This book took me longer than usual to finish. It’s a fun premise — hey, what if they had dragons for the purposes of aerial combat during the Napoleonic Wars? — with enjoyable characters, but a wicked slow pace. And I think that’s what I both liked and disliked about it.
The slow pacing comes from not only Novik’s writing style, but the fact that much of this book is trying to read like the Master and Commander novels by O’Brien. For those of you who haven’t read those novels, they’re historical-military fiction focusing upon the naval combat during the Napoleonic Wars from the perspective of the English — specifically, an English naval commander named Capt. “Lucky” Jack Aubrey. They’re entertaining, but slow due to being chock-full of naval and historical information.
His Majesty’s Dragon is like that. Did I enjoy it? Yes; it’s not my favourite book I’ve read involving dragons, but it is quite clever. Will I continue the series? I’m not sure. Probably, but at the moment I’m on the fence.