Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: Throne of Jade

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (Temeraire, book 2)
4.5 stars

Reasons for reading: Loved the first book; Seconds Challenge (though slightly cheaty as I'd planned to read a different book, but this is still a second!)

Synopsis: "When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo–an unhatched dragon’s egg–Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain’s Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte’s invading forces.

Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands–and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East–a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await."

First line: "The day was unseasonably warm for November, but in some misguided deference to the Chinese embassy, the fire in the Admiralty had been heaped excessively high and Laurence was standing directly before it."

My thoughts: Another late review, oops! But this was a great sequel to His Majesty's Dragon. It was really interesting to see the interactions between the Chinese and British groups. I felt sad for Temeraire when he discovered how well dragons are treated in Asia as opposed to their near-servant status in Britain. Laurence is his usual stand-up self, his main concern being Temeraire, even when it means standing up to his own government. There's international intrigue aplenty as the Chinese seem to be trying to get Temeraire back, perhaps even at the cost of Laurence's life. I couldn't imagine how things were going to work out, but I knew they had to because there are (thankfully) more books! The way around the difficulties was rather a cunning solution, which was satisfying.

The verdict: I can't wait to read the rest of this series!

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