Throne of Jade

Throne of Jade 
Naomi Novik, 2006

This was another great installment in the Temeraire series. I purchased it on my Kindle when I was delayed by weather over the holidays, and it did a delightful job of transporting me to a warmer clime.

Premise: Captain Laurence and the dragon Temeraire, introduced in His Majesty's Dragon, travel to China. It is unclear whether the Chinese government will allow Temeraire, who is a Celestial (a special and rare Chinese breed) to remain in company with Laurence, or ever to return to Britain. They face factions, politics, and assassins, and try to make a good impression.

This is a second book, and runs the risk of feeling like more of the same. I think it rides the line beautifully; it neither feels like a disappointment, nor like the action is being ramped up unreasonably. There are new characters, new settings, and new kinds of dragons to learn about.

It is also a great start for the series in finding its moral center. Laurence learns a lot about the way dragons are treated in China, and how the different culture impacts the dragons' lives. The two characters face more tests of their bond, which allows for more growth in their relationship, and an understanding of their possible paths.

The voice is clear and entertaining, as in the first book, although the sense of propriety is easing as Laurence himself learns to work with different groups of people. As a fan of both books about dragons and books about British naval warfare, this series is just perfect for me.

4 Stars – A Really Good Book


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