Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Throne of Jade

by Naomi Novik
New York : Ballantine Books, 2006.

Rereading a series has a whole host of difficulties when I'm also trying to review them for the first time. I reviewed His Majesty's Dragon in September and hate to repeat myself here. At the same time, I don't want to give spoilers for each title as I go along, but it's hard to go back to my initial impressions when the stories were new to me. As a result, the following is more like a list of impressions than a proper review.

In the second book in the Temeraire series, Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, must go to China when the Chinese emperor discovers that his gift to Napoleon has gone amiss and a Celestial dragon is serving in the British aerial corps.

The main strength of the series, to my mind, is Laurence and Temeraire's conversations - sometimes bantering, sometimes serious. In this one, the treatment of dragons in Britain is questioned, particularly in reference to the slave trade. Though they don't reach China until well into the book, the journey is a lot of fun because of the well-rounded characters who are so much fun to spend time with.

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