop into a fighting team in the Aerial Corp for Britain.
It is delightful to see these wars from an alternate perspective which includes aerial attacks and transports by dragons of different species. The dragons which are treated as "bombers" in the Aerial Corps are separated in somewhat of a caste system according to their breed.
For children, I see this as a marvelous moral tale which not only shows the cruelty of war but of how mistreatment and prejudice toward others can be perceived. The surprise of the book, is that the dragon's species turns out to be a CELESTIAL, a very rare and magical species. This is the first in the series and I will be looking for the next one in the future. Delightful for children.