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Black Powder War (The Temeraire Series, Book 3) (Temeraire 3) Hardcover – 2 Jan 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition, First Impression edition (2 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007219156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007219155
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 879,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular fascination with the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O'Brian and Jane Austen. She began writing as a guilty pleasure while studying for her Master's degree in Computer Science at Columbia. She found an opportunity to combine her passions by developing computer games, starting with a multi-player online science fiction game she created in college that has now been in continuous operation for almost a decade. She is also the founder and organizer of Vividcon, the annual convention for digital video enthusiasts who create music videos and other short films based on their favorite television shows and movies, and of the Commonverse, a project dedicated to applying the "open source" approach for software development to the writing of shared-universe fiction. She lives with her husband in New York City.

Product Description


'’Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of history, sympathetic characters, and an engaging style makes this series great, intelligent fun.’
The Times

‘Plenty of intrigue, swordplay, exotic locations, plausible invention. In short a treat.’
The Telegraph

‘These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart.’
Peter Jackson

‘Novik has stirred the passions with a genre-busting historical fantasy of the first order.'
Sunday Sport

'In the best tradition of fantasy, historical fiction and nautical novels.'

Book Description

History takes flight...

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Black Powder War is the third novel in the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik, following the adventures of the eponymous dragon and his 'Captain', Lawrence, during the Napoleonic Wars of an alternative 19th Century where dragons are real and live, mostly, in harmony with mankind.

Along with the two books that proceed it, Temeraire (aka His Majesty's Dragon) and Throne of Jade, Black Powder War is the latest episode of an ongoing story. As such it is not the place for uninitiated readers to start. Go read Temeraire and Throne of Jade. Both are wonderful, evocative and exciting adventure novels bursting with great ideas.

For those already familiar with Temeraire and his adventures to date the question will be 'is Black Powder War as good as the books that proceeded it?'. The answer is....not quite.

Don't misunderstand me; this is still a wonderfully enjoyable book and deserving of four stars. What it doesn't do however, is quite measure up to its predecessors and this is due, mostly to issues of plotting.

With both previous Temeraire novels there was a sense of self-containment, even if they were just episodes in an onging saga. With Black Powder War by contrast, the episodic feeling is definitely to the fore and the book feels more like a transitionary tale rather than a self contained story. Mostly this is down to the story being split into very distinct halves; the first covering Temeraire's journey overland through Asia from China and the second his involvement with Napoleon's Eastern Campaign against the Prussians. Whilst both halves are related it is only loosely and they feel like two separate episodes rather than parts of a uniform whole.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Lore on 20 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
From the very outset of this third book in the saga of Temeraire the dragon, I found myself distinctly unengaged by the material and far less engrossed by this story in comparison to the previous two. Consequently, the largely stellar reviews here surprise me more than a little...

Even if you're immediately aware and pleased by the fact that this series acts as one large story, and the individual books are only chapters in it (with much less identity as stand-alone novels than is customary for historical fantasy tales of this type) I still feel that `Black Powder War' is woefully slow to start. It has a pace that can only be described as meandering throughout and the lack of big set-pieces that have previously acted to offset Novik's minimal attempts at character exploration are only magnified by this story. The plot is non-existent; it's comprised of one errand that should only have taken a hundred pages at most for Novik to develop. It feels like very slim basis for a novel.

Something else that's difficult to avoid about Novik's style in this story is how poorly she lays the groundwork for climactic events. She rarely creates a feeling of real tension during various plot developments, because she doesn't set-up future events, which results in twists falling flat on the page when they occur. The few number of (relatively) significant incidents in the story feel as if they were designed purely to punctuate long periods of inactivity by Laurence, Temeraire and his crew, ones that have no lasting consequence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Darling on 8 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Oh my word...

When an author takes on history, it tends to be a battle of wills from the first.

A battle between the yearning for what could have been and the solid truths of what actually happened.

With a wealth of historical facts at Novik's fingertips, the author produces a richly developed character soup full of reason, treason, gunpowder plots and wings.

The rich tapestry of the Napoleonic Wars and it's possible intrigues are laid out before us with the inclusion of DRAGONS!

I feel if I had been able to read Novik's books during my cramming for history exams, that I may have found more interest in history and achieved a somewhat higher grade!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D Brookes on 2 April 2008
Format: Paperback
The third in the "Temeraire" series gives Captain Lawrence and Temeraire an uncertain new mission. In order to accomplish this they must travel from the orient into the deadly territories further west, into the depths of the European continent. Novik continues her alternate history thread to great effect, pulling the characters into darker waters with a guide they don't entirely trust.

As with the previous instalments, the writing is beautifully fluid and expertly constructed. Whatever niggles her narrative had at the start of her career have now been entirely ironed out, leaving the narrative and dialogue very smooth and easy to digest. This novel is not quite as fast-paced as the first two, and the excitement of the title and blurb is a little misleading. This is a much more sedate story but with fine character development and cleverly placed action sequences to keep the story going. Wonderfully paced, but not action-packed - still well worth a read if you enjoyed the earlier books.
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