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In His Majesty's Service: Three Novels of Temeraire (His Majesty's Service, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Oct 27 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (Oct. 27 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345513541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345513540
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 17 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #334,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
Format: Hardcover
Imagine if the Napoleonic wars had been fought using an air force... of dragons.

That idea is the root of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series -- an alternate-history fantasy that explores the idea of a Horatio Hornbloweresque navy officer who suddenly finds a dragon uprooting his life. And in the first three books of her series, compiled in "In His Majesty's Service," Novik stretches credibility here and there, but her stories are a solid, intelligent, often amusing adventure story. Oh, and having seen the new omnibus edition, I would like to add that I only saw paperback copies.

"His Majesty's Dragon" enters the scene when Captain William Laurence's Reliant captures a French ship -- which turns out to have a dragon egg in its hold. And when the baby dragon hatches, it decides it wants Laurence and no other to be its rider. But accepting the dragon (now named Temeraire) means giving up his Navy commission and joining the Air Corps -- especially since Temeraire violently rejects the idea of accepting another rider. Both rider and dragon have a lot of learning to do. But as the bond between them grows and Temeraire grows rapidly to maturity, the Napoleonic Wars are raging -- and Temeraire's true power hasn't yet been shown.

And in "Throne of Jade," an ill-tempered Chinese prince demands that Temeraire be returned to the Imperial family. Temeraire and Laurence are having none of that -- and when they can't tempt away Temeraire, both dragon and rider are sent to China, along with the prince and his entourage. But the journey is full of storms and assassinations, and China turns out to be no less dangerous as Laurence learns of plot around Temeraire.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 67 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Dragons and war Oct. 27 2009
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Imagine if the Napoleonic wars had been fought using an air force... of dragons.

That idea is the root of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series -- an alternate-history fantasy that explores the idea of a Horatio Hornbloweresque navy officer who suddenly finds a dragon uprooting his life. And in the first three books of her series, compiled in "In His Majesty's Service," Novik stretches credibility here and there, but her stories are a solid, intelligent, often amusing adventure story. Oh, and having seen the new omnibus edition, I would like to add that I only saw paperback copies.

"His Majesty's Dragon" enters the scene when Captain William Laurence's Reliant captures a French ship -- which turns out to have a dragon egg in its hold. And when the baby dragon hatches, it decides it wants Laurence and no other to be its rider. But accepting the dragon (now named Temeraire) means giving up his Navy commission and joining the Air Corps -- especially since Temeraire violently rejects the idea of accepting another rider. Both rider and dragon have a lot of learning to do. But as the bond between them grows and Temeraire grows rapidly to maturity, the Napoleonic Wars are raging -- and Temeraire's true power hasn't yet been shown.

And in "Throne of Jade," an ill-tempered Chinese prince demands that Temeraire be returned to the Imperial family. Temeraire and Laurence are having none of that -- and when they can't tempt away Temeraire, both dragon and rider are sent to China, along with the prince and his entourage. But the journey is full of storms and assassinations, and China turns out to be no less dangerous as Laurence learns of plot around Temeraire.

Having returned from China, Laurence and Temeraire don't even get to go home before being thrown into "Black Powder War." They're sent straight to Istanbul to pick up three dragon eggs sold to England by the Ottoman Empire -- only to deal with deal with wild dragons (who alone make the book worth reading) a treacherous Sultan, and the vengeful albino Celestial Lien.

Then there's a special short story unique to this omnibus -- the story of Lien's first weeks among Napoleon's forces, and her haughty disgust with everything about it (including the less refined European dragons, whom the generals want her to breed with). But she's determined to stick it out, so she can revenge herself for her prince.

The Temeraire series is what Christopher Paolini's books SHOULD have been -- a richly-drawn, intelligent series about the bond between a young man and his dragon. Novik still has some rough spots in her first three books ("His Majesty's Dragon" is rather short on plot, "Black Powder War" short on characterization) but they are undeniably fascinating meshes of what 19th century war would have been like if there had been dragons.

She conjures up a pretty fascinating world, giving dragons different breeds, quirks, biological features (they blast acid, fire, even sonic waves), and relationships with their riders (one poor little dragon whose rider treats him like a disposable vehicle). There's even some delving into dragon rights -- are the dragons being treated like slaves?

And despite long stretches of traveling over land and sea (often for months), Novik keeps it interesting with lush, detailed writing and some truly thrilling aerial battles aboard the vast dragons. On land, there's plenty of gentle comic relief ("I am afraid that some of them go there to drink, and keep low company." "Oh, you mean whores!") and lots of messy eating.

Temeraire and Laurence are a study in contrasts. The human is mannered, thoughtful and very tied to society's mores, while the dragon has a child's enthusiasm, curiosity, honesty and stubbornness (and frankly he's an adorable little dragon). There's also a colorful collection of supporting characters -- fellow Corps dragons Lily and Maximus, the malignant Prince Yongxhing, the mysterious Tharkay, and many others.

"In His Majesty's Service" is a solid trio of alternate history stories, with plenty of adventure, humour and a lot of lovable dragons. Definitely worth flying with.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I love this binding book than the mass paperback! Nov. 3 2009
By leoliger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, this is a book that is being sold as three books in one:
His Majesty's dragon
Throne of Jade
Black Power War.

I like this version of a repeat being sold by Del Rey books. I don't own the mass paperback versions on the three books that are being in this one compilation. At first I thought this was to be a completely new story by Naomi Novik, but it wasn't, just the publisher selling more copies of previous novels in the series. However, I liked it that way. I wanted to get all the books in the series, eventually, but I don't like paperbacks. They don't last very long in my hands. When this version came out and read carefully that it was three books in one, I wanted to get it. I liked the cover and I don't have extra books lying around of the same series.

This book is hardcover bound with deckle edge pages. To me this makes it a cool looking book. I am a fan of this series, and I love how Naomi Novik tells the story. Very compelling and fast paced storyline.

Now, if you have previous mass paperback versions of this series, don't get this book. You will have the impression that it is a totally new story line, but it isn't. Another thing to point out is that this version comes with a side story never released before called "In Autumn, A White Dragon Looks Over The Wide River". This side story is about Lein and her side of the story. But this little scene is less than 20 pages long. If you are a fan of the series, this is a great book.

Reason for getting this book:
1. If you DO NOT have mass paperback verisons.
2. Want the first three book in one book.
3. Want the never-before-read scenes of Lein's side of the story.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful edition of the first three books in the series Nov. 21 2009
By book-loving mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
'In His Majesty's Service' arrived today, and it's a great replacement for our much-loved, worn-out paperback copies of the first three Temeraire books. Beautiful illustration on the dust jacket, and I like the new font for the text.

My 10-year-old son and I can't wait for book 6!

P.S. I hope books 4-6 will eventually be published in a single hardcover volume as well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Collection Dec 29 2009
By Sonoma Lass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have a hard believing that anyone could buy this book without realizing that it's a collection of previously published books (with a new short story). If you did make that mistake, though, is that a legitimate reason to give the collection a bad review?

I hope people who read these reviews note that the one-star reviews are almost all from people who loved these books, but who didn't pay attention to the description and thought they were buying a new book in the series. These are wonderful books, but YES, this is a re-release of the first three books, NOT a new book, just like it says in the description, and on the cover. This new edition is really attractive and makes a great gift. The early books were never released in hardcover, so I hope all of them will eventually be re-released in collectible editions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great way to read three great books May 22 2014
By Rose Greenwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As both a history buff and a fantasy buff, the Temeraire series is quite possible one of the best things I've found this year. Excellent attention to detail in characterization and in the logistics of dragon keeping. The alternate history is fascinating and keeps me guessing, as well as presents an opportunity to consider how elements change the course of history. An awesome series and easy to read, definitely recommend.

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