A brilliant take on the dragon-rider concept. Naomi Novik takes a much used concept (featured in Eragon, The Dragonriders of Pern and countless other fantasy novels) and plunges it into a fictional history during the Napoleonic Wars.
As someone who is both a fan of history and fantasy I found this very enjoyable to be reading a novel incorporating both aspects in an enjoyable and excellent manner. His Majesty's Dragon was both short and at the same time well written.
The tale of a man devoted to his duty to serve his country who forms a strong bond with his dragon steed was in my view perhaps the best written example of this genre. I did however have a complaint with how often the male ex ship captain turned dragon rider called his male dragon "my dear." To me that simply felt a very feminine thing for him to be saying and completely out of character. And because it was very noticeable it wrecked the flow of the book for me.
I must note too that this reminded me of the film: How to Train a Dragon. So I couldn't help but feel that perhaps the film makers/ script writers had read this book in the process of creation. There was mention of fire-breathing dragons, acid-spitting dragons, water spouting dragons and wind breathing dragons all of which seemed to appear in the afore-named film. Or perhaps that was just me making a correlation.
Apart from minor disturbances this was a very solid novel and worth reading. A prime example of fantasy and how it should be written.
All that needs to be written now is a novel in which they run a reality TV show to become a dragon rider. Then the fantasy genre's fixation with dragons will be complete.