[LMB] OT: Book review: "His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik

Marna Nightingale marna at marna.ca
Sun Apr 16 19:13:05 BST 2006

Just read HMD last night. Oh LORD I love that book.

Michael R N Dolbear wrote:

> Thanks. Going back to "His Majesty's Dragon"  'sapient beings rights' seem
> to be missing there as well 

Well, yes. No legal status as people, no right to vote, no right to own 
property, no right to have any say in the fate of their offspring ...

> since the status of dragons as rational beings
> is being deliberately concealed.

Oh, wait, we're talking about the DRAGONS?

Right, them too.

But it's ... nuanced. Things aren't as they should be, but the various 
actors (human and draconian) are aware of it. They have ways of working 
the system without breaking it, which I found quite fascinating.

> And for further concealment, I assume the "Aerial Corps Captains List" has
> "Captain C Harcourt" and "Captain J Roland" to concel gender ?

One would assume so. Seems a bit hard on them, having to pass themselves 
off as wives (or, possibly mistresses) in public.

The dragons, in fact, have almost as many rights as Captains Roland and 
Harcourt do, and rather more actual capacity to get their own way about 
things. You can't, as they point out somewhere, MAKE a dragon do 
anything, really.

That's a tricky bit, actually; I can't imagine that the female officers 
wouldn't have tremendous problems working around their basically 
complete lack of normal female socialization for that culture, except by 
staying even more apart from it than the men do. Which they DO, but ... 
I can't help but wonder, even so, how they've managed to keep that 
particular secret...


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