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Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Naomi Novik
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

History takes flight in the second book of Naomi Novik’s deliciously addictive series which captures the Napoleonic period perfectly and skillfully layers the timeline with imagination by adding a Dragon Air Force to the battle for England.

Captain William Laurence of the British Air Corps and his dragon, Temeraire, begin their slow voyage to China, fearful that upon landing they will be forced to part by Imperial decree.

Temeraire is a Celestial dragon, the most highly-prized of all draconic breeds; famed for their intelligence, agility and most of all for the Divine Wind – their terrible roar capable of shattering the heavy timbers of war ships, shattering woodland and destroying other dragons mid-flight. Temeraire’s egg was captured and claimed by the British at sea, but he was meant to be the companion of the Emperor Napoleon and not captained by a mere officer in the British Air Corps.

The Chinese have demanded his return and the British cannot refuse them – they cannot afford to provoke the asian super-power into allying themselves with the French – even if it costs them the most powerful weapon in their arsenal and inflicts the most unimaginable pain upon Laurence and his dragon.


Books In This Series (8 Books)
Complete Series


  • Product Description

    Review

    'I took a jaundiced view of dragon books until Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of military history, sympathetic characters, and 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.'
    Guardian

    Review

    'I took a jaundiced view of dragon books until Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of military history, sympathetic characters, and 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.' Guardian

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1087 KB
    • Print Length: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Harper Voyager (20 Feb. 2009)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B002RI9IXS
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,972 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    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.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Eastern Promise 15 Oct. 2010
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    It is 1805 and the Napoleonic Wars are raging. Trafalgar has been fought and won, but Austerlitz is soon to come. Fleets and armies, and overhead flights of dragons claw, spit and hurl fire in defence of their nations. Novik has created a real twist by combining fantasy with alternate history.

    Throne of Jade continues the story of Captain Laurence and his dragon Temeraire, as they travel to China to face the threat of being separated. It is Novik's credit that she faces the situation she created in the first book head on, rather than waving it off between books. Temeraire is a chinese dragon, captured in the egg from the French, who obtained it in mysterious circumstances, and now the Chinese are demanding it back. Novik clearly knows her history, telling us that the danger to trade from the Far East means this has to be taken seriously, and soon Laurence and Temeraire are being shipped off to China to an uncertain fate.

    Comparisions with Patrick O'Brien's style of plotting start to become irresistable, as the long voyage is used to bring out characters and the machinations of the Chinese. However, Novik lacks the skill to skip the travelogue where necessary, so the middle third of the book drags a little, livened up by a combat that seems a little contrived.

    Once in China, we see Temeraire at his best, as a real rounded character pondering the place of dragons in a human world, but maintaining a real and believable relationship with his human pilot, Laurence. There have been many attempts in fantasy to portray relationships between man and monster, and Novik makes one of the best.

    The Chinese section of the book produces the climax of the plot, and the plotting that is revealed to have been going on. The villain and his motivation is a little too easy to spot in the end, and combined with the flabby midsection of the book drags it down from five-star status, but is still well worth reading.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars To the east 7 Jun. 2009
    By EA Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
    Format:Paperback
    At the climax of her debut novel, Naomi Novik revealed that the dragon Temeraire was the rarest kind in the world -- a Chinese Celestial.

    But the discovery of the dragon's true nature comes with some pretty nasty problems attached, as William Laurence discovers in "Throne of Jade." While this book -- which is about 75% travel-by-sea -- could have been a boring slog of traveling details, Novik instead infuses it with political and cultural clashes, a creepy conspiracy on Chinese shores, and a haughty prince determined to separate Temeraire from his rider.

    With the discovery of Temeraire's breed, the haughty Prince Yongxing demands that Temeraire be returned to the Imperial family -- and the bowing-scraping-groveling diplomats are inclined to obey him. But Temeraire and Laurence are having none of that. And when they can't tempt away Temeraire, both dragon and rider are sent to China on a very large boat, along with the prince and his entourage, in hopes that they can sort out the mess.

    Unfortunately it's not a boring trip for Laurence, who has to dodge assassinations, storms, and the prince's ongoing quest to lure away Temeraire away from his rider. And China turns out to be no less dangerous as Laurence learns the reason that Temeraire's egg was sent to Napoleon, and the malevolent prince's true plans -- to get power for himself, using Temeraire as a pawn.

    Jewel-encrusted dragons wander through gardens, streets and palaces, Englishmen wander into the ornate lands of the East, and a silent political struggle rages with Temeraire in the center. Having explored a dragon-augmented England in her debut, Naomi Novik refocuses her attention on China in "Throne of Jade." Consider Laurence a stranger in a strange land.
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    Format:Paperback
    Second in the series this book is not as good as the first one - although I still enjoyed it and will read the third.

    The way these books are written is very old fashioned which suits the story down to the ground but it does mean the story itself is often a journey rather than a destination (which is what many fast-paced modern reads are nowadays e.g. Bam! Bam! BIG climax!). The language and grammar is beautiful and 'of the era' meaning it is sometimes tricky to navigate but worth it for the authentic feel it gives.

    *minor spoilers*

    Thus the going is slow, things happen as they would in reality rather than in some interesting plot ploy (no chekhov's gun here, more like red herrings. Cold anyone?). The excitement definitely builds when we FINALLY reach China and there's nothing wrong with the story but boy is the delivery rather flat. At the end I was left feeling satisfied but also disappointed - the final climatic action being relayed (as of old) in a narrative fashion rather than getting into the emotional hearts of our characters i.e. this happened, then this happened, then they all went home. I wanna know how did everyone react / feel afterwards - all those little loose ends properly tied up.

    SPOILER

    For example in the end the truly impossible is achieved (Laurence and Temeraire can return to England together - heroes no less) and yet we see very little reaction from them to this amazing result. They were terrified of being split up but when they miraculously can stay together there is no celebration, no moment of joy to share in. It's that old style narrative again - this happened, then this happened... Which is a shame because if that level of emotional engagement WAS achieved on top of the beautiful writing and the engaging storyline this book would be bloody amazing. As it is it just good. Maybe book three will improve!
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel
    Perhaps the resolution was a little simple after the massive fuss of the story, but I was gripped the whole way there. Read more
    Published 6 days ago by J. Oram
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Excellent tale. Look forward to reading more in the series
    Published 2 months ago by P C Derrick
    4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely paced, surprise ending.
    Nicely paced, surprise ending.
    Published 3 months ago by Marc Wilson
    4.0 out of 5 stars I didn't think this was as good as the first one
    I didn't think this was as good as the first one, but it's still entertaining. Learning more about the dragons is interesting, and the relationship between Laurence and Temeraire... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by K. Partridge
    5.0 out of 5 stars Dragon-tastic
    Love love love love love. Well written, real edge-of-the-seat stuff with the period detail and manner of speech absolutely spot on. A pleasure to read in every sense. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Mrs. S. C. Jefferson
    4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite like the first....
    But nonetheless a brilliant read. I still very much enjoyed the style of writing and the plot. The book makes for compelling reading but, in parts, wished the storyline was a bit... Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Stefano Salvi
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Sequel
    A worthy sequel to the first book. Not AS gripping, but still features the thrills, charm, classical language, humour and fantasy I was hoping for. Read more
    Published 12 months ago by Mr. Graham P. Kendrick
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
    Very good flow on from book one, not what I expected, so enjoyable. I will be getting book three soon.
    Published 12 months ago by Lesley Jordan
    4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start
    It took me a little longer to get into this book than the first but once the story established, I enjoyed it. It gives a good background for further books in the series. Read more
    Published 14 months ago by Catherine
    5.0 out of 5 stars very good book
    anyone who likes dragons alt history all of Novik books are very good reads flows well draws you into it cant put book down
    Published 15 months ago by Lord Pike
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